Feeding alfalfa to a yearling
   

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Feeding alfalfa to a yearling

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  • Feeding my weanling alfafa
  • Feeding yearlings alfalfa

 
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    10-13-2013, 04:19 PM
  #1
Foal
Feeding alfalfa to a yearling

I had my vet out a little over a month ago and we started talking about how nutrition is the best way to help him grow well. Se emphasized the need for calcium and recommended I be feeding Alfalfa to achieve this. I totally understand and agree with this. I had already been feeding a mix of alfalfa, beet pulp (which also has some calcium), rice bran, and a multi vitamin)

What I worry about is the fact that she said I should be working him up to 5 pounds of grain (majority alfalfa) a day. He had a healthy weight, she agreed, so I don't understand why he says quadruple the grain. Does this seem right? Maybe she means by adulthood?

My second question: she tAlked me I to replacing my millenuum gold multivitamin to platinum performance. I do t mind if it is far superior, by it is much more pricey and I don't want to pay for something unnecessary... So advice is welcome.

Final note about the vet: she does distribute platinum performance
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    10-13-2013, 04:32 PM
  #2
Yearling
Tbh, what we were taught in the horse and that, IMHO is the best option for a yearling, or any youngster in good health (has not been malnourished or abused anywhere from foal to the point they are put in regular work) is free choice good quality hay, however, not very rich like alfalfa, normal hay (mixed grasses), ration balancer, salt, minerals, and lots of fresh water. The most important thing is for them to be able to graze, pick their hay and socialize, move on their own etc.
Feeding grain to a youngster can cause growth spurs, and that is definitely what you do not want...
     
    10-13-2013, 05:15 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReubenJCogburn    
What I worry about is the fact that she said I should be working him up to 5 pounds of grain (majority alfalfa) a day.
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Alfalfa is not a grain. It is a hay. Do you mean an alfalfa pellet? Like working him up to 5 lbs of alfalfa pellets a day? That would make more sense.

I grew my youngster on about 50% alfalfa and 50% bermuda hay, with maybe a pound of Purina Ultium Growth daily. Right now, at age 3 he is on 100% alfalfa. That isn't exactly ideal, but that is what we have where we live and I think he has much of his growing done. The problem with alfalfa is it is short in phosphorous, so you really don't want to feed it 100% if you can mix it with another hay or grass that is better balanced.

I would aim for about a max of 50/50 alfalfa and grass hay. Or if your vet says to work him up to 5 lbs of alfalfa pellets a day, that sounds pretty good as well.

I can't comment on the other products as I have never used them.
     
    10-13-2013, 08:14 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherrij    
tbh, what we were taught in the horse and that, IMHO is the best option for a yearling, or any youngster in good health (has not been malnourished or abused anywhere from foal to the point they are put in regular work) is free choice good quality hay, however, not very rich like alfalfa, normal hay (mixed grasses), ration balancer, salt, minerals, and lots of fresh water. The most important thing is for them to be able to graze, pick their hay and socialize, move on their own etc.
Feeding grain to a youngster can cause growth spurs, and that is definitely what you do not want...
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    10-13-2013, 08:24 PM
  #5
Foal
Sorry for my above post. I was trying to respond to both of you and ended up just posting a quote :)

Anyway,
Thanks to both of you. The over graining is what I was worried about. Now that I think about it though, I am feeding alfalfa pellets because actual alfalfa isn't really available here... So maybe that's what she meant is that she'd like to see a higher percentage of alfalfa in his daily diet. I suppose five pounds of alfalfa of his total rations isn't unreasonable.... Though he eats free choice hay all day and already eats well over his % daily feed without factoring in the pelleted alfalfa. :) but he isn't fat so I guess he can keep munching away. I guess he doesn't technically eat grain...
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    10-13-2013, 08:26 PM
  #6
Teen Forum Moderator
If he is at a good weight, I wouldn't feed him that much grain. A good RB and as much hay as he wants is the best way to go. My filly was eating 4.5 lbs of grain a day while she was gaining weight but is down to 2.25 right now, and I plan to get her down even lower until she's eating a RB and hay. She also eats 6 lbs of alfalfa pellets and 1/2 a pound (working up to .75) of rice bran as well at ad lib hay. She's only 680 lbs, 13.3hh, yet she eats 18+ lbs of a hay PLUS the 6 lbs of alfalfa pellets a day O_o she is at a good weigh though so I figure she's using it for something!
     
    10-13-2013, 08:32 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
What kind of hay is your horse getting now? What kind of grain and how much is he getting?

Grass and grass hays are high in Phosphorus (P) and very low in Calcium (Ca). Alfalfa is high in protein and high in Ca. Alfalfa is fed free choice to many young horses in the Southwest. A huge percentage of horses in the Southwest live predominantly on alfalfa. Personally, I am not a huge fan. All of the horses I have known that developed enteroliths have been on alfalfa diets. You also see a higher number of horses with other forms of colic and of obesity that are on heavy alfalfa diets. With all of the protein in alfalfa, it is still low in some of the essential amino acids like Lysine and Methionine.

Personally, I greatly prefer grass hay plus grain, a protein supplement and a Ca and Magnesium (Mg) supplement. When I put horses on a diet like this, I see a good competitive growth rate and have never seen any DOD problems.

You can have as much as 4 or 5 times as much Ca as P and not have a problem. Having less than a Ca:P ratio of 2:1 can be a HUGE problem.
     
    12-05-2013, 11:48 PM
  #8
Foal
Sorry for so much time between my posts (the life of a teacher) :)... Anyway, he's on brome hay, free choice in a slow feed net.

I freaked out about the alfalfa before I was reminded that it wasn't a grain. :) I am totally comfortable with the vet rec. Now, seeing that this is one of the most important times for him to have calcium.


Anyway, thanks everyone!
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    12-07-2013, 02:01 PM
  #9
Yearling
My weanling is on 6 pounds of Purina Ultium - he's a bigger 8 month old colt, and I break it into two feedings so he gets three pounds each meal. The Ultium is made with the correct percentages for a growing baby - I had my yearling on it with fantastic results, no growth issues at all. I just use a timothy grass hay and then a mineral salt block and lots of fresh water and plenty of turnout - he comes in at night for his dinner and is let out after breakfast.
     

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