Few Questions about alfalfa cubes/pellets - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-18-2009, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Few Questions about alfalfa cubes/pellets

I have an Arab with COPD, so he has to be taken off of hay.

We're experimenting with alfalfa/timothy mix cubes right now.
I've been soaking them because I've heard that it can be dangerous to feed them dry, but he absolutely will not touch them wet!
He likes them dry, but we've tried everything from molasses to grain, and he just won't eat them when they're soaked.

I was thinking about feeding them dry, but I've heard people say that horses can choke on them, or they can even cause colic. Is this true?

Also, I know he'd probably eat alfalfa pellets, but I read that they lack the long-stemmed fiber necessary for a healthy digestive system.
If I gave him one flake of soaked hay a day, would that make up for the lack of fiber, or would it still be unhealthy?

So many questions! Hope someone can help
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-18-2009, 11:51 PM
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Yes, it is TRUE. Do not feed them dry. Your horse can choke very easily on them, and that could end up being very costly to you with vet care. Some horses have died from choking on them.

How do you soak them?

I feed my horses the alfalfa cubes. I put one scoop of cubes in a large bucket, and then enough water to totally cover the cubes (this is about 1/2 bucket of water). I then leave the cubes to soak for several hours. Before feeding them, I stir them up with my hands, and if they are too wet, I will strain off some of the water. I make sure there are no pieces that have not been saturated with the water.

My new horse, Dixie, did not like them at first, but now she thinks it's a wonderful treat.
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-18-2009, 11:53 PM
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Just wanted to add... the pelleted complete feed is fine for your horse. Also, consider adding fiber with things such as bran and beet pulp.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-18-2009, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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I soak them exactly like you do, and he won't touch them! It's been a struggle to get him to eat them for the last 2 weeks, he doesn't seem to enjoy them anymore then he did when we started.

Are the pelleted hay feeds fine as complete replacements for hay then? Or would he need the one flake of hay a day? Would this be enough?
He gets grass right now but in the winter that's obviously not happening.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-19-2009, 12:01 AM
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A pelleted complete feed is fine. Be sure you are feeding the recommended amount.

Just a suggestion, but are you feeding out of the same bag of cubes for 2 weeks? If so, toss the bag and try a new bag, there could be something wrong with the first bag of cubes that your horse detects but you don't.

Do you remember recently when a lot of dogs were killed by dog food because the food was being produced in china and contained melamine? Many people said their dogs didn't want to eat, but they kept feeding them the food!!!

If any of my animals turns their noses up at food for more than a day (especially if its a new bag of food). I toss the food out. Not worth it. Get a new bag and try it.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-19-2009, 12:12 AM
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Cool food

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Ponies View Post
A pelleted complete feed is fine. Be sure you are feeding the recommended amount.

Just a suggestion, but are you feeding out of the same bag of cubes for 2 weeks? If so, toss the bag and try a new bag, there could be something wrong with the first bag of cubes that your horse detects but you don't.

Do you remember recently when a lot of dogs were killed by dog food because the food was being produced in china and contained melamine? Many people said their dogs didn't want to eat, but they kept feeding them the food!!!

If any of my animals turns their noses up at food for more than a day (especially if its a new bag of food). I toss the food out. Not worth it. Get a new bag and try it.
I read your coment the food costs a lot of money send it away to someone esls someones horse might like it
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-19-2009, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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That's what gets me! I'm on my second bag, and the other horses love the stuff. Unfortunately, they're not the ones who need it. I'm running out of ideas to make it taste better, he's such a picky eater...
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-19-2009, 02:18 PM
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Hay cubes can be feed wet or dry. Hay cubes were originally designed as an alternate feed source to hay or chaff. Feeding a 30KG bag of cubes is equivalent to about four bales of hay. They were meant to be dumped into a manger dry as a long forage substitute.

If you have a horse that is prone to choke you may want to "mist" the cubes. If he's a hoover you may want to add a large rock or brick in the manger to slow him down.

It can take several days when you introduce a new food source for the "suspicious" horse to come around. Just keep trying he won't starve himself. Make sure he has extra water.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-19-2009, 09:52 PM
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My horse won't eat soaked hay cubes alone, but mix in some beet pulp and rice bran powder and he gobbles the whole thing up.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-20-2009, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help guys! I didn't want to make his meals more complicated than they already are, so I'm considering giving up on the cubes all together.

Does anybody know what the minimum amount of long-stemmed fiber is for horses? I remember hearing that it was like 1% a day to their body weight...
So would it be possible to give him cubes for breakfast and lunch, and then soaked hay for dinner? The girl who does breakfast and lunch won't soak his hay, that's what led to this problem in the first place.
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