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This is a discussion on Alfalfa/hay? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Can horses survive on alfalfa?
  • Can horses live on alfalfa?

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    06-04-2011, 09:25 PM

I was wondering what ratio of Alfalfa/hay I should feed my two horses in the summer? I live in Iowa... They are on the ADM alliance nutritioin program and between the hours of 4pm to 11am are on pasture.. I feed one 3lbs a day of seniorglo and the other 4lbs of juniorglo... should I be feeding 25percent alfalfa to hay ratio or should it be higher? I don't really understand the differences between the ratios.. I'm new at this alfalfa/hay mixture and just wanting my horses to look and have the best they can..
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    06-05-2011, 12:18 AM
Is there a reason you want to feed alfalfa?
    06-05-2011, 12:01 PM
Alfalfa hay is not something that needs to be fed at a set %. You could feed 0% to 100% and you can put together a good feeding program. Availablility and cost should determine if you feed it or not. More people tend to feed it in the winter because it's higher in calories than grass hay and will help keep weight on.

With 19 hours of grazing on probably some pretty nice grass plus the ADM, they probably don't need any additional hay and will waste more than they eat.
    06-06-2011, 11:04 AM
Feeding alfalfa hay is a good idea if you have horses that are prone to gastric ulcer flare ups. The alfalfa hay helps prevent flare ups. You need to consider the quality of pasture your horses are grazing before determining the amount of hay to feed. If you have decent pasture I would feed no more then 3 fat flakes of hay for the duration they are standing in their stall. (And if your horse is anything like mine, they spend a great deal of that time sleeping!)
    06-06-2011, 11:11 AM
Green Broke
"Flakes" are a subjective term as well. I feed two "fat flakes" of straight alfalfa to my horses per day, no other hay or pasture at all. (Well, sometimes a bit of grass hay or grain as a treat). But basically, here in AZ alfalfa is what is commonly available, and two good sized flakes alone will keep most horses fat. I would hate to see what my horses would look like on three large flakes plus pasture or other hay per day.

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