Alfalfa hay vs pellets
   

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Alfalfa hay vs pellets

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  • Hay pellet nutrition
  • Alfalfa hay vs pellets

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    11-17-2011, 07:39 PM
  #1
Foal
Alfalfa hay vs pellets

So the last batch of alfalfa we got was absolutely crappy. Very stemmy, parts of it almost look more like straw then hay. And $19 / bale to boot.

I'm thinking of switching to alfalfa pellets instead of purchasing more hay until next year's crop is available. (Still feeding free-choice bermuda grass hay, just cutting the alfalfa hay).

I've never fed alfalfa pellets before however. How does the nutritional value compare to the hay? How much do you typically feed?
(We have one the gets 5 lbs and one that gets 10 lbs of alfalfa a day currently).

Thanks!
     
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    11-17-2011, 08:02 PM
  #2
Trained
I use a bermuda/alfalfa pellet mix to supplement our horses feed. It seems much more consistent in quality. However, my horses did NOT like it when I tried them on all pellets. I don't think it is as satisfying to them as the chew, chew, chew of hay.
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    11-17-2011, 08:22 PM
  #3
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalienteCalcetines    
I've never fed alfalfa pellets before however. How does the nutritional value compare to the hay? How much do you typically feed?
(We have one the gets 5 lbs and one that gets 10 lbs of alfalfa a day currently).

Thanks!
I'm pretty sure they are pretty much the same nurrituional value. 5lbs of hay is 5lbs of pellets, so feed the same amount. My horses love their pellets, but some prefer cubes.
     
    11-17-2011, 09:35 PM
  #4
Trained
We often get pee-poor hay here in southern Arizona. I think the nutritional content - percent protein, etc - is more consistent with pellets, because they have to test it when they make pellets. I have yet to see a place selling hay here that tests the hay for quality.
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    11-18-2011, 12:58 AM
  #5
Started
Pellets and cubes are typically made from lesser quality hays than baled hay. It will often have less eye appeal, not be bright green, maybe rained on, over dried... Protein and calories will be lower than a nice bale of hay but the actual analysis will be right on the bag and it should be consistant from one bag to the next by the same manufacturer.

Compare prices per ton. At $19 for a 110# bale that's $345/T. Pellets have come in under $8.60/50# bag to actually be cheaper.
     
    11-18-2011, 01:18 AM
  #6
Trained
I love hiding alfafa cubes around the horses' paddocks, they have to go searching for them & keeps them occupied. I don't really use the cubes to suppliment, just to amuse the boys. See them out there, noses to the ground, sniffing around.
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    11-18-2011, 10:42 AM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons    
Pellets and cubes are typically made from lesser quality hays than baled hay. It will often have less eye appeal, not be bright green, maybe rained on, over dried... Protein and calories will be lower than a nice bale of hay but the actual analysis will be right on the bag and it should be consistant from one bag to the next by the same manufacturer.

Compare prices per ton. At $19 for a 110# bale that's $345/T. Pellets have come in under $8.60/50# bag to actually be cheaper.
90 lb bale.

It does make sense that the pellets would be made out of 'lesser' quality hay. The same way the ugly portions of meat become hamburger / sausage, right?

If protein & calories are lower than hay, I don't want to switch.
But of course you did say, "nice" bale of hay, which certainly doesn't describe what is sitting in my shed right now....



I love the idea of cubes spread through the pasture too, can just picture these guys out there searching. Sort of what they do looking for nice grass, but there's no grass, so... good alternative. Not counted as "feed" as you said because it'd be near impossible to tell how much they're eating (or if one horse is eating all of them while the other gets none or just a small portion).
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    11-18-2011, 11:20 AM
  #8
Started
Do you have any idea how the Bermuda tests out? It can be suprising how good average looking hay can be. If you're feeding the alfafa as a protein source, look at roasted soybeans instead or in addition to. They average 30%+ protein and 20%+ fat (so they're a good calorie source as well). Feeding 4# 12% AP and 1# SB would work out to 15.5% for about the same cost as your crappy $19 hay.
     
    11-18-2011, 11:57 AM
  #9
Foal
Thank you! I did not realize soybeans could be added to feed. Will have to look into that. Is that sold at typical feed stores? I know I can buy soybeans at the grocery store -- but in the amounts needed to feed a horse would be expensive that way. (Specialty "organic" item here from what I've seen).

And yes, we added alfalfa for protein -- I was only feeding Bermuda and the vet recommended adding Alfalfa for that reason, so I did.
     
    11-18-2011, 12:32 PM
  #10
Started
They're crimped and roasted. They might also call them soybean chips. I pay $22/50# bag (I'm sure it's gone up like everything else). Soybean meal is more prevalent at the feed store. It will have the same protein content but the fat had been removed to make soybean oil. I like feeding them just as much for the fat as for the quality protein. Do not feed them fresh soybeans. I understand they are toxic to horses (and me).
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