Alfalfa Pellets? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-11-2013, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question Alfalfa Pellets?

I have been feeding 2 quarts of 10% sweet feed (approx 3 lbs) and 1 quart of alfalfa pellets (approx 1 lb) to my mare. She is doing fine in last 3 months, but one lady told me feeding Alfalfa everyday 2x a day is not best for the horse. I asked her why? She just said "because I said so." I was like eh, anyway is it bad to feed alfalfa to horse everyday?

That horse eat 5 flakes of brome/orchard mix hay daily along with 24/7 access to mineral salt, water, and grass to graze.
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-12-2013, 12:02 AM
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Unless your mare is laminitic or a cushoid, alfalfa should be fine for her. It is actually a great buffer for stomach acid and is usually fairly nutritious. That being said, her getting a pound a day probably isn't making a huge difference either way, since pellets are eaten at the same rate as flakes.

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post #3 of 7 Old 10-12-2013, 12:58 AM
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My gelding get alfalfa pellets 4 times a day total is 8 pounds. He does fine with it he can't have any kind of grain he's IR. He's also very under weight and laminatic well was he's much better now.

You don't want to feed a lot of alfalfa to an over weight horse though could cause problems. The amount your feeding sure won't make that much diffrence think it should be fine.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-12-2013, 01:21 AM
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Agreed, feeding alfalfa is not in itself harmful in anyway. If the horse is overweight then yes, you'd want to limit all high calorie foods (including alfalfa and grain), but even then I'd want to cut out the sweet feed before the alfalfa.

My horse gets a pound of alfalfa pellets a day, mostly to give him a little bit more feed to hide his supplements in (and he LOVES alfalfa, so he's much more likely to lick his feeder clean), since the only other hard feed he gets is 1 lb of ration balancer.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-12-2013, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by AiBlCh View Post
She just said "because I said so."
Hmm, makes it intuitively obvious does it??

Yeah, alfalfa is a good feed for horses generally. I prefer hay or chaff to pellets, having long stem fibre & you're pretty sure it's all... alfalfa! I would however be reconsidering the sweets. Anything you feed is best fed little & often, over at least 2 small meals daily.

Alfalfa, as others have said, is high energy, so feed sparingly or not at all to 'easy keepers'. It's very high in protein, calcium & many other nutrients too, so nutritional balance needs to be considered carefully. Feeding high Ca diets also increases the horse's need for magnesium, so an Mg supp is worth considering. Alfalfa is generally lower in sugar than grass, so above factors considered, can be a good addition to grass hay for laminitic prone horses that need extra.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-12-2013, 07:14 AM
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What you are feeding is fine but a suggestion is to place the supplemental feeding in a container with the largest floor area you can find. A $20 plastic toboggan from Walmart works good as it has sides about 5" high. This allows you to scatter the feed so he's nibbling, not grabbing big mouthfuls. Nibbling improves the amount of nutrient extracted.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-12-2013, 10:15 AM
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I'd be more concerned with the long term effects of the sweet feed than the alfalfa pellets.

I feed some to my easy keepers but a 40lb bag lasts my 3 about 2 wks. More to add some interest and calcium to what is a very bland, low starch diet. I also know my grass and soil are real low in calcium so the addition can't hurt and I do add a smidge of Mg to their diet. New England river bottom land, pretty much all the readily water soluble minerals have since gone deep.
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