High protien alfalfa hay - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 18 Old 02-14-2013, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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High protien alfalfa hay

I was looking at some high protein alfalfa hay. Its advertised at 30% protein. I was thinking about buying some for my horses. Since hay prices are so high a decent tone of alfalfa can run up to $300 plus a ton. They have some hot hay for 225 a ton. It was bought for cattle and they can't use it causes bloat. I was thinking I could give each horse a small flake a day plus their blue grass hay for filler. I got to say it is the best looking hay I have ever seen. What are your thoughts on it.
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-14-2013, 01:23 AM
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30 % protien = sick or founder or dead horse.. that's a Liver and Kidney killer.
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-14-2013, 01:26 AM
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That's definitely cow hay. Don't do it.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-14-2013, 04:27 AM
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I don't buy anything over 21% (21% and 22% are great dairy percents, but can get too hot for horses) and even then I am extremly cautious as I prefer 18/19% as a small supplement now that my horse main food source is bermuda-timothy.

I prefer 3rd and 4th cuttings if there is a good year. I avoid 1st and late cuttings due to the blister bettles here in the south if I don't buy out of state. When I lived in Cali (horses grew up on alfalfa as main feed), I would get the 2nd and third cuttings as a 4th was not common where I lived).

At 30% (which is higher than the 28% I have only heard of), you will have a high risk of health issues such as founder, intestinal stones etc.

Contact your vet and specialize the feed for your horses individually, especially if you change their feed dramatically.
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 02:39 AM
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What's your 'hot hay'? Is it 'hot' cos very high starch/sugar? If so, I'd be soaking/draining that(maybe twice, depending on colour of water that comes off it) to leach out the sugar & feeding that rather than the super alfalfa.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 02:43 AM
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Hot hay is too high in protiens. Normal high would be 17% protein. Anything higher than that is dairy hay.
In my part of Cali last year they got 7 and 8 cuttings. I never buy 1 and 2 cuttings. I wait until august to buy hay, and that is usually cutting 4 or 5 and it is still high protein.
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to pass on this hay. I would of mixed it with low protein hay as to not overload the horses but don't want to take a chance. We are having a early spring and grass is starting to turn green so if I am lucky I wont need to feed hay much longer.
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 03:52 PM
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If you need to add a bit of protein, then I would suggest looking into alfalfa pellets. Generally, they are tested between 15% and 18% (at least the pellets I get).

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post #9 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 04:18 PM
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Call your local University AG department and get some hay education. I did. They said that hay will lose it's nutrition (and protein) for up to one year, then that stabilizes. Therefore, my preference is one year old alfalfa. Still rich, just not AS rich.

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post #10 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal View Post
Call your local University AG department and get some hay education. I did. They said that hay will lose it's nutrition (and protein) for up to one year, then that stabilizes. Therefore, my preference is one year old alfalfa. Still rich, just not AS rich.
Yes, grass, alfalfa, whatever plant loses nutrients over time(often quite quickly) but unfortunately, sugar is not one of the nutrients that it loses - can be just as high in year old hay as the day it was cut!
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