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Needs help putting on weight

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  • Horse feeding can alfalfa be used to put weight on?

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    02-22-2012, 01:23 PM
  #11
Foal
I wanted to give everyone an update, I had the Vet out and we discussed how to help Hermes gain some weight. We are uping his grain over the next few weeks to 6 lbs a day and 17-18 lbs of grass hay.
He cannot have any Alfalfa due to the risk of bladder stones. So we will be avoiding that and keeping him on the lower calcium hays.

He seems to be doing well with the new diet and enjoys all the food! Thanks everyone for the great advice!
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    02-22-2012, 01:29 PM
  #12
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Horses should NOT be fed solely on alfalfa IMO & generally it shouldn't be more than around 1/3 of the forage ration, unless under vet's & nutritionist's supervision.
My Vet had me feeding my horse free choice alfalfa and grass hay and when doofus was filling up on grass hay and giving away his alfalfa (he was turned out with tiny ponies, my BO put the alfalfa in a high feeder so only my horse could reach... didn't work, he would throw it on the ground so the ponies could get even fatter and go eat all the grass hay ) my Vet had the BO feed him alfalfa only.

Plenty of horses on alfalfa only in areas where that's all that is available.....
     
    02-22-2012, 01:31 PM
  #13
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by farlo4    
I'm just saying what's worked for my guy. He's managed by a vet, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Also, I never said he needed to eat straight Alfalfa. I actually avoid straight alfalfa with all my horses except the TB, because it does have high nutriants. The only reason he eats it is because it is the ONLY hay that keeps his weight. I was just saying that if you want to add weight, you should have at least some alfalfa, because some horses can't get enough out of the hay. My Paso gets away with eating only grass and no grain, whereas my TB has to have the diet that I specified. He is vet regulated, and my vet knows he eats wheat bran. The wheat bran has made all the difference in his weight. I have used rice bran before, but they seemed to work the same for him, and as the wheat is cheaper, that's what I use.
i feed alfalfa to my tb's to help with weight as well. Some people just do not believe in alfalfa at all. If feed correctly its a great addition to a horses diet (who needs it) some horses do not need alfalfa and have horrible results when feed to them. That's how alfalfa got such a horrible rep.
     
    02-22-2012, 09:46 PM
  #14
Trained
Quote:
I'm just saying what's worked for my guy. He's managed by a vet, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Also, I never said he needed to eat straight Alfalfa.
In horsey circles & on these forums, you get all sorts of opinions, some good, some bad, some ordinary. So I try to qualify *why* I think what I do, so people can better analyse the information they read. Not saying you're wrong in your particular situation at all farlo, just telling what I think are important considerations when working out what's good or bad for certain horses.

You DID indeed say yours needed straight alfalfa and it didn't sound like you were just saying what worked for yours, but telling what *should* be fed, which was my issue, that I thought important to address. The bit in bold is important, as *balancing* what you're feeding is important, is what I was trying to get across. If your vet is knowledgeable about nutrition, that could well be perfect for your horse, no argument there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TbLover    
i feed alfalfa to my tb's to help with weight as well. Some people just do not believe in alfalfa at all. If feed correctly its a great addition to a horses diet (who needs it) some horses do not need alfalfa and have horrible results when feed to them. That's how alfalfa got such a horrible rep.
I think the high protein is possibly the biggest general issue with it, as most horses don't tend to need/do well on high protein diets all the time. Of course it's high energy content can also be a big prob for 'easy keepers' too. The important bits I wanted to get across are in bold below...

Quote:
Rice bran is generally thought to be a good additive, but wheat, with the ultra high phosphorus should NOT be fed IMO, unless you're balancing a deficiency/calcuim overdose.

Alfalfa/lucerne is generally a pretty good feed for horses **as PART of a balanced diet**. It is very high in protein, which can be problematic for a lot of horses though. Also calcium & some other nutrients are quite high, so it's important to carefully balance nutrition & supplements based on what's in it. Horses should NOT be fed solely on alfalfa IMO & generally it shouldn't be more than around 1/3 of the forage ration, unless under vet's & nutritionist's supervision.
     

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