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post #1 of 35 Old 11-16-2010, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Pref Hay & Grain

We've had our horse for a few months now. His previous owner had him on on alfalfa and oatmeal.

We have a nearby mill who fills your 55 gal drum for about $49, the most expensive of their feeds.Its still less expensive than the bagged feeds.

I have read some post's about alfalfa being bad, but is mixing it with oatmeal still bad?
I also noticed, everyone feeds diff types of pellets. What are the benefits of using hay pellets vs natural hay?
And bagged feed, vs natural feed?

I would think processed foods would only add unwanted and artificial ingredients?
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post #2 of 35 Old 11-17-2010, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charro View Post
I have read some post's about alfalfa being bad, but is mixing it with oatmeal still bad?
Quote:

Alfalfa is a wonderful hay!
I would definitely feed alfafla before I fed any grain, period!
That being said, oatmeal sound like an acceptable feed-grain.
I also noticed, everyone feeds diff types of pellets. What are the benefits of using hay pellets vs natural hay?
Quote:

Convience.
Freight.
If you are in a part of the country where hay is made, long stem hay is preferred by far. If you are in a area of the country where hay is not readily available, pellets can be economically feasible


And bagged feed, vs natural feed?

I would think processed foods would only add unwanted and artificial ingredients?
What is bagged feed vs natural feed? Is that like country acres 12% vs raw carrots?
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post #3 of 35 Old 11-17-2010, 10:52 AM
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I agree, processed feeds (including pelleted feeds) and "Sweet feeds" add "junk" to a horse's diet.

I use pelleted alfalfa because it's almost impossible to find alfalfa hay here in Arkansas. I feed free choice mixed grass hay (Bermuda with local grasses), alfalfa pellets, a vit/min supplement, and flax meal. It's a very natural, healthy diet.

In your area, for a 1000 lb horse, I would feed 10 lbs of alfalfa hay (about 2 flakes) a day with 15 lbs of Bermuda or Orchard grass a day (about 4-5 flakes). For "grain", I would use plain oats or any kind of hay pellets (1-3 lbs of either one) mixed with a good vit/min supplement and 1/2 - 1 cup of flax meal.

Horsetech.com has great supplements, including one called High Point that is a good all-in-on vit/min supplement in a flax base. If you want to feed extra flax, they have a plain product called NutraFlax, or they will add more Flax meal to the High Point supplement for you. They do custom blends for no extra cost, just the price of the added ingredient.

Uckele Equine also has a good vit/min supplement called Equi-Base (Grass or Alfalfa) and they do custom blends too.
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post #4 of 35 Old 11-17-2010, 02:27 PM
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Some horse have problems with alfalfa hay causing bad reactions like hyperactivity, spookiness, hives and such for THOSE horses alfalfa is bad.

I feed free choice grass hay round bales :) a ration balancer(vitamin/mineral supplement on steriods) and hay pellets for added calories as needed

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #5 of 35 Old 11-17-2010, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggysue View Post
I feed free choice grass hay round bales :)

and hay pellets for added calories as needed
are the hay pellets substantially better quality than your rd bales? If not, why would you feed a hay pellet when you feed free choice?
What is the analysis on "hay pellets"?
I know most alfalfa pellets are a guarenteed min of 17% protein - I haven't actually ever seen a rfv value on them however. Be very interested to know what the rfv is on alfalfa pellets!!!
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post #6 of 35 Old 11-17-2010, 06:57 PM
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the hay pellets for me are extra calories NOT a forage source... I have one horse that needs more then she gets from the hay or her ration balancer and even 1/2lb of rice bran is too many calories for her she gets too fat on that ... but the hay pellets don't do that to her they also help to cover all her supplements LOL she is my high maintence model...

Honestly PA until you mentioned it I have NEVER in all my research ran across RFV mentioned as you talk of it.

I look more at Lysine, Ca, P the overall nutritionally anaylsis of the product not ONE number

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #7 of 35 Old 11-17-2010, 07:05 PM
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In case anyone reading this is wondering (I had no clue, looked it up), here is the definition of "RFV."

Quote:
Relative Feeding Value (RFV)
A high relative feeding value (RFV) reflects higher quality, greater intake, higher digestibility, and fewer concentrates needed to supplement the diet.
An interesting read on hay: Purdue Forage Information
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post #8 of 35 Old 11-17-2010, 07:33 PM
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L2R I had to look it up last time... but the RFV could still have super low in one thing and high in another and it wouldn't show. Because that is a "combined" numer

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #9 of 35 Old 11-17-2010, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggysue View Post
L2R I had to look it up last time... but the RFV could still have super low in one thing and high in another and it wouldn't show. Because that is a "combined" numer
Oh sure, it's just a general "quality" of forage. I agree, you still need to look at digestible protein (not just "crude" protein), vit/mins, aminos, etc. It's just an interesting concept.
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post #10 of 35 Old 11-19-2010, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggysue View Post
the hay pellets for me are extra calories NOT a forage source
Please explain this to me! If the hay types are comparable, and you are not feeding an alfalfa pellet, how are you adding calories over the hay - other than the fact that the animal eats the hay pellet - but would the animal replace the 2lbs of pellet you feed with 2 lb of hay later in the day?

I have some mature timothy hay testing 73 rfv that has .82 Mcal/lb and some nice O/A hay that tests 119 rfv that has .99 Mcal/lb. Now if you replaced 2lb of rd bale testing 73 rfv with 2lb of pellet of hay testing 119rfv, that would add calories to the diet.

If you feed a rd bale testing 73 rfv and you replace 2lb of hay they normally eat with 2lb. Hay pellets testing 73 rfv, you have not added any additionial calories to the animals diet.
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