Why would alfalfa give diarrhea? - Page 3

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health > Horse Nutrition

Why would alfalfa give diarrhea?

This is a discussion on Why would alfalfa give diarrhea? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Can alfalfa hay cause dirreaha in horses
  • Does alfalfa give horses diarrhea

LinkBack Thread Tools
    11-11-2010, 12:56 PM
Darn it, I'd heard all kinds of good things about the Vulcan Mind Meld too. Back to the DVDs I go....
Sponsored Links
    11-11-2010, 01:00 PM
Don't forget the magickal, exorbitantly expensive carrot stick. Because, y'know, a lunge whip just won't do!
    11-11-2010, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the morning laugh you guys!
    11-11-2010, 07:12 PM
I know right? They've had me laughing so hard I had to show the girls I work with.
Posted via Mobile Device
    11-13-2010, 08:31 AM
ALFALFA DOES NOT CAUSE DIARRHEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AT least in the sense of sickness. Yes alfalfa will cause a loose stool, but not a viral infection ---- BIG DIFFERENCE!

The most common cause of diarrhea is a virus that infects the gut. The infection usually lasts for two days and is sometimes called "intestinal flu" or "stomach flu."

Almost any feed that is very high in digestible energy will go through the hind gut very quickly and the gut does not have enough time to properly reabsorb the water out of the hay before it is discharged. This is why animals on alfalfa will consume more water than animals on a coarse grass hay. This is also why hays like bermudagrass which can have very low relative feed value can cause impaction colics as they move so slowly through the hind gut that the hind gut absorbs way too much water out of the hay and the hay does not have any lubrication (water) to allow it too move on out the rectum.
    11-21-2010, 07:45 PM
Alfala is very rich that may be the problem
    11-21-2010, 09:31 PM
Green Broke
Production Acres- do you think alfalfa and bermuda being fed together, say 50/50 mix, is a good way to feed, and will negate some of the risks of feeding bermuda?

I live in Arizona, and the cheapest, most available hay is alfalfa. The second most available hay is bermuda. I have been giving my mare and 4 month old colt a 50/50 mix of both, because I worry that straight alfalfa may cause growth issues in the foal due to the high calcium/protein content. I am a big believer in alfalfa, but this is my first foal and I also worry about developmental orthopedic issues too. Hence, my giving them both hays, instead of straight alfalfa like I normally would.

The mare also has chronic, loose stools, although she seems very healthy and all my horses are dewormed every 8 weeks. So I have come to the conclusion that is just the way she is, perhaps due to the alfalfa. I have fed other horses for years and years and never had one with loose stools from alfalfa before. But I'm glad to hear that this may be "normal" for some horses being fed alfalfa, because she has been this way since I bought her (over a year) and she seems healthy and energetic, but her stools are looser than what I would consider "normal."

Anyway, I am assuming that alfalfa/bermuda together is a good mix? It's really my only option, other than feeding straight alfalfa or straight bermuda. I rarely ever see other kinds of hays available here.
    11-22-2010, 12:11 PM
You really need to know the quality of the hay you are feeding. A 200+ rfv alfalfa will not go through any animal in a dry stool situation. A 120 rfv alfalfa will make good manure. Likewise, a 65 rfv bermuda will colic a horse quickly, but a 95 rfv bermuda will be a good hay! Mixing the two hays is a good idea, but still some knowledge of the quality would be helpful.
    11-23-2010, 11:56 PM
Green Broke
Thanks for your response.

I honestly don't know the nutritional value of my hay(!). They sell it as #1 or #2 quality horse hay, and I always get #1, because it seems to be the best quality. Sometimes #2 quality is musty or dusty or dirty or full of weeds. I am kind of picky on my alfalfa!

What I am feeding is leafy, green, and fine-stemmed. Probably too rich if anything, but I would rather have super nice alfalfa and dilute it down with bermuda than get hay that is musty and dirty and that I don't feel safe feeding.

So I guess I can't answer to the feed quality of my alfalfa, only that I try to buy the cleanest and best-looking available to me.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Diarrhea...HELP~! devildogtigress Horse Health 7 07-31-2010 02:42 PM
can I give my horse alfalfa cubes instead of grain? Tasia Horse Health 1 04-02-2010 01:35 PM
Diarrhea? JumpingTheMoon Horse Health 10 12-28-2009 04:15 PM
Diarrhea again!! :( dixiegirl Horse Health 2 04-30-2009 10:39 PM
Help! Diarrhea! dixiegirl Horse Health 10 03-27-2009 12:53 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0