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-   -   how many alfalfa cubes?? (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-health/how-many-alfalfa-cubes-61830/)

lilkitty90 08-09-2010 01:01 PM

how many alfalfa cubes??
 
we want to start feeding alfalfa cubes along with our feed, and hay to build up a bit more weight since we have no grass at the moment. but we were wondering about how many cubes to feed per horse without causing problems. anyone here who feeds them have any suggestions?

payette 08-09-2010 01:21 PM

If I recall, when feeding cubes, you basically feed pound for pound as you'd feed hay, with the total amount equaling around 1.5-2.5 % of the horses total weight. So, if you feed 20# a day of feed to your 1,000# horse, you can substitute cubes for part of that total weight. . .

dee 08-09-2010 02:24 PM

I feed the pellets rather than the cubes. I think they got spoiled, because one day we were out of pellets and (of course) the feed store closed before anyone told me. I ran by Atwoods and picked up a bag of alfalfa cubes, because that was all they had at the time. My horses wouldn't touch it - even after soaking it with the beet pulp! :shock:

It's a darn good thing the goats didn't care whether it was cubed or pelleted, because they had to finish off the bag...:wink:

lilkitty90 08-09-2010 02:30 PM

are the alfalfa pellets around the same price as alfalfa cubes.. i'm having difficulty feeding pelleted foods to our pony. the 2 times we had the pelleted food he ended up choking and we sat up with him a few ours trying to help clear out his throat and making sure he was ok. i'm not sure if maybe it was because he is so used to the moistened sweet feed and that the pellets are dry.. or if it's because he's allergic to something in that feed. but it was very scary and we went back to feeding him the other food and he hasn't choked since...

luvs2ride1979 08-09-2010 03:24 PM

I have had good luck with cubes, except on one horse... He decided they were very tasty and tried to eat them as fast as possible and had a minor choke episode. Since then, I will only feed them soaked. I spray a moderate amount of water over the cubes, to wet them down thoroughly, then let them set for 10-20 minutes until they start to break up. Depending on how "hard" you cubes are, you may need more water.

You should feed by weight. Feed about 1 lb a day for a few days, then you can increase as needed. Generally you should feed between 3-5 lbs of Alfalfa daily when supplementing for poor quality hay or for weight gain, but you may need less if you notice horses gaining too much weight or getting a little frisky ;-).

My TB x Arab gelding can only have 1 lb of alfalfa a day. He gets 2 lbs of Timothy hay pellets on top of that to maintain his weight. With light work, he maintains his weight well with just that, no feed, plus 1/2 cup of flax meal, a vit/min supplement, and free choice grass hay. Before going the "all natural" route for feeding, he had to have 6-7 lbs of grain a day plus 2 cups of fat (tried oil, rice bran, and flax) and a probiotic just to maintain his weight with moderate training. We tried all kinds of feeds and he was high as a kite on all of them... Since taking him off all of that he has calmed WAY down, holds his weight on a lot less feed, and has better feet ;-).

luvs2ride1979 08-09-2010 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lilkitty90 (Post 714018)
are the alfalfa pellets around the same price as alfalfa cubes.. i'm having difficulty feeding pelleted foods to our pony. the 2 times we had the pelleted food he ended up choking and we sat up with him a few ours trying to help clear out his throat and making sure he was ok. i'm not sure if maybe it was because he is so used to the moistened sweet feed and that the pellets are dry.. or if it's because he's allergic to something in that feed. but it was very scary and we went back to feeding him the other food and he hasn't choked since...

Some horses are just more prone to choke on pellets. They're easier to eat, so some horses won't chew as thoroughly as they will with grain or other feeds. I would add 1 cup of liquid (water works fine) to the pellets before feeding, to help break them up. I have been adding 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to my horses' feed (which includes alfalfa pellets) and that really helped my two that are choke prone.

dee 08-09-2010 03:42 PM

At our local feed store, the pellets are exactly the same price as the cubes. We haven't had any issues with choke, but we did have to soak the pellets for a while when we first started feeding them. None of our horses had ever had alfalfa hay, let alone pellets and wouldn't touch them. Now the eat them like candy.

Now we've actually found a source of pelleted beet pulp. I scared myself when I read that they had to be soaked, because we hadn't been. However, a little further research, and the instructions were to soak them if the horse had a dental issue or was prone to choke. We haven't had that issue, yet...

sandy2u1 08-09-2010 04:04 PM

I just wanted to add that with my daughters mare we have to squeeze the water out of them after we have soaked them or she won't eat them...not even mixed with the feed that she loves. Also, we had to start out with just a few and get her used to them.

Alwaysbehind 08-09-2010 04:31 PM

Sandy, that made me chuckle and think 'the things we do for our horses'. They sure do train us well, don't they?

sandy2u1 08-10-2010 12:56 AM

Alwaysbehind, yes they do :lol:! The other day when I was getting on my horse for a ride, he turned to look at me with an expression on his face that said 'shouldn't you be scrubbing a water bucket, or squeezing out the alfalfa cubes or something' :-P


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