Alfalfa cubes/pellets, timothy pellets?
Hay is going to be very hard to come by this winter- the price is already out the roof! I'm trying to stock up while I can; Luckily I have an uncle that bales pretty nice hay, that he loves to give to his favorite niece :wink:
My question is: Supplemented with alfalfa or timothy (I saw timothy at TSC, is this OK to feed to horses??) pellets, can I make my hay last a bit longer? I know the important thing is to keep roughage in their bellies, so that they don't go a moment without some sort of hay/grass in their sytems.
What I mean is, if I maybe up my feed a lb or so, then add alfalfa/timothy pellets can I keep weight on well enough to feed less hay?
Would I need to feed the pellets 3x a day? I feed morning and night normally, but could probably feed mid day if I had to.
Would it require so much pellet-ing that it wouldn't be worth it? Of course I would feed hay still, just trying to make it last longer :)
A pound is a pound is a pound is a pound---whether it be in the form of cubes, pellets, or baled hay, or even from a compressed bale, its all the same.
My TB gets 8 lbs of alfalfa in cubes, and 5 lbs of timothy in pellets. At that point, I know he is getting at least the minimum amount of forage he needs in a day, so I don't have to worry about the fact that he's on grass turn out and how much he may or may not eat there.
I don't think the pellets or the cubes say that you can't feed them free choice or through out the day, so I imagine you could. However, IMO I would rather feed like 3 lbs of pellets or cubes at each feeding, and then save the baled hay to munch on through out the day.....but thats just my preference.
A pound of alfalfa cubes = a pound of alfalfa hay.
Now, if I were you I would go with the pellets if you can. I was feeding my TB the cubes and they are a pain in the butt to soak and break up, and the chance of choke with the cubes seems to be higher than with any other type of pellet or grain. My guy wouldn't eat more than a pound at a time too, even if I offered more he would leave it in his bucket. The pellets he would eat more than a pound at a time though.
Wow thats great to hear. Maybe I can somehow work out something a bit cheaper by a combination of pellets and baled hay.
Too much alfalfa would cause the runs- right?
So a combination of the alfalfa & timothy pellets would be ideal?
I find it interesting that more people like the pellets than the cubes. I tried the timothy/alfalfa pellets once when they went on sale. One of my mares would not eat them, she sifted all her safechoice pellets out and left nothing but the hay pellets.
I prefer to feed alfalfa cubes, soaked. Typically I will gather the feed (safechoice) and supplements and while they eat that, I let the alfalfa cubes soak. I just fill a bucket with the cubes and run cold water from the hose over them. While that is soaking, I go about my normal horsey chores. In the winter, I will use warm water. It normally only takes 5-10 min. for my girls to gobble down their feed, and then I give them the cubes. I haven't had a problem with choke as of yet.
The pellets do seem more convenient, but like I said one of my girls will not eat them. They also have round bales free choice all day long plus grazing, and I only feed once per day in the afternoon after it has cooled down. I like the Standlee hay company which is sold at our local TSC. I think the hay cubes and/or pellets is an excellent way to ensure your horse is receiving adequate forage.
We haven't had any diarrhea problems either. But they are on grass and free choice hay as well, not just alfalfa.
I feed well-soaked timothy/alfalfa cubes to my two 20-somethings because the alfalfa is high in protein and they need it.
I decided to just sprinkle a handful on the two younger horses' supplements; one got nippy, the other snotface took a swing at me with his hind leg and I had to swing back.
Also, one of my seniors also has mild gastric ulcer issues. The alfalfa has enough calcium carbonate in it that I was able to take him off Ranitidine!
My point is, unless your horse is used to eating alfalfa, try to buy the pure timothy pellets or cubes. If you do feed the tim/alfalfa mix, watch for personality changes, along with physical changes.
Somewhere along the way, folks have gotten it into their heads timothy is not a good forage? I'd like to know who came up with that idea. I fed my horses pure timothy hay from the early 1960's until I left the OH/PA border in 1998 and couldn't get it anymore. Never had a horse colic, get the runny bums, or not be able to work to its maximum ability.
I would probably use the timothy pellets(I do in fact) instead of increasing the feed by a pound
pellets are NOT long stem fiber
cubes are :)
For those of you who are facing hay prices that have gone thro the roof, you can also feed a small amount of oat straw. One winter after a no-hay summer, I fed 2 yr old clover timothy hay, a flake of oat straw for each horse for fiber and a multivitamin. I have my first farrier, Joe, to thank for teaching me this.
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