Blister beetles - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-06-2019, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Blister beetles

The barn owner just told me today that they are not feeding any more alfalfa hay because some horse at another barn had to be euthanized, supposedly because of blister beetles. She wants to be sure her hay is coming from a different source before she feeds it again.

I'm feeling a little blase about continuing to feed it. I feed Teddy a fair amount of alfalfa hay, especially in the winter, to keep his weight up. I could switch to pellets (I have plenty), which he loves, but that's not as healthy IMO.

Do you guys think it's OK to keep feeding the alfalfa hay? I could maybe pick through it and look for bugs? Or would you not feed any until this is sorted out?
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-06-2019, 03:28 PM
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It was my understanding that the blister beetle problem was only with alfalfa grown in Texas. Maybe it is a bigger issue but I thought alfalfa brought in from another state was ok.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-06-2019, 05:49 PM
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My understanding (someone correct me if Iím wrong) is that first cut alfalfa is safe. Itís 2nd & 3rd cuts that could be in jeopardy.

It is not something I would be ho-hum about.

I would call my county extension agent, and every equine vet facility in the area.

I might even call the state equine nutritionist. Iím sure Texas has one - Tennessee does:)
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I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-06-2019, 05:49 PM
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I appreciate that your BO is being cautious about the hay. Alfalfa pellets should be fine if soaked and are just as healthy as alfalfa hay
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-06-2019, 06:55 PM
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If you are using the barns supplier and the barns supply of alfalfa hay for yours...yea, no.
Think I would be following the barn owners lead and not feed that stored hay unless from a different supplier and location till you do understand what is happening and why.
Blister beetles are to taken very seriously with regard to our horses and their health.

From what my vet told me regarding pellets or cubes...
Pellets are fully processed and offer no long stem morsels...it is long stem that benefits the gut.
I was also told I would need double the amount of pellets fed to make the same gains 1/2 the amount in cubes would give.
Regardless, soak the pellets/cubes no matter how well your horses eat...
Once that pellet.cube starts to slide the esophagus it expands on moisture...called potential blockage and choke.
Soaking allows the pellet to pre-expand and also guarantees sufficient water intake of your horse reducing the chance of impaction colic from not enough water intake when cold out.
Just a thought...
...
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