These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. She says alfalfa is ideal for horses on high planes of nutrition, such as. High levels of calcium, on the other hand, can interfere with the horse’s ability to mobilize bones’ calcium stores during exercise. Some grass hays are also too high in sugar for these horses, and this is where a legume diet or mixed legume/grass diet can help lower total sugar intake. Feeding a surplus of energy to young horses, especially weanlings, can often lead to growth problems, including contracted tendons. Most performance horses can maintain their weight on good-quality grass forage, and this seems to be particularly true of horses with warmblood, draft, or pony ancestry. At times it becomes critical to offer the inappetent horse a palatable forage. Excess protein, like excess energy has been implicated as a cause of developmental orthopedic disease in growing horses. Poisonous weeds that sometimes grow in alfalfa fields include ragwort, groundsels, Johnson grass, Sudangrass, water hemlock, and hoary alyssum. Performance horses in good flesh. In some regions of the world, alfalfa hay is all that is available and is therefore the most economical choice. If the concentrate and alfalfa combination provides too much energy, a balancer pellet or vitamin and mineral supplement will supply essential nutrients. “Horses ingesting this mold may experience excessive sunburn—which seriously affects unpigmented areas of their bodies,” she says. Like all forages, though, not all alfalfa (lucerne) is grown, cured, or harvested identically, which makes the hay’s ultimate quality variable. “A lot of horse owners are intimidated by alfalfa and think they shouldn’t feed it, but it is a great feed for horses,” says Martinson. , growing horses, thin horses, racehorses, performance horses, or young foals that aren’t getting enough milk.
Because only so much concentrate can be fed to such an individual, the logical next step is to feed forage with the greatest energy density, and this is often high-quality alfalfa hay. Owners might also offer the legume to horses needing to develop more muscle, particularly along the topline.
Locally we get alfalfa mix, The halter horse people feed straight alfalfa because the extra cost is worth the pounds added to the horse. These horses are affected by hyperkalemia, or an excessive amount of potassium in the blood, which causes their muscles to contract more readily than normal and makes them susceptible to sporadic episodes of muscle tremors or paralysis. Few horses refuse alfalfa hay, especially when it is premium quality. If you are uncomfortable with this task, drag along an experienced hay buyer when it comes time to fill the hay-mow. Alfalfa hay would not be the best forage for certain groups of horses. Sign up for free now! To determine if alfalfa hay fits into your feeding program, consult with an equine nutritionist. “With growing horses, however, use caution in amount fed, simply so they don’t grow too quickly or get too big too fast and become at risk for DOD (developmental orthopedic disease),” Martinson says. It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. “It can make a difference how and where the alfalfa was grown and whether it was fertilized with manure—which really drives the potassium levels higher.
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Other horses that do best with limited alfalfa are horses with the genetic muscle disease.
“Horses ingesting this mold may experience excessive sunburn—which seriously affects unpigmented areas of their bodies,” she says. “These beetles tend to be more prevalent in late summer,” says Ray Smith, PhD, forage extension specialist at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. 3. Easy keepers.
While feeding extra protein is wasteful, a high-protein diet in itself does not hurt a healthy horse. You may unsubscribe at any moment. High-quality alfalfa can cause excess gas in some horses. Excess protein is excreted without harm to the horse. Measure feed accurately and feed consistently. Forage testing by an accredited laboratory can reveal the nutrient composition of the forage and is the best measure of adequacy for horses. Therefore, it important to carefully evaluate any alfalfa hay intended for horses. Years following drought typically see more blister beetles, as do central states such as Kansas and Oklahoma. This creates more urine and, thus, more ammonia odor. If I had a horse that was sensitive to potassium, rather than exclude alfalfa per se, I would have the hay analyzed. “If you always check the hay as you feed it, you can discard those bales or flakes that contain beetles,” says Smith. Forage legumes, such as clover and alfalfa, are members of the pea family and, so, are cousins of peanuts and garbanzo beans. Feeding a surplus of energy to young horses, especially weanlings, can often lead to growth problems, including contracted tendons. A horse eating more protein than the body can use will also drink more water (to help flush out the additional waste products). … Many performance horses develop stomach ulcers. Good quality alfalfa hay that is fed in appropriate amounts will not make normal horses sick. And, as with any feed related condition, proper management can minimize the problem. By vigorously shaking a flake of alfalfa, leaves may drop. The nutrition the horse needs, the cost of the hay, and the availability of the feed needs to be carefully balanced to make owning a horse possible for many people. Performance horses. Alfalfa hay contains too much calcium and/or magnesium a. The original pure alfalfa fibre feed with a light molasses coating, providing quality natural nutrients for working horses and ponies. Plant breeding was also beginning by the 1900s, and plant scientists were able to develop alfalfa plants that were better adapted to various soils in the U.S.” Modern plant breeding has also improved this legume’s disease resistance. When a former boarding barn ran out of mix and fed all the normal horses straight alfalfa my gelding became unrideable and basically unmanageable until …
| Photo Credit: Courtesy North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For most horse owners, feeding a horse is the major cost of ownership. …, Nutrena Horse Feed. When incorporating alfalfa into a horse’s diet, plan for the animal’s specific nutritional needs. “Potassium levels in forage are dependent on what the plants are pulling out of the soil, however,” says Duren. The optimal compromise for higher forage quality and dry matter yield of alfalfa is to harvest the first cutting at the late-bud to first-flower stage and to make subsequent cuttings at 32-to-35 day intervals until late August or early-September, often referred to as a “4 summer-cut system.”13 мая 2010 г. Alfalfa can be an excellent addition to most horses’ diets, even for those that are insulin resistant (IR). Copyright © 2020 Thorne Bottom Farm, LLC - All rights reserved. “It can also be beneficial to horses with muscle problems that are prone to tying-up (due to their increased protein needs) or horses with. The diuretic and laxative effects may be useful in a weight loss plan, but they are generally used to help to increase weight. Excess protein, like excess energy has been implicated as a cause of developmental orthopedic disease in growing horses. “We see this practice more in the East where a lot of marginal grass hay is fed.”, The three-striped blister beetle is one species attracted to alfalfa blossoms. These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. “When alfalfa was first brought to the eastern part of the U.S. in the 1700s from Europe, it didn’t survive well—partly because of wetter soils and lower pH,” says Smith. With fewer calories per mouthful, easy keepers will be able to eat more, which will satisfy the urge to chew as well as keep the gastrointestinal tract in motion. Grasses commonly used as hay are brome, orchard, and timothy. Additionally, it supplies more nutrients than most nonworking horses need, leading to obesity and its associated issues. To steer clear of these, buy hay from a reputable person or company that knows how to grow alfalfa weed-free. Protein metabolism creates more heat than fat or carbohydrate metabolism. She says alfalfa is ideal for horses on high planes of nutrition, such as lactating broodmares, growing horses, thin horses, racehorses, performance horses, or young foals that aren’t getting enough milk. Choosing the right hay for proper balance can be challenging, however.
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