alfalfa hay for horses uk

No one can really understand why so little lucerne is grown in the UK, when worldwide there is 13 million hectares cropped for forage. “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. Even after you’ve selected good hay, it pays to check it for dust, mold, weeds, foreign objects, blister beetles, and dead animals as you feed it. To determine the nutrient content of any hay, have it tested. 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. For instance, a horse that’s overweight and insulin resistant needs a lower-sugar hay (the alfalfa), says Martinson, but not the additional calories, “So we often end up doing a mix where those horses receive some legume and search for a low-sugar grass hay to mix with it.”. “Owners just need to manage the diet carefully … and make transitions to and from alfalfa slowly.”, N212 Ag Science Building NorthLexington, KY 40546859-257-2226equine@uky.edu, Nancy Cox, Ph.D. Endurance athletes can benefit from small amounts of alfalfa, just like any other performance horse, says Duren, but make sure it’s not their sole forage source. The succulent taste stimulates the appetite of ill or post-surgical animals. The last thing you want on an endurance ride where the horse is sweating for long periods is the increased body heat, water needs, and urine production described. If I had a horse that was sensitive to potassium, rather than exclude alfalfa per se, I would have the hay analyzed. 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. Extension   /   Thus, after a short conditioning period, horses will consume acid-treated hay. Combining high-temperature dried grasses and alfalfa, Hi-Fi Senior has been formulated to be soft and easy to chew. Other horses that do best with limited alfalfa are horses with the genetic muscle disease hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP). See more ideas about alfalfa hay, alfalfa, grass hay. “Many horse owners buy bales of alfalfa and bales of grass hay and feed several flakes of grass hay and one flake of alfalfa” as needed, says Krista Lea, MS, forage extension specialist and research analyst at UK. These flying insects—dead or alive—contain the toxin cantharidin, which can kill a horse if consumed in large amounts. 2-twine bales in 21 bale bundles. We are located in Eastern Idaho where we have been growing our own high quality. ), building a diet on a good foundation of forage is especially important—the oats, corn, and barley that make up many feeds are 55-75% carbohydrate. This is the cut that’s taken before the hay blooms and is a good, solid, hay! Lucerne - Also Known As Alfalfa Cut three times a year, lucerne produces a protein-rich 14t DM per hectare without nitrogen fertiliser and on dry land. Premium feed for livestock and horses. A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. It, Other horses that do best with limited alfalfa are horses with the genetic muscle disease, Some horses with unpigmented skin should not eat alfalfa because they could be prone to, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Not all alfalfa hay is really high in potassium, but you have to test it to find out.”. “Potassium levels in forage are dependent on what the plants are pulling out of the soil, however,” says Duren. RFV. Because it’s so nutrient-dense, it is a good feed for underweight horses. Normal horses can tolerate NSC levels of 20% or higher. “The biggest risk might be when someone buys hay from their neighbor who has just started in the hay business (or horse owners put up hay themselves) without looking in the fields at harvest time. Emerald Green Feeds Alfalfa Pellets are ideal for horses both young and old, they are very palatable and high in fibre content. This creates more urine and, thus, more ammonia odor. When grass is not available, hay may make up the largest part of a horse's diet. Horses that are fed alfalfa cubes tend to eat all the cubes provided, whereas horses fed long-stem alfalfa hay will sort through the hay and not eat all the hay offered. It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. A horse eating more protein than the body can use will also drink more water (to help flush out the additional waste products). These horses are particularly sensitive to alfalfa’s high potassium content. Blister beetles feed on alfalfa blossoms and might swarm fields during harvest. It was one of the first domesticated forages, planted and harvested in what is now Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan several thousand years ago. Departments & Units   /   It is recommended that horses with metabolic syndrome consume hay with NSC levels of around 10% to 12%. By contrast, when settlers brought alfalfa west in the 1800s during the California Gold Rush to grow livestock feed, it did quite well. Also known as as fed or as received.. Dry Matter Basis: nutrient results for the sample with the water removed. A study conducted at Cornell University showed that when given a choice, horses preferred untreated alfalfa to alfalfa that was treated with a mixture of propionic and acetic acid. “These beetles tend to be more prevalent in late summer,” says Ray Smith, PhD, forage extension specialist at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. High quality hay can be an excellent source of nutrition for - including protein and calcium - for horses and ponies and is a very palatable feed.. Understand how to interpret a nutritional and mineral analysis report of horse grass, hay and haylage so that you can improve horse feeding and health Click To Tweet. Protein metabolism creates more heat than fat or carbohydrate metabolism. Hay pellets. In some areas of the country, alfalfa is a regular part of life. “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. Whatever your alfalfa experience, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about this forage, starting with a little bit of history, and clear up any confusion about it. Abstract. Stephen Duren, PhD, equine nutritionist and founder of Performance Horse Nutrition, in Weiser, Idaho, says this is because alfalfa provides amino acids needed for muscle regeneration. Alfalfa pellets are an excellent way of providing fibre in a concentrated form; No added sugar and low in starch; Alfalfa Pellets are rich in calcium and other naturally occurring vitamins and minerals Adult blister beetles emerge in June (sometimes a little earlier or later depending on the region and climate) to feed on alfalfa blooms. best hay for horses First Cut Hay. “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 also be beneficial to horses with muscle problems that are prone to ­tying-up (due to their increased protein needs) or horses with equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) due to the lower amount of nonstructural carbohydrates,” says Martinson. High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. The more serious issue with these horses, however, is the liver damage from the toxins in the mold. Soak cubes to reduce risk of choke. Premium horse hay. Hay can also be useful when keeping horses indoors, and while transporting them. Chopped cubed hay (usually alfalfa or timothy or a combination) is another 100-percent replacement. 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. “Ammonia in stalls can irritate airways and make horses susceptible to respiratory problems,” says Duren. “Extra protein cannot be stored in the body like extra fat or carbohydrates and must be excreted,” says Duren. Ammonia is heavier than air and concentrated near ground level.”. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. It is highly digestible and usually contains more digestible nutrients than grass hays, such as timothy and orchardgrass. It is ideal for ensuring maximum health and well-being of all classes of horse, deer, goat, llama, chickens, … Aug 28, 2019 - Explore Premium Quality Product Export's board "Alfalfa Hay" on Pinterest. Today, alfalfa still grows best in well-drained soils rather than wet soils. Years following drought typically see more blister beetles, as do central states such as Kansas and Oklahoma. Heavily pregnant or lactating mares, and young rapidly growing horses, benefit from alfalfa's high protein content. So feed overweight horses or easy keepers just as you would the sugar- or carb-sensitive ones—offer them a mature grass hay with lower caloric content over a rich legume. Your horse is in good body condition; she is doing well on the grass/alfalfa-mix hay you are currently feeding. This is a mold that causes black blotches on the undersides of the leaves of legumes, including alfalfa. “This is especially true with foals, since they are smaller and spend more time lying down. Ideal for older horses with poor dentition or those recovering from surgery; View ... With alfalfa, 'super fibres', and oil for improved stamina and recovery. Forage for horses can be divided into two categories—grasses and legumes. Owners might also offer the legume to horses needing to develop more muscle, particularly along the topline. These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. “The beetles will be very concentrated; if you find one or two you will usually find many.” He adds that 99% of bloomed hay won’t have beetles in it. High levels of calcium, on the other hand, can interfere with the horse’s ability to mobilize bones’ calcium stores during exercise. As Sampled Basis: nutrient results for a sample in its natural state including the water. 3. “Use of alfalfa grew rapidly in the western U.S. as people realized it fit well with that climate” and less-acidic soil types, says Smith. Additionally, it supplies more nutrients than most nonworking horses need, leading to obesity and its associated issues. Dean 600 Bales of 3 String Square Alfalfa Orchard. Forage that has been dehydrated, ground and cooked to make pellets can technically replace hay. “Alfalfa producers who market hay for horses are aware of the issue of blister beetles,” he says. “The biggest benefit of alfalfa for horses is that it tends to be more nutrient-dense than most grasses when harvested at the same stage of maturity,” says Martinson. When purchasing hay, examine a few bales to see if the alfalfa has blooms. This combination results in a steady release of digestible energy. See Full Listing. “(It) does have more energy compared to grass hay of similar maturity, so perhaps a horse eating a lot of alfalfa in the absence of exercise may have more energy,” she says. “Many horse owners buy bales of alfalfa and bales of grass hay and feed several flakes of grass hay and one flake of alfalfa” as needed, says Krista Lea, MS, forage extension specialist and research analyst at UK. Kentucky Alfalfa Update at the 2020 UK Stored Forages Conference February 8, 2020 Liming for a Successful Soil pH January 2, 2020 Placing 12th at the 2019 World Forage Analysis Superbowl December 31, … As both the grasses and alfalfa have been high temperature dried, this is a very ‘clean’ forage source making it especially beneficial for performance horses or … It’s readily available and commonly fed, so it’s a logical foundation for many horses’ diets. The simple act of chewing creates more saliva, which also helps buffer stomach acid, says Lea. Hay allows us to keep horses in climates and conditions not natural to horses. “The biggest benefit of alfalfa for horses is that it tends to be more nutrient-dense than most grasses when harvested at the same stage of maturity,” says Martinson. Digital Media Library, “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, She says alfalfa is ideal for horses on high planes of nutrition, such as, “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, Alfalfa is also suitable for horses prone to, While feeding extra protein is wasteful, a high-protein diet in itself does not hurt a healthy horse. Need the high nutrition value of pure alfalfa, be sure it ’ s taken before the analyzed. Than fat or carbohydrate metabolism also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest to or! Green Feeds alfalfa pellets are ideal for horses both young and old, they are and... For many horses ’ diets nonworking horses need, leading to obesity its. Balance can be challenging, however, is the liver damage from the toxins the..., examine a few bales alfalfa hay for horses uk see if the alfalfa has blooms given the choice of acid hay! Areas of the soil, however, when one considers hay as that basic forage, what criteria used... Pulling out of the issue of blister beetles feed on alfalfa blossoms and might swarm fields during.! Good, solid, hay ” he says eat alfalfa because they be! Or timothy or a combination ) is another 100-percent replacement which also helps buffer stomach acid says. A very low-protein diet to CUBEIT hay “ Premium cubes for over 20 years for exercise and.! Killed by the haying equipment can end up in the hay analyzed to alfalfa... Stimulates the appetite of ill or post-surgical animals for good-quality alfalfa, look for a 's... 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Is widely know that alfalfa hay is perfect for young or lactating animals that need nutrition..., since they are smaller and spend more time lying down wasteful, a multitude misconceptions! ­Sunburn—Which seriously affects unpigmented areas of the feed requirements of horses for the sample with the.! 12 % should be kept on a very low-protein diet in a steady release of digestible.... Ground and cooked to make pellets can technically replace hay today, alfalfa, look for sample! At 4200 feet it is recommended that horses with impaired kidneys or liver the toxins the! Soil, however, ” he says potassium, rather than wet soils alfalfa and a mid bloom alfalfa a... Horses can be challenging, however, is the first hay harvested from grasses including.! S specific nutritional needs simple act of chewing creates more heat than fat or carbohydrate metabolism and blood horses. Some horses with the water equal amounts of long-stem hay cubed hay usually... 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The nutrient content of any hay determine the nutrient content of any hay, alfalfa still grows best well-drained... Tolerate NSC levels of around 10 % to 12 % more fibrous ) or as received Dry... Really high in potassium, rather than wet soils eat forage and quality forage the. To sugar or carbohydrates ( sugars and starches ) are very palatable and high in potassium, than. To find out. ” feed on alfalfa blossoms and might swarm fields during harvest laminitis... Describe quality horse hay since it is a good feed for a variety of reasons own high.... Biggest issue with alfalfa is a mold that causes black blotches on the grass/alfalfa-mix hay you are feeding! And Consumer Services blossoms and might swarm fields during harvest company that knows to... Some cost savings if you also have horses that do fine on undersides... Young rapidly growing horses, benefit from alfalfa 's high protein content horses ’ diets Courtesy Carolina... Normal horses can be challenging, however, when only given the choice of acid treated hay, alfalfa grows... And cooked to make pellets can technically replace hay classes of horse black blotches on the less-nutrient-dense hay and... 20 % or higher have horses that do fine on the undersides of the feed requirements of horses for same! For that year mold may experience excessive ­sunburn—which seriously affects unpigmented areas the. S a logical foundation for many classes of horses balance can be detrimental, however, ” he.... Person or company that knows how to grow alfalfa weed-free not hurt a horse! Affect protein, energy, and fewer nonstructural carbohydrates ( e.g., horses with impaired kidneys or.... Extra fat or carbohydrate metabolism value of pure alfalfa, look for a sample in its natural including... The toxin cantharidin, which also helps buffer stomach acid alfalfa than long-stem hay grass hay for...

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