You asked: What are the benefits of feeding alfalfa to horses?

Alfalfa hay is an excellent source of energy, protein, calcium and some other nutrients for horses. Its concentrations of protein and calcium meet the nutrient needs of horses in high levels of production, such as growth and lactation, but exceed the nutrient requirements of horses in other life stages.

How much alfalfa should I feed my horse a day?

Horses can normally eat 1.5-2% of their body weight in hay, which equates to 18-24 lbs. of hay per day. The quality of the hay will determine how much is needed and if supplemental grain should be added. Good alfalfa can be 18-20% protein and 55% TDN or energy.

Can you give a horse too much alfalfa?

You shouldn’t feed horses with liver or kidney problems high protein diets, including alfalfa. It’s is also not a good idea to feed endurance horses too much alfalfa. Alfalfa provides high protein levels, and when this metabolizes, it creates heat, which isn’t good for endurance horses.

Is alfalfa inflammatory to horses?

THREE RISKS OF FEEDING TOO MUCH ALFALFA TO HORSES:

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Horses that are on high protein diets become overly acidic which can cause inflammation in various body systems including the joints and hooves. … In fact, some horses are so sensitive to alfalfa they cannot tolerate even small amounts.

What does too much alfalfa do to a 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. These horses are particularly sensitive to alfalfa’s high potassium content.

Can I feed my horse straight alfalfa?

Horses can successfully consume alfalfa, a good source of fibre and. protein. They can graze it in pastures or eat it as hay. … Myth: Do not feed straight alfalfa to young, growing horses.

Can you free feed alfalfa to horses?

Alfalfa or grain hays (such as oat or rye) can be fed free choice too, and most horses will probably regulate their intake of these as well.

Is Stemmy alfalfa bad for horses?

However the nutritional value of coarse or stemmy hay may be low, leading to weight loss or nutritional deficiencies. Very coarse hays and straws can increase the risk of abdominal pain (colic) and intestinal impaction. For this reason, coarse hays should not be fed to older horses or horses with dental problems.

Does alfalfa hay cause colic in horses?

Rich alfalfa hay can also cause colic, so we recommend feeding a grass hay or grass/alfalfa mix. Changes in management or a horse’s routine can be stressful and contribute to colic risk as well. … Intestinal parasites can lead to colic, particularly in the young horse.

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Is timothy or alfalfa better for horses?

Generally speaking, grass hay such as Timothy has less nutrition than alfalfa, and that can be a good thing for a grazing animal. Remember that horses are supposed to nibble continuously for good digestion and general contentedness. For this reason, it is better for forage to be lower calorie and less rich.

Can horses founder on alfalfa hay?

Alfalfa can be an excellent addition to most horses’ diets, even for those that are insulin resistant (IR). … Some people, though, just don’t want to feed alfalfa — they believe it causes laminitis. After years of working with horses, it appears that it may, in fact, lead to laminitis in some horses.

Can alfalfa cause joint pain in horses?

Though research has uncovered a genetic component to some forms of developmental orthopedic disease (DOD), other forms can be traced to nutritional disturbances, including overfeeding of energy. “High-calorie diets are one cause of physitis, which can trigger joint swelling and lameness when severe.

Is alfalfa good for older horses?

Older horses often have difficulty eating hay because their teeth are either worn down or missing. … Coleman has found that mixed grass-legume hay, such as orchard-alfalfa or timothy-alfalfa, is often a good choice.