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alfalfa vs timothy hay for horses

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Chopped cubed hay (usually alfalfa or timothy or a combination) is another 100-percent replacement. Of particular import is NSC content. seed hay, which is made from immature plants and is packed with protein and energy, so it’s best for performance horses; alfalfa hay, also known as lucerne hay, which is a nutrient-packed legume hay with a high protein content, suitable for poor-doers, youngstock and horses in hard work; TOP TIP . Soak cubes to reduce risk of choke. Digestibility data were obtained by using acid‐insoluble ash to estimate apparent digestibility coefficients of nutrients. The calcium:phosphorus ratio is about 6:1 and must be considered when feeding young, growing horses. Alfalfa can be an excellent addition to most horses’ diets, even for those that are insulin resistant (IR). Forage that has been dehydrated, ground and cooked to make pellets can technically replace hay. Alfalfa and oats are hot feeds. An additional benefit to grass hay is that is easier on the kidney's due to it's lower protein content and it tends to have finer stems, making it easier to chew and digest…..nice for senior horses. Key words: horses, nutrition, alfalfa, grass hay, nutrient requirements, insulin resistance, starving horses INTRODUCTION America’s nine million horses are as diverse as Americans themselves. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Isn’t all hay the same?” Nope. In some states it is considered to be an invasive species, as it is not a native north American grass. Kate of passage of the feedstuff was determined using chromium‐mordanted hay. Posted on Feb 19, 2014 Tweet; Timothy hay is an excellent source of roughage for equine diets. The Differences Between Timothy and Alfalfa Hay. Hay pellets. The draft in him may be very sensitive to hot feeds. A: Hay pellets can offer a convenient way to feed the forage portion of your horse’s diet, and they have a number of benefits. But without any long-stemmed fiber, a horse's need to chew may lead him to … The tests covered five cuttings across three years. The most productive and popular legume hay is Alfalfa as it is a highly nutritious and a high yield crop. Therefore, feeding Timothy Grass has a well-established comfort level with horse people. bags. Contains fiber sources to replace some or all of the hay and/or pasture in a horse’s ration. Getting clover to dry quickly in the field is challenging for growers, and premature baling of damp hay is the primary reason clover hay is sometimes moldy. Some nutritionists might go as low as 10%, but I feel there is little difference between 10 and 12% because forages have slow consumption rates. I am not a vet… but Teff hay is high in protein, low in carb. That means these pets should eat a portion of hay the same size of their own body every day! Timothy and Alfalfa Hay Blog. Quality alfalfa hay has high protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals. Although predominantly fed to horses as hay, alfalfa can also be fed chopped (as chaff), cubed, or pelleted. One of the reasons why alfalfa hay is so much richer and higher in calcium than Timothy hay is because it’s a legume hay and Timothy belongs to the grass family. Horsemen often have to decide if they should purchase the first or second cutting of timothy hay for their horses. Higher-calorie and highly palatable premium product with excellent-quality fiber sources and superior nutritional balance. Depending on where you live, timothy hay can be hard to get a hold of. Myths typically develop from a seed of truth. While other feeds such as Alfalfa hay can meet energy requirements of horses in high levels of products, low nutritional concentrations of Timothy hay are ideal for many life stages. Alfalfa and/or alfalfa grass hay is palatable and is often a hay of preference for horses. ALFALFA — TIMOTHY CUBES Pre-bloom, dehydrated alfalfa blended with immature timothy hay and cubed to 1 1/4 inches in diameter.Contains 50% Alfalfa and 50% Timothy hay. Horse Hay Alfalfa + Orchard or Timothy - posted in Alfalfa/Hay: Ive always heard that the best horse hay is about a 50/50 mixture of alfalfa and grass, but which grass is best, timothy or orchard grass? Some horses may be allergic to grass hay so alfalfa is the better choice. GrassThere are many different types of grass hay in the world. Hay nutrition can also vary from year to year depending upon weather and crop management. But, if you’re lucky enough to live close to where timothy hay is grown, it can be a great option for your horses. This depends a lot on your location and which resources are easier to obtain. Brooke Martin 24/01/2018 at 08:42. We now understand, however, that excess protein in alfalfa is converted into energy compounds, and the nitrogen produced in this conversion must be eliminated as ammonia. There are cereal grain hays too, such as oat or barley hay, which are different nutritionally than typical grass hays, but they also fall under the grass hay category. However there are some important cons to consider. If cured correctly, vitamin C content will be high. Grass type horse hays have a lower nutritional value than legumes, but are considered ‘safe’ hays, because it is harder for a horse to over eat or have a reaction to grass hay. Many horse owners advise that Alfalfa hay is the best kind of hay to feed a horse. The four dietary treatments were 0AA (timothy hay only), 33AA (0.33 alfalfa: 0.67 timothy hay), 67AA (0.67 alfalfa: 0.33 timothy hay) and 100AA (alfalfa only). Full bloom alfalfa hay 24 0 0 8 Mature timothy hay 0 0 0 7 Commercial concentrate** 0 0 8 13 Salt Free choice Free choice Free choice Free choice * Note that diet B for a recreational horse provides feed intake below 2 lb /100 lb of body weight. If your horse cannot handle alfalfa, I’d cut the alfalfa mix pellets and get straight grass hay pellets. If you must use alfalfa hay for all your horses, be selective in the hay you choose. Legume Hay for Horses. For all small herbivores – that’s rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and degus – hay should make up around 80% of the diet. Common grass hay includes orchard grass, timothy and coastal Bermuda, less common are bromegrass and fescue. It offers some additional benefits for performance horses living a high-stress lifestyle—its higher calcium content compared with other hays has a buffering effect on stomach acids and can reduce gastric ulcer risks. If it has to be shipped long distances, it can be quite pricey. Make sure he gets his supplements on cold feed. However, the high-energy content may lead to overfeeding and to a fat horse. “If you had a pile of teff, a pile of timothy, and a pile of alfalfa, the teff tends to have less NSCs—but not always,” she says. (Free from Restricted Ruminant Protein Products per Title 21, CFR 589.2000/2001) Energy requirements: Generally senior horses that are in good body condition are less active than their younger counterparts and only have maintenance energy requirements. It’s not. What kind to buy? I planted my field in straight alfalfa last fall and the field is looking good so far this year. Therefore, it takes less hay to meet a horse's nutrient needs when feeding alfalfa hay. I think the biggest con about grass hay is its lack of nutrients. Reduced protein and energy compared to 100% alfalfa. Alfalfa hay is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Alfalfa hay may not be the best feed for all horses in all situations, but it contains nutrients needed for many classes of horses. In this case, the reality is that the maturity of the grass at harvest is the single most important contributing factor to the nutritional value of hay. The stems are thin and flexible, and it has a high fibre content. Commonly fed legume hays are Alfalfa and clover. I often recommend feeding it because it boosts the overall protein quality of a grass-hay diet and, in general, enhances the horse’s muscle tone, immune system and overall health. Some people, though, just don’t want to feed alfalfa — they believe it causes laminitis. Origin of the “Second Cutting Hay is Best For Horses” Myth. Horse hay comes in two forms: grass and legumes. Here’s an article from UC Davis about why horses should not have alfalfa. 2. It can replace all of your horse's hay, if necessary. Choose forage sources such as Timothy instead of Alfalfa to reduce the calorie content of the diet. Timothy Hay: What Cutting is Better for Horses? Alfalfa hay and timothy hay are both forage sources commonly used in rabbit and guinea pig diets. Horses and ponies in their natural environment are grazing animals - they spend many hours a day eating grass. Alfalfa contains higher concentrations of protein and calcium compared to timothy hay (Table 1). Alfalfa and… Different Types Of Hay For Horses Timothy Horse Hay. Hay hay and more hay. People once thought that feeding alfalfa hay to horses caused kidney damage because of increased urination and ammonia production. Alfalfa hay has been both heralded and maligned as a feed for horses. Much of this tradition is due to the fact that Timothy was one of the first grasses cultivated for horse hay. First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. The two most common are Timothy and Orchard grass. As we come into spring here's what I have and why I have leftovers. If the hay has an NDF above 65% and an ADF above 45% it will provide little nutrient value to your horse. This is the cut that’s taken before the hay blooms and is a good, solid, hay! Hay cubes. We’ve never had our hay tested, but someone shared five of their alfalfa tests with me. One reason horse owners often avoid clover is its propensity for mold. When faced with a metabolic horse, hay selection is critical. Some are young and developing, full of promise for the future. You may need different qualities of hay for different horses—leafy hay for weanlings, for instance, and more mature hay for adult horses that do not need such fine hay. Protein in hay varies depending on the type and maturity level of the hay when it is cut. Alfalfa, white clover, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil are common types of legumes, with alfalfa being the most popular choice. Timothy hay is classified as grass hay. Nutritionally speaking, however, they are very different. NO OAT. Coastal hay is a grass hay that is very common in Texas and other states along the gulf coast. While alfalfa is the most well-known legume hay, clover hays are appropriate for horses, even if they are not as popular with horse owners as alfalfa. Id like to hear the pros and cons for each choice. The first cut of hay is the first hay harvested from a field for that year. 3. The Diet. The difference between Alfalfa and Timothy hay is one that often confuses many rabbit and guinea pig owners, especially first-timers! Packaged in 50 lb. The protein level varied from 19 to 26%, while calcium varied from .97 to 1.31%. ... Includes loose beet pulp, contains no oats or alfalfa for horses with allergies. Timothy, Orchard, Alfalfa, Fescue. “For forages, I like to make sure the forage is under 12% NSC. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. You can slowly add later, if needed. Alfalfa hay, sometimes called lucerne hay, is the most popular legume hay fed to horses in the U.S., while timothy and orchard are popular grass hay choices. They have different backgrounds and genetics, different occupations, different life styles and diets. Tradition holds that timothy hay and oats are the best feeds for horses, and that alfalfa and corn spell disaster. High quality Timothy Grass contains a moderate amount of protein, usually testing at approximately 8% protein. Feeding on Timothy hay can help satisfy your horse's natural urge to chew and graze when they are confined to stalls for long periods of time. Timothy Grass is the traditional favorite among horse owners. Legume hays (alfalfa and clover) contain 12% to 20% protein. An ideal hay for easy keepers will be in the higher end of these ranges. Hay Choice: Alfalfa hay should definitely be a part of Polly’s ration. best hay for horses First Cut Hay. Horses should not have alfalfa will provide little nutrient value to your horse timothy instead of alfalfa to the! That is very common in Texas and other states along the gulf coast quality alfalfa hay been... For horse hay roughage for equine diets a hold of, it can be to. 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