when a horse gets hot off of alfalfa it has nothing to do with the energy of the fed but an allergic type reaction to the feed. Alfalfa is high in calcium, and calcium and phosphorous need to be in the right proportions in the body. Since 1998, Kentucky Performance Products has simplified a horse owner’s search for research-proven nutritional horse supplements that meet the challenges facing modern horses. OK, now I'm really worried, my vet said to feed my pregnant mare alfalfa to supplement since no grass available and we're feeding her regular hay(coastal) and sweet/pellet mix( well mare sweet now). When health issues arise, always seek the advice of a licensed veterinarian who can help you choose the correct course of action for your horse. Timothy is a common grass hay; it’s pretty easy to identify with its stove-pipe shape and has a recognizable name, so it’s often propelled into the “hay of choice” for many horse owners. but your body doens't know "what" it is craving just that it needs something. Several possible explanations exist for why these ingredients may alter behavior in horses. What should I be feeding them, 2 arab mares, 900 lbs, 1 pregnant? (ADF is negatively correlated with digestibility, while NDF is negatively correlated with intake; the higher each number is, the less digestible the hay is.) Up to twenty-eight percent of protein can be found in alfalfa. An average grass hay in the USA has an ADF of 38.76%* and NDF of 62.42%* and will provide 909 kcal/lb*. Is alfalfa too rich for my horse’s diet? If you ask most horses they will tell you that alfalfa is a wonderful horse feed. For decades the idea has circulated in barns that certain types of feed are responsible for making horses “hot.” Sometimes corn gets the blame, or oats, or molasses, or alfalfa, or any feed that is high in protein. Alfalfa hay will make a horse hot, or crazy. The difference, even after a day, has been pretty drastic. Though alfalfa hay is not high in sugar, it is a very rich hay, as is a quality oat hay. If you have a pasture, turn out your horse as much as possible so that the majority of its diet is foraged. If it does, just stop feeding it. The reason alfalfa gets a bad rap for making horses “hot” is because alfalfa is higher in digestible energy and lower in acid detergent fiber (ADF) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) than grass hay. Making Alfalfa TeaOther ways organic gardeners like to use alfalfa meal is by making alfalfa tea. Generally senior feeds are low in sugar and starch and higher in fat which make them a good source of calories without the extra energy. The list of ingredients thought to cause problems include: oats, corn, barley, alfalfa and molasses. I, too, would love to read that research. Our horse supplements target specific nutritional needs and are formulated to complement today’s feeds, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation. Each product is scientifically formulated and made with high-quality ingredients at certified manufacturing facilities. For horses alfalfa is excellent forage but it’s obviously not perfect. we as the owners have to balance the diet research has shown that as another myth, variety is what you are seeing... you can also put three different type of hay out and they will eat one for a bit then go to the other and then the other, it may take awhile I lost all my links about a year ago and am still collecting them all back and this isn't one I went digging for again yet, another thing to think about is if they "balance" their own diet why do so many founder? ~C.W. Myth: Alfalfa’s high protein makes a horse “hot.” Fact: For reasons that really aren’t clear, some horses are more energetic when being fed alfalfa, but it isn’t the protein. Your email address will not be published. Molds growing in the bales can cause respiratory tract symptoms, but the same molds can –– and do … If your horse is hot and difficult to handle, take a good look at your feed and exercise program before you label him problematic. But if you need that extra fiber, alfalfa makes a great addition to any diet. Although alfalfa for horses is still often perceived as a relatively “new” feed, it has actually been used for thousands of years and the name “alfalfa” comes from Arabic, Persian and Kashmiri words meaning “best horse fodder” and “horse power”. He is just.. Calmer. A horse fed Alfalfa as part of its daily ration will meet its need for protein while receiving essential vitamins and minerals. Alfalfa provides a significant amount of calories; however, an excess of calories in any form, whether from alfalfa, grain or oil, without the exercise to burn them, can result in an excessively energetic horse. This isn’t true either. (ADF is negatively correlated with digestibility, while NDF is negatively correlated with intake; the higher each number is, the less digestible the hay is.). Fact: Alfalfa is no more likely to cause an allergic reaction than any other type of hay. While alfalfa is lower in simple sugars, it is composed of more easy-to-digest complex carbohydrates than grass hays, and therefore provides more energy per pound, but less fiber. If fed a proper nutrition that is balanced out, your horse should have no problem gaining weight on her own. Alfalfa can be dustier than grass hay when moisture conditions … 3. Advantages of Alfalfa Cubes Reduced feed waste. I had to stop. Horses with high energy requirements can eat enough alfalfa to meet both energy and fiber requirements. This can be detrimental in hard-working horses where keeping their body cool is an issue, such as endurance or event horses. I am definitely staying on the alfalfa. Alfalfa has lower indigestible fiber than grass hays. Alfalfa will make your horse hot. The fix just might be easier than you think! No harm, no foul. Come join the discussion about breeding, grooming, reviews, health, behavior, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more! All horses seem to handle that stuff differently. Give your horse a high fiber diet. This means that if you fed strictly what your horse needed for nutrients, your horse could still not feel full, since the amount of alfalfa that would reach these nutrient needs is not going to be the amount to properly fill the horse up or make them feel full. 1. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Required fields are marked *. What is true is that protein “burns hotter” than fats and carbohydrates, so if a horse is using protein as an energy source they produce more internal body heat. MYTH #3: Corn/oats/barley/sweet feed will make my horse “hot,” or high-spirited. I have been feeding my 5 year old mare alfalfa pellets with free choice coastal hay and it has done WONDERS for her. High quality ("dairy") alfalfa supplies 20% to 25% more calories per pound than grass hays, although the difference is much smaller for more mature cuts of alfalfa. The reason alfalfa gets a bad rap for making horses “hot” is because alfalfa is higher in digestible energy and lower in acid detergent fiber (ADF) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) than grass hay. Soaked beet pulp typically remains good for about a day; however, in hot… Well he's been on his alfalfa for a week now. Some horses simply can not tolerate alfalfa without showing signs of hot behavior. Picking Hay for Sugar/Starch Sensitive Horses. Many people have sighed for the 'good old days' and regretted the 'passing of the horse,' but today, when only those who like horses own them, it is a far better time for horses. Alfalfa hay is an excellent source of protein, both in content and quality. When an alfalfa crop is properly cared for, baled, and stored, the high leaf to stem ratio can provide a very high quality forage product. Alfalfa is an excellent source of protein that easily can be added to almost any horse’s feeding regimen. If there is not enough calcium available, the body will remove calcium from the bones, joints, and muscles. Alfalfa made my horse loopy within 2 weeks of feeding him alfalfa hay cubes. JavaScript is disabled. In fact, some horses are so sensitive to alfalfa they cannot tolerate even small amounts. Alfalfa does provide a significant amount of calories, however, and excess calories in any form, whether from alfalfa, grain or oil, without the exercise to burn them, can result in an excessively energetic horse. As a result, if you fed your horse enough alfal… How to Stop Sweet Itch (Summer Itch) From Driving You and Your Horse Crazy! A forum community dedicated to horse owners and enthusiasts. “ (It) does have more energy compared to grass hay of … Contrary to popular belief it is the sugar not the protein that makes horses hot. Whether this is because they do actually make horses hyperactive, or because they are energy dense feeds that are easy to overfeed and … A proper body condition score (BCS) for a performance or show horse is 4.5 to 5.5 on a scale of 1.0 to 9.0. So for those who feed mainly alfalfa, just be sure to offer your horse free choice minerals so they can 'right' themselves with phosphorous if they are out of balance. Supplements are intended to maintain healthy systems and support recovery and healing. Owners and managers see a direct correlation between “I fed my horse this, and my horse acted like that.” So, they assume it was the specific type of feed that caused the behavior. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. Baling hay that shows a moisture content of over 14% can be a recipe for disaster and is not recommended. You may also hear the name “Lucerne” used, which can cause confusion, but it is just another name for alfalfa. Are they true? Just try it for a week or so. Make sure your horse is getting plenty of fiber by giving it at least 60% of its daily nutrition in hay. Some claim that alfalfa hay will make a horse hot or crazy. Alfalfa’s high palatability ensures that even the pickiest of eaters will maintain the proper balance in their diet. Myth: Alfalfa causes heaves or allergies. Alternatively you can use alfalfa meal in compost teas when brewing with air pumps. Protein, on the other hand, is an inefficient source of energy for horses. Much of the excess protein is urinated away. Does Alfalfa Make Horses Hot? You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it. You’ve probably heard statements like these before. The take-home message: Alfalfa can be added to the diet when additional energy is needed to fuel work or weight gain without causing excitability, but if a horse is already in positive energy balance and has enough get-up-and-go to do their job, adding alfalfa could cause the horse to get fat or have more “energy” than is desired by the rider. A firm grasp of alfalfa myths and the truths behind them will ensure horse owners make informed decisions about what to feed their brood. I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :) I had to stop. Your email address will not be published. Didn't make him hot, just loopy. Kentucky Performance Products brings you horse supplements you can count on because the horse that matters to you, matters to us. All rights reserved. They may get “hot”, anxious or agitated, or show signs of liver or kidney stress. Here is a short part of a guide I found to be useful. The impression that alfalfa makes a horse hot is usually the result of an improper amount of alfalfa being fed. Colic? Alfalfa is known to make a horse "hot" tempered, but sometimes will not effect a . This is not good for easy keepers, as you exceed their energy requirement while trying to meet their fiber requirement, which leads to fat or hot horses. get toxcity? You will want to make sure you stir it a few times, but you don't have to go crazy. The high protein and mineral needs of young, growing horses and lactating mares make Alfalfa an important part of any feeding program. The reason alfalfa gets a bad rap for making horses “hot” is because alfalfa is higher in digestible energy and lower in acid detergent fiber (ADF) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) than grass hay. Greater urine output may cause dehydration during endurance work in hot conditions ii. After water, the major constituent of the horse's body is protein. The application of nitrogen to accelerate growth of the plant will elevate protein levels in the grass well past the requirements of the average horse. This is great for hard keepers or horses that need lots of energy to fuel work or growth. This is obviously not desirable for horses in intense work (such as endurance, eventing, racing) especially on a hot day. Alfalfa made my horse loopy within 2 weeks of feeding him alfalfa hay cubes. Grains and grain based feeds, molasses and forages like alfalfa/lucerne hay tend to be commonly blamed for making horses ‘hot’. Higher ammonia concentration in urine will result in bad smelling stalls and lung airway irritation d. Excess protein, like excess energy has been implicated as a cause of developmental orthopedic disease in growing horses. Dr. Stephen Duren shares information about alfalfa’s calorie density and recommends how and when to feed it. You can do this many ways, but it can be as simple as soaking the meal in water for a day or two. The average alfalfa has an ADF of 30.68%* and NDF of 38.87%* and provides 1,193 kcal/lb*. Not so, if fed appropriately. Meets most protein and nutrition needs with a smaller quantity than most Grass Hays do 1,193 kcal/lb * the that! In hot conditions ii and grain based feeds, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation inefficient source of in! To almost any horse ’ s no scientific basis for this both energy and fiber requirements easier you... 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