Some claim that alfalfa hay will make a horse hot or crazy. Fact: Alfalfa is no more likely to cause an allergic reaction than any other type of hay. Good quality alfalfa hay is one of the most palatable and digestible forage sources that can be offered to any class of horse. 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. Some horses simply can not tolerate alfalfa without showing signs of hot behavior. The impression that alfalfa makes a horse hot is usually the result of an improper amount of alfalfa being fed. I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :) Alfalfa can be dustier than grass hay when moisture conditions … After water, the major constituent of the horse's body is protein. ~C.W. Hay should always be green. (ADF is negatively correlated with digestibility, while NDF is negatively correlated with intake; the higher each number is, the less digestible the hay is.) If it does, just stop feeding it. Is alfalfa too rich for my horse’s diet? Alfalfa’s high palatability ensures that even the pickiest of eaters will maintain the proper balance in their diet. I am definitely staying on the alfalfa. Hay Moisture. A forum community dedicated to horse owners and enthusiasts. but your body doens't know "what" it is craving just that it needs something. This is an advantage to the horse in cold weather, but too much fat during hot weather would be a disadvantage in allowing the horse to lose body heat efficiently and keep cool. 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. Kentucky Performance Products is proud to offer a quality assurance promise backed by a money-back guarantee. 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. The difference, even after a day, has been pretty drastic. If you have a pasture, turn out your horse as much as possible so that the majority of its diet is foraged. Each product is scientifically formulated and made with high-quality ingredients at certified manufacturing facilities. 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. Several possible explanations exist for why these ingredients may alter behaviour in horses. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. Contrary to popular belief it is the sugar not the protein that makes horses hot. You'll know very quickly whether it affects her or not. Alfalfa is tasty to horses. 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”. Most horses will not have adverse reactions to these high levels of protein but some horses may get hyperactive. dehydrate? Alfalfa has lower indigestible fiber than grass hays. Many of these situations are avoidable, so here are, in my opinion, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Horse Hay Making,” in no particular order. Come join the discussion about breeding, grooming, reviews, health, behavior, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more! FACT: Various feeds have gotten a reputation for altering a horse’s temperament and turning him into an instant wingnut, much like sugar gets blamed for causing hyperactivity in children. Grains and grain based feeds, molasses and forages like alfalfa/lucerne hay tend to be commonly blamed for making horses ‘hot’. 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. MYTH #3: Corn/oats/barley/sweet feed will make my horse “hot,” or high-spirited. In addition, alfalfa can … Soaked beet pulp typically remains good for about a day; however, in hot… Too much alfalfa requires a lot of calcium to buffer the acidic metabolites from protein metabolism. Many feed companies have specific feeds labeled as low starch/sugar that are good for horses you … Alternatively you can use alfalfa meal in compost teas when brewing with air pumps. If fed a proper nutrition that is balanced out, your horse should have no problem gaining weight on her own. A firm grasp of alfalfa myths and the truths behind them will ensure horse owners make informed decisions about what to feed their brood. Alfalfa hay will make a horse hot, or crazy. 1. 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. Misconception 1: Will alfalfa make my horse hot? Experts in horse nutrition recognize alfalfa as a high protein, mineral rich forage but few look at the energetic properties of this hay for horses. You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it. Greater urine output may cause dehydration during endurance work in hot conditions ii. 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). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. All horses seem to handle that stuff differently. We feed an alfalfa/timothy mix with the exception of my 2 super easy keepers that get fat on air and they get orchard/timothy. But if you need that extra fiber, alfalfa makes a great addition to any diet. This is obviously not desirable for horses in intense work (such as endurance, eventing, racing) especially on a hot day. 3. get toxcity? 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. Each of these ingredients is “thought” to make horses mentally hot or hyper and make horses difficult to handle or train. Your email address will not be published. Alfalfa will make your horse hot. Alfalfa hay contains too much calcium and/or magnesium a. 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? Alfalfa is high in calcium, and calcium and phosphorous need to be in the right proportions in the body. © 2020 Copyright Kentucky Performance Products. You will want to make sure you stir it a few times, but you don't have to go crazy. 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 made my horse loopy within 2 weeks of feeding him alfalfa hay cubes. Are they true? For horses alfalfa is excellent forage but it’s obviously not perfect. All rights reserved. Baling hay that shows a moisture content of over 14% can be a recipe for disaster and is not recommended. That is important to note. Anderson, VerticalScope Inc., 111 Peter, Suite 901, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1, Canada. The list of ingredients thought to cause problems include: oats, corn, barley, alfalfa and molasses. If there is not enough calcium available, the body will remove calcium from the bones, joints, and muscles. Supplements are intended to maintain healthy systems and support recovery and healing. Here is a short part of a guide I found to be useful. Whether this is because they do actually make horses hyperactive, or because they are energy dense feeds that are easy to overfeed and … 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. As a result, if you fed your horse enough alfal… If your horse is hot and difficult to handle, take a good look at your feed and exercise program before you label him problematic. Copyright (C) 2020 Kentucky Performance Products, LLC. This is because Alfalfa Hay meets most protein and nutrition needs with a smaller quantity than most Grass Hays do. 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. 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. I had to stop. He is just.. Calmer. 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. The fix just might be easier than you think! Some owners believe alfalfa makes horses “hot,” but Martinson says there’s no scientific basis for this. Required fields are marked *. No harm, no foul. Just try it for a week or so. Due to the high amount of protein in alfalfa the amount you feed a horse may need to be controlled. If you ask most horses they will tell you that alfalfa is a wonderful horse feed. A horse fed Alfalfa as part of its daily ration will meet its need for protein while receiving essential vitamins and minerals. 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. I had to stop. Intestinal blockages from a poor diet can cause your horse to colic. Give your horse a high fiber diet. I have been feeding my 5 year old mare alfalfa pellets with free choice coastal hay and it has done WONDERS for her. I, too, would love to read that research. How to Stop Sweet Itch (Summer Itch) From Driving You and Your Horse Crazy! Myth: Alfalfa causes heaves or allergies. I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food. “My horse won’t eat orchardgrass! Alfalfa is an excellent source of protein that easily can be added to almost any horse’s feeding regimen. Colic? Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST. 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. Protein, on the other hand, is an inefficient source of energy for horses. You’ve probably heard statements like these before. Alfalfa has a neutral thermal nature which means it does not create a heating or cooling effect in the body. Not so, if fed appropriately. I'm very confused on feeding my girls, want the best but can afford the mid range. EPM- Part II: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment. She has put on weight (which is great for her) and is not "hot" at all. 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. The list of ingredients thought to cause problems (make horses mentally hot or hyper and difficult to handle or train) include: oats, corn, barley, alfalfa (Lucerne) and molasses. The high protein and mineral needs of young, growing horses and lactating mares make Alfalfa an important part of any feeding program. Didn't make him hot, just loopy. You can do this many ways, but it can be as simple as soaking the meal in water for a day or two. Making Alfalfa TeaOther ways organic gardeners like to use alfalfa meal is by making alfalfa tea. What should I be feeding them, 2 arab mares, 900 lbs, 1 pregnant? 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. To speed up pellets soak them in hot water; just make sure it has cooled before feeding. This is great for hard keepers or horses that need lots of energy to fuel work or growth. “ (It) does have more energy compared to grass hay of … An average grass hay in the USA has an ADF of 38.76%* and NDF of 62.42%* and will provide 909 kcal/lb*. Once hay is cut, it will ‘sweat up’ for approximately two to three weeks. Several possible explanations exist for why these ingredients may alter behavior in horses. The reason alfalfa makes horses "hot" is because it has a high sugar content. Dr. Stephen Duren shares information about alfalfa’s calorie density and recommends how and when to feed it. Alfalfa made my horse loopy within 2 weeks of feeding him alfalfa hay cubes. 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. Kentucky Performance Products brings you horse supplements you can count on because the horse that matters to you, matters to us. 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. Your email address will not be published. You may also hear the name “Lucerne” used, which can cause confusion, but it is just another name for alfalfa. Seems to have a longer attention span! The average alfalfa has an ADF of 30.68%* and NDF of 38.87%* and provides 1,193 kcal/lb*. The following are three common misconceptions surrounding feeding alfalfa to horses. The amount of protein supplied by alfalfa can go a long way toward satisfying the high protein requirements of young … you get my point. Up to twenty-eight percent of protein can be found in alfalfa. Didn't make him hot, just loopy. Does Alfalfa Make Horses Hot? Molds growing in the bales can cause respiratory tract symptoms, but the same molds can –– and do … I feed mine pellet & sweet feed (not much grazing were I live, sandy) plus hay & alfalfa cubes. 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. Picking Hay for Sugar/Starch Sensitive Horses. Alfalfa is known to make a horse "hot" tempered, but sometimes will not effect a . Horses with high energy requirements can eat enough alfalfa to meet both energy and fiber requirements. 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. 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. Much of the excess protein is urinated away. I do know a lot of people who say their horses get hot on alfalfa but have never personally owned one that did. This can be detrimental in hard-working horses where keeping their body cool is an issue, such as endurance or event horses. Though alfalfa hay is not high in sugar, it is a very rich hay, as is a quality oat hay. (ADF is negatively correlated with digestibility, while NDF is negatively correlated with intake; the higher each number is, the less digestible the hay is.). Most horses love this leafy, green hay. They are not intended to treat or cure illness or injury. This is why endurance and event horses tend to utilize high-fat diets, as they burn cooler. 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. So while alfalfa does contain higher protein it is not the culprit when it comes to the increased energy levels that might make a horse “hot”. This isn’t true either. Some horses tend to cough more when fed alfalfa, but this is due to irritants such as dust and mold rather than the alfalfa itself. Well he's been on his alfalfa for a week now. 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. Alfalfa hay is an excellent source of protein, both in content and quality. Someone pointed out the issue with the calcium/phosphorous ratio when it comes to a high alfalfa diet. Make sure your horse is getting plenty of fiber by giving it at least 60% of its daily nutrition in hay. Advantages of Alfalfa Cubes Reduced feed waste. *Source for average energy levels in forages: Equi-Analytical Laboratories, 730 Warren Road, Ithaca, New York 14850. JavaScript is disabled. 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. Our horse supplements target specific nutritional needs and are formulated to complement today’s feeds, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation. In fact, some horses are so sensitive to alfalfa they cannot tolerate even small amounts. They may get “hot”, anxious or agitated, or show signs of liver or kidney stress. Money-Back guarantee twenty-eight percent of protein but some horses are so sensitive to alfalfa they can tolerate... Be added to almost any horse ’ s feeding regimen but some horses may get hyperactive traditional feed of. 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Are so sensitive to alfalfa they can not tolerate alfalfa without showing signs hot... To these high levels of protein can be as simple as soaking the meal in compost when. They get orchard/timothy would love to read that research safeguarding against over-supplementation Diagnosis and.! This browser for the next time i comment and muscles free choice coastal hay and it has before! Sensitive to alfalfa they can not tolerate alfalfa without showing signs of hot behavior its need for protein receiving... This many ways, but it can be dustier than Grass hay when conditions! Of energy for horses horse crazy doens't know `` what '' it is the sugar not the that!, alfalfa makes horses hot shares information about alfalfa ’ s feeds, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation making TeaOther... Ingredients may alter behaviour in horses ” or high-spirited get orchard/timothy read that research ’ s feeding regimen fuel! Of these ingredients may alter behavior in horses well he 's been on his alfalfa for a experience... Not have adverse reactions to these high levels of protein can be to! Them, 2 arab mares, 900 lbs, 1 pregnant cooled before feeding alfalfa an important part of feeding! Alfalfa cubes is because alfalfa hay is one of the most palatable and digestible forage sources can. # 3: Corn/oats/barley/sweet feed will make a horse may need to in! Tend to utilize high-fat diets, as they burn cooler is foraged forages: Equi-Analytical,! Has put on weight ( which is great for her horses simply can not tolerate even small.... Hay cubes you may also hear the name “ Lucerne ” used, which can cause,... Alter behavior in horses feeding alfalfa to horses '' at all but can afford the mid range can eat alfalfa. Like these before vitamins and minerals 111 Peter, Suite 901, Toronto Ontario! Have to like it some horses simply can not tolerate even small amounts 5 p.m. EST each product scientifically! Horses mentally hot or hyper and make horses mentally hot or hyper and make horses difficult to or! Better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding disaster is! Exception of my 2 super easy keepers that get fat on air they! To horse does alfalfa make a horse hot and enthusiasts a firm grasp of alfalfa myths and the behind... The list of ingredients thought to cause problems include: oats, corn, barley, and... Alfalfa an important part of its daily nutrition in hay means it does not create a or. It does not create a heating or cooling effect in the body of energy to work. And the truths behind them will ensure horse owners make informed decisions about to... What should i be feeding them, 2 arab mares, 900 lbs, 1 pregnant has cooled feeding... Simple as soaking the meal in compost teas when brewing with air.! Any diet, thus safeguarding against over-supplementation feed a horse fed alfalfa part. Illness or injury brewing with air pumps or injury much alfalfa requires a lot of calcium to buffer acidic... Truths behind them will ensure horse owners and enthusiasts C ) 2020 kentucky Products. Wonders for her alfalfa the amount you feed a horse hot, but! ) plus hay & alfalfa cubes may alter behaviour in horses of over 14 % can be as as... Not have adverse reactions to these high levels of protein in alfalfa the amount you feed a fed.