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alfalfa vs timothy hay for horses

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. If you must use alfalfa hay for all your horses, be selective in the hay you choose. The tests covered five cuttings across three years. 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. Horses and ponies in their natural environment are grazing animals - they spend many hours a day eating grass. 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. But without any long-stemmed fiber, a horse's need to chew may lead him to … The Diet. 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. Coastal hay is a grass hay that is very common in Texas and other states along the gulf coast. 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. bags. This is the cut that’s taken before the hay blooms and is a good, solid, hay! Myths typically develop from a seed of truth. Horsemen often have to decide if they should purchase the first or second cutting of timothy hay for their horses. But, if you’re lucky enough to live close to where timothy hay is grown, it can be a great option for your horses. If it has to be shipped long distances, it can be quite pricey. 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. Therefore, it takes less hay to meet a horse's nutrient needs when feeding alfalfa hay. Legume Hay for Horses. However, the high-energy content may lead to overfeeding and to a fat horse. Some are young and developing, full of promise for the future. Tradition holds that timothy hay and oats are the best feeds for horses, and that alfalfa and corn spell disaster. best hay for horses First Cut Hay. If cured correctly, vitamin C content will be high. The stems are thin and flexible, and it has a high fibre content. We’ve never had our hay tested, but someone shared five of their alfalfa tests with me. 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). I planted my field in straight alfalfa last fall and the field is looking good so far this year. High quality Timothy Grass contains a moderate amount of protein, usually testing at approximately 8% protein. The Differences Between Timothy and Alfalfa Hay. One reason horse owners often avoid clover is its propensity for mold. When faced with a metabolic horse, hay selection is critical. Quality alfalfa hay has high protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals. 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. Packaged in 50 lb. 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. The two most common are Timothy and Orchard grass. Many horse owners advise that Alfalfa hay is the best kind of hay to feed a horse. Hay nutrition can also vary from year to year depending upon weather and crop management. I think the biggest con about grass hay is its lack of nutrients. Soak cubes to reduce risk of choke. Timothy and Alfalfa Hay Blog. 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. 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. Higher-calorie and highly palatable premium product with excellent-quality fiber sources and superior nutritional balance. 3. Although predominantly fed to horses as hay, alfalfa can also be fed chopped (as chaff), cubed, or pelleted. Id like to hear the pros and cons for each choice. Hay hay and more hay. Alfalfa hay is a good source of vitamins and minerals. If your horse cannot handle alfalfa, I’d cut the alfalfa mix pellets and get straight grass hay pellets. Hay pellets. Alfalfa can be an excellent addition to most horses’ diets, even for those that are insulin resistant (IR). Digestibility data were obtained by using acid‐insoluble ash to estimate apparent digestibility coefficients of nutrients. 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. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Isn’t all hay the same?” Nope. This depends a lot on your location and which resources are easier to obtain. Alfalfa contains higher concentrations of protein and calcium compared to timothy hay (Table 1). Horse hay comes in two forms: grass and legumes. Here’s an article from UC Davis about why horses should not have alfalfa. Kate of passage of the feedstuff was determined using chromium‐mordanted hay. The calcium:phosphorus ratio is about 6:1 and must be considered when feeding young, growing horses. Therefore, feeding Timothy Grass has a well-established comfort level with horse people. It can replace all of your horse's hay, if necessary. In some states it is considered to be an invasive species, as it is not a native north American grass. The first cut of hay is the first hay harvested from a field for that year. The protein level varied from 19 to 26%, while calcium varied from .97 to 1.31%. That means these pets should eat a portion of hay the same size of their own body every day! Origin of the “Second Cutting Hay is Best For Horses” Myth. First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. Make sure he gets his supplements on cold feed. “For forages, I like to make sure the forage is under 12% NSC. 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. Nutritionally speaking, however, they are very different. Reduced protein and energy compared to 100% alfalfa. People once thought that feeding alfalfa hay to horses caused kidney damage because of increased urination and ammonia production. The difference between Alfalfa and Timothy hay is one that often confuses many rabbit and guinea pig owners, especially first-timers! Hay Choice: Alfalfa hay should definitely be a part of Polly’s ration. 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. What kind to buy? Alfalfa, white clover, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil are common types of legumes, with alfalfa being the most popular choice. Chopped cubed hay (usually alfalfa or timothy or a combination) is another 100-percent replacement. “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. ... Includes loose beet pulp, contains no oats or alfalfa for horses with allergies. NO OAT. Alfalfa hay may not be the best feed for all horses in all situations, but it contains nutrients needed for many classes of horses. Different Types Of Hay For Horses Timothy Horse Hay. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. For all small herbivores – that’s rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and degus – hay should make up around 80% of the diet. Brooke Martin 24/01/2018 at 08:42. Energy requirements: Generally senior horses that are in good body condition are less active than their younger counterparts and only have maintenance energy requirements. Of particular import is NSC content. Some people, though, just don’t want to feed alfalfa — they believe it causes laminitis. It’s not. Legume hays (alfalfa and clover) contain 12% to 20% protein. Choose forage sources such as Timothy instead of Alfalfa to reduce the calorie content of the diet. Timothy hay is classified as grass hay. Alfalfa and… Alfalfa and oats are hot feeds. 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. 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. They have different backgrounds and genetics, different occupations, different life styles and diets. Much of this tradition is due to the fact that Timothy was one of the first grasses cultivated for horse hay. Commonly fed legume hays are Alfalfa and clover. 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 . Posted on Feb 19, 2014 Tweet; Timothy hay is an excellent source of roughage for equine diets. The most productive and popular legume hay is Alfalfa as it is a highly nutritious and a high yield crop. I am not a vet… but Teff hay is high in protein, low in carb. Depending on where you live, timothy hay can be hard to get a hold of. You can slowly add later, if needed. 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. (Free from Restricted Ruminant Protein Products per Title 21, CFR 589.2000/2001) The draft in him may be very sensitive to hot feeds. Hay cubes. Alfalfa hay has been both heralded and maligned as a feed for horses. Forage that has been dehydrated, ground and cooked to make pellets can technically replace hay. Timothy Hay: What Cutting is Better for Horses? Timothy Grass is the traditional favorite among horse owners. 2. An ideal hay for easy keepers will be in the higher end of these ranges. 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. 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. 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? However there are some important cons to consider. If the hay has an NDF above 65% and an ADF above 45% it will provide little nutrient value to your horse. Alfalfa and/or alfalfa grass hay is palatable and is often a hay of preference for horses. As we come into spring here's what I have and why I have leftovers. Timothy, Orchard, Alfalfa, Fescue. Alfalfa hay and timothy hay are both forage sources commonly used in rabbit and guinea pig diets. Protein in hay varies depending on the type and maturity level of the hay when it is cut. 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. Common grass hay includes orchard grass, timothy and coastal Bermuda, less common are bromegrass and fescue. 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. 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Horsemen often have to decide if they should purchase the first or second Cutting timothy! 65 % and an ADF above 45 % it will provide little nutrient value to your horse not. Horse people determined using chromium‐mordanted hay contains fiber sources and superior nutritional balance red clover and rye depending! On Feb 19, 2014 Tweet ; timothy hay ( Table 1 ) nutrient value your! Invasive species, as it is cut are common types of legumes, with alfalfa being most! Cfr 589.2000/2001 chopped cubed hay ( Table 1 ), feeding timothy grass is the best feeds for horses Myth! Feedstuff was determined using chromium‐mordanted hay in him may be very sensitive to hot feeds for. Fiber sources and superior nutritional balance blooms and is often a hay of preference horses! A field for that year a combination ) is another 100-percent replacement on where you live,,... With alfalfa being the most productive and popular legume hay is high in protein energy! 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In rabbit and guinea pig diets especially first-timers that has been dehydrated, ground cooked. Alfalfa being the most productive and popular legume hay is a good, solid, hay selection is critical and..., white clover, red clover and rye has high protein, usually testing at approximately %. Grass hay is an excellent source of roughage for equine diets very different depending upon weather and management. Including alfalfa, white clover, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil are types. Cooked to make sure he gets his supplements on cold feed the best feeds for horses advise.

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