The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 41
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,481

    Default Horse doesn't care for alfalfa cubes...

    My mare has a history of recurring ulcers.

    The first bout with them, I started her on alfalfa cubes with her TC 30% ration balancer & flax. She will only eat them if there is another "grain" mixed in (like hay stretcher pellets, the TC30%, etc) She apparently doesn't care for them plain. She will eat them dry, as cubes, but I don't want to feed them that way for 1)concern about choke, and 2) she isn't a big drinker so soaking them is a good way to get more H2O into her.

    Dilemma: she eats them for a bit, then becomes finicky. At first I thought this was her ulcers flaring up again, but no other issues: she is still drinking, and will eat her meals if I cut down on the amount of alfalfa cubes or take them out completely (and she doesn't get much in terms of volume, 1 lb maybe of cubes).

    I bought a bag of beet pulp to see if adding something with a flavor she liked would encourage her. No such luck.

    So, I experimented and just mixed up soaked beet pulp, and her TC 30% and flax...she heartily eats that mix taht doesn't include alfalfa cubes!

    Do some horses just not like alfalfa?

    I wanted to give alfalfa because of the supposed benefits for horses with tummy issues, but it doesn't do much good if she won't eat it.

    She doesn't NEED even beet pulp for weight or anything, she could do fine on the TC 30% and flax, but the beet pulp helps bind the flax seeds to the pellets, and gives more water, so I do want to give her something soaked. THe beet pulp seems to be a good way to do this. I give her about 1 lb of pellets, soaked to a fluff, then added the RB and the flax. She hoovered it right up.

    Am I being too pushy about her tastes for what I think is for her own good, or should I just bag the alfalfa cubes and give her what she likes?
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,148

    Default

    Alfalfa Dengie might work. We have a horse who won't eat wet alfalfa cubes but will eat them dry. At this point, I am unwilling to give them dry because he is 25 and might choke. He does like Dengie and likes Purina Equine Senior with a little flax or oats mixed in for extra flavor.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    11,229

    Default

    My mare took a while to convince that soaked alfalfa cubes were something she wanted to eat when they were added to her ration for similar reasons as you have.
    I simply made a new ration of soaked cubes every day and hung it in her stall (cleaning out the bucket of all old ration) and after a few days she started eating it. After a week she gave in and was eating them willingly.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,481

    Default

    I have been attempting the alfalfa cubes for a year...LOL!

    I'm not sure she'll ever like them...
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    11,229

    Default

    Oh, hmmm. If she is not willing after a year it sounds like she is not going to give in.

    Have you tried alfalfa pellets?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,481

    Default

    Yes, she doesnt' care for those either.

    I was surprised she liked the beet pulp...that stuff stinks! But, she eats it and seems to like it...

    The main reason I wanted to stick to the cubes versus pellets was for the long-stem component and saliva production for her tummy/to help prevent her ulcers.

    She has mixed grass hay in front of her all the time, so maybe its not that big of a deal if I give up on alfalfa cubes adn go with beet pulp...
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    747

    Default

    I second trying the Alfa A from dengie. Might be slightly more expensive, but I am yet to come across a horse who doesn't love it. I also dabble with ulcer issues so her nutritionist advised me to have a bucket with Alfa A and Alfalfa pellets mixed together (50:50) and always available to get her to eat more fiber and help with her tummy issues. She will actually leave her grain and eat the Alfa A!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2009
    Posts
    2,576

    Default

    Maybe your horse doesn't like the texture/shape of a cube?

    Try feeding timothy pellets. Then switch over to timothy/alfalfa pellets. Then switch over to alfalfa pellets.

    Pellets are small and more grain like. You could over time sneak in a 1/2 cup at a time then increase.

    It would be hard for a horse to sift through pellets mixed with the regular grain, however some horses are quite clever.

    I found by wetting alfalfa cubes it gave them a smell to them and a bitter taste. I don't wet them any more, and only get pellets which do not require water. I have one horse who will eat the wet alfalfa cubes and one who will not. The one who likes things wet to sloppy, go figure, when I am on an endurance ride and come into a vet check and feed him, he refuses to eat ANY wet food. It must be dry for some reason. ?? This horse eats any food - literally - any way you dish it up. For a vet check I would give him some grain, shredded bp, and either tim or alfalfa pellets, white salt, apples, carrots, and anything I didn't eat for my lunch.

    You may also try to start giving him treats as the alfalfa cubes. Small ones. I get only the mini cubes and feed those as treats. I break them up into small pieces btw. I only feed pellets these days, no more cubes or mini cubes as a regular feed. To scary on choke. If you go out to the pasture to visit the horses take hay cubes with you, and if yours won't eat them, let him SEE you giving his treat away. Might change his mind on seeing others eat and not him. I have had the power of peer pressure work on eating things.

    Good Luck!!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SCMSL View Post
    I second trying the Alfa A from dengie. Might be slightly more expensive, but I am yet to come across a horse who doesn't love it. I also dabble with ulcer issues so her nutritionist advised me to have a bucket with Alfa A and Alfalfa pellets mixed together (50:50) and always available to get her to eat more fiber and help with her tummy issues. She will actually leave her grain and eat the Alfa A!
    This isn't possible to do, she's turned out with my gelding who is a piggy, and would certainly eat all of it in one sitting! LOL!
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rmh_rider View Post
    Maybe your horse doesn't like the texture/shape of a cube?
    She will eat them dry (I just won't feed them this way). When I soak them, and she isn't being finicky, she will eat only the ones that are broken up, and leave any that didn't break up. It makes no sense to me, since she eats them as cubes dry, but once I soak them, any that remain a "cube" she doesn't eat...

    Try feeding timothy pellets. Then switch over to timothy/alfalfa pellets. Then switch over to alfalfa pellets.
    She doesn't like alfalfa pellets, no matter how slowly I try to introduce them. The idea behind feeding cubes was for the long stem forage, but if she won't eat them, and I'm going to feed pellets, I know that she likes beet pulp pellets.


    You may also try to start giving him treats as the alfalfa cubes. Small ones. I get only the mini cubes and feed those as treats. I break them up into small pieces btw. I only feed pellets these days, no more cubes or mini cubes as a regular feed. To scary on choke. If you go out to the pasture to visit the horses take hay cubes with you, and if yours won't eat them, let him SEE you giving his treat away. Might change his mind on seeing others eat and not him. I have had the power of peer pressure work on eating things.
    She willingly will give up her dish for her boyfriend to eat them!

    I guess I'm just stuck on "making" her eat the cubes for the long stem component, but is that REALLY that important if she has hay available 24/7 and does eat that? I'm just stuck on alfalfa cubes...

    GRRR!

    My other horse eats whatever I put in his dish...even things that are supposed to have a nasty taste like bute...he will lick it off the bottom of his dish...wierdo!
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,341

    Default

    I hate to state the obvious but why not give her actual alfalfa hay instead of cubes or pellets?
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,481

    Default

    For two reasons:

    1) Its not readily available here, and the bales at TSC are $18.00 each
    2) My gelding would eat it all because they're turned out together
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,481

    Default

    And separate turnout isn't an option for two reasons:

    1) the pasture is not set up to accomodate separate areas
    2) part of managing her ulcers is having her with a buddy
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,341

    Default

    You could try what I call alfalfa soup - drizzle a little molasses over them before adding hot water.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 3, 2002
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    754

    Default

    Try a different BRAND of alfalfa cubes. I've notice the color, smell and appearance of alf. cubes can differ greatly.

    If that doesn't work, just replace some of her hay for straight alfalfa hay. I've never met a horse yet that doesn't scarf it up.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 3, 2002
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    754

    Default

    Regarding the cost of alfalfa hay- If you can get Standlee Compressed Alfalfa Bales (my TSC carries it) it's $17-18 per bale, but they're like 40-45 lbs. so not a bad price and all the horses love it.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,481

    Default

    See posts #12 & #13 - alfalfa hay isn't an option.

    I have tried 4 different brands of cubes and pellets, and she is the same with all of them.

    So, am I being too pushy about her tastes for what I think is for her own good, and should I just bag the alfalfa cubes and give her what she likes, which is beet pulp?
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,341

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    See posts #12 & #13 - alfalfa hay isn't an option.

    I have tried 4 different brands of cubes and pellets, and she is the same with all of them.

    So, am I being too pushy about her tastes for what I think is for her own good, and should I just bag the alfalfa cubes and give her what she likes, which is beet pulp?
    I am curious are they not separated when you are trying to get her to eat her cubes? The compressed forage like TS sells takes less time IME for them to eat than cubes (dry or soaked)- generally they hoover it up. So why not just give her a pound or two of the compressed hay in place of the cubes?
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    15,530

    Default

    If she's not eating the soaked cubes that haven't broken up, then just make sure they are all broken up. Simple solution as far as I can see.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    4,481

    Default

    LauraKY - she is picky about the entire thing, but will definitely leave the whole cubes.

    It literally takes her an hour to eat 1 lb of alfalfa cubes, that is how picky she is. I do separate them for eating, but don't have an hour to stand around while she nit-picks through and then sometimes doesn't even finish the amount in the hour that she screws around being picky.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: Aug. 25, 2012, 02:55 PM
  2. Alfalfa pellets vs. cubes
    By mpsbarnmanager in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Dec. 2, 2011, 07:00 PM
  3. Alfalfa-Maize Cubes?
    By Secret Shopper in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Sep. 6, 2011, 03:24 PM
  4. Alfalfa Cubes Making a Horse Hot ??
    By qhwpmare in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Jan. 19, 2011, 01:34 PM
  5. Soaking Alfalfa cubes for a Cushing's horse
    By msj in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: Feb. 17, 2009, 10:22 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness