The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,266

    Default Alfalfa for boarding barn?

    I'm moving my horse to a boarding facility soon, but I'm also trying to tackle his unthriftiness, a little bit of rain rot and cribbing. I'd have him scoped to be sure of a diagnosis of ulcers, but the biggest equine practice in town doesn't have a long enough scope.

    His current diet is Strategy (that's what he came in on) and unlimited grass Hay. I just added 1 flake of alfalfa per feeding.

    The new barn feeds oats, corn, and grass hay, though they will feed anything "special" that the horse requires.

    Obviously it would be best for me $$ wise to use the barn's feeding protocol as best I can, and I'm totally pro whole foods for horses. I'd like to keep adding the alfalfa though, to see if that helps his tummy. Would you try pellets? Are they "as good" for tummies as actual alfalfa hay? I don't think I can provide enough real alfalfa hay.

    What about adding a high fat source? I know in humans that can ameliorate some tummy troubles.

    Eek! So many options!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    8,200

    Default

    Alfalfa pellets can replace alfalfa hay pound for pound - so if you wanted to give him a flake that weighs 5lbs, you can give 5 lbs of alfalfa pellets for the same effect.

    If you're suspecting stomach issues, I'd probably drop the Strategy for a lower NSC feed. Oats and corn are both rather high in NSCs (corn being very high).

    I've never heard of additional fat in the diet treating stomach issues in horses.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2011
    Posts
    151

    Default

    I agree with the alfalfa pellets.. Feed pound to pound.. Be careful of the amount of corn he gets, it is a recipe for disaster! I had a horse boarded and they went from a complete feed to whole corn.. I yanked him out of there so fast.. I didn't want a foundered horse!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    5,116

    Default

    I would avoid the corn.

    And yes, like others have said - go for the alfalfa pellets! Easy to feed, will add protein and calcium.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    3,572

    Default

    A client wants her horse getting 4 lbs of alfalfa a day, but I also only feed grass hay. We decided to feed hay cubes rather than the pellets. We got ones without a binding agent (100% hay).

    If pellets and hay cubes are both options for you, I would ask the BM which they prefer. Cubes are a bit more of a pain to scoop/weigh, but I like that they take her longer to eat.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,934

    Default

    You could also try chopped alfalfa forage, which I find is sometimes more palatable.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2007
    Posts
    797

    Default

    Alfalfa is hard to find in my area except..... in the fancy pet stores, where you can find 20-40lb plastic bags of organically raised dried alfalfa, marketed for rabbits, etc. Is there any reason I couldn't feed this to my horse, as a treat? Obviously it doesn't make sense for routine feeding, but for putting into a bedtime warm mash, or for tucking into her haynet for trailer rides... ? The bag says it contains nothing but dried alfalfa.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2008
    Location
    now in KCMO, and plan to stay there
    Posts
    3,027

    Default

    PSA, if you ue alf pellets, be sure to soak or at least moisten them well. Dry alf pellets = high probability horse will choke. (BTDT, got the Vet bill, because I did not know that ahead of time)
    Last edited by sdlbredfan; Dec. 27, 2013 at 11:05 PM. Reason: typo
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Posts
    685

    Default

    If you can, use the alfalfa cubes instead of the pellets. Cubes = long stem forage so pretty much as good as it gets. Pellets are too short/minced too finely to have those kinds of benefits.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,266

    Default

    Hmmm...he won't eat wet food - I've never wetted pellets. Do they really have to be wetted?

    What about that bagged stuff that is meant for rabbits?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,741

    Default

    The bagged alfalfa pellets for rabbits and other animals often have filler ingredients, including animal fat with nasty preservatives. Just make sure you check the labels first.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    9,733

    Default

    Been feeding alf pellets for a while... No one has choked yet.

    I'd not feed corn to anything with suspect ulcers .
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,272

    Default

    If you can add either alfalfa hay or pellets to manage suspected ulcers then also eliminate as much (all) grain as you can. Ditto the "no corn". A small amount of oats if you have to give some grain but you may find with the addition of alfalfa those calories are enough to eliminate the grain.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 1999
    Location
    A place called vertigo
    Posts
    12,430

    Default

    Treating the ulcers will do more than any change in feed to help your horse. I agree with the other posters that the oats/corn choice is not the best. If he does not start gaining weight after treating the ulcers, look at options such as senior feed, which is very palatable, easy to digest and puts weight on fast.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2011
    Posts
    151

    Default

    We have never wetted our alfalfa pellets.. You can get them at TSC, but I don't like them because the pellets are very big.. Our local mill carries and they are a lot finer.. My horse does well on them. He is in work 6 days a week till show season..



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,266

    Default

    I'm doing that too, Flash. Sorry, I didn't mention that. He is a wicked cribber and apparently has been his whole life, so I'm working on diet too. He'll crib on metal and wear it smooth. I'm kind of attacking this on all fronts.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,399

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sdlbredfan View Post
    PSA, if you ue alf pellets, be sure to soak or at least moisten them well. Dry alf pellets = high probability horse will choke. (BTDT, got the Vet bill, because I did not know that ahead of time)
    IME, it's WORSE to "moisten them well." Just wetting them without adding enough water to break them down and giving them enough time to do so just makes them swell into little sponges, which is just perfect for choking.

    My preference is to soak them into mash, but if I just couldn't do that and had to feed them, I'd feed them DRY, with some oil, and only to a horse that doesn't bolt their feed. My absolute last option would be to feed them just wet but not broken down.

    In this situation, I'd prefer to feed cubes.

    I'm very grateful that the barn owners buy a grass alfalfa mix high in alfalfa specifically for my horses. They do very well on it, but trying to bring in some alfalfa if it's not on the barns "menu" is a PITA.

    OGP, how about something like this for your horse? He'll be occupied (and not cribbing) and it should dispense slow enough that choke should not be a concern. Here's another version.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
    Posts
    3,059

    Default

    I suspected Finnegan had ulcers as he tends to be an anxious hourse. Scoping was not in the budget. I had him on a maintenance dose of pop rocks for a few months and Standlee alfalfa pellets. He gets grass hay and a RB from SmartPak. Even though he was in more work this summer than the previous summer he gained weight and looks really good.

    I eventually eliminated the grain and the pop rocks and a few months later he still looks great. We actually had to cut back his hay in the stall.

    He eats the alfalfa pellets pretty slowly, especially now there isn't grain mixed in, so I don't have a concern with choke. If you do worry about choke and he won't eat them wet, I would see if they could put grain in one bucket and alfalfa pellets in another. I have also known people to put big rocks or a couple of bricks in the feed bin to slow down a horse that bolts his food.

    We had a previous boarder that would get straight alfalfa bales. They were the heavy double compressed ones and she would bring over two bales at a time and the barn would give he a flake at each feeding. It can be doable but really depends on the storage and barn set up.

    I realize that the cubes are probably better than the pellets but I did not want to make the barn staff soak cubes.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2011
    Posts
    316

    Default

    Another vote for alfalfa pellets and dropping all corn out of the diet.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,266

    Default

    He doesn't currently get corn except for whatever is in the strategy. That's just what the barn feeds :-)

    He won't eat wetted cubes. I tried that when we were going through a minor hay shortage. He also won't eat beet pulp. I think he'll be fine with pellets because he is a very slow eater. I'd have to worry if it were any of my other horses!

    Thanks everyone!!!



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 22
    Last Post: Nov. 12, 2013, 04:45 PM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: Dec. 5, 2012, 03:25 PM
  3. Training Barn and Boarding Barn Management
    By LaraNSpeedy in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Dec. 2, 2012, 05:39 PM
  4. Boarding Barn, Lesson Barn, Show Barn
    By 7HL in forum Off Course
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Sep. 28, 2012, 09:22 PM
  5. Starting a boarding barn, what to have in the barn (supplies)
    By cswoodlandfairy in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Oct. 15, 2008, 08:14 PM

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