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Alfalfa Pellets - Choke?

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  • Alfalfa Pellets - Choke?

    Since my guy is on his newer grass paddock and isn't terribly interested in eating his beep/alfalfa pellet mush when I bring it out in the morning can I leave just alfalfa pellets out there for him or would this be a choke concern? I'm worried about them going bad sitting out there wet...
    It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.

  • #2
    I'd worry a bit...do you have an area where you can sprinkle the pellets around so he'd be "grazing" them? Less chance of a few mouthfuls all at once and him choking away.

    Why are you feeding him beets/alfalfa pellet mush vs. something else without the "glop" factor (oats?).
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"

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    • #3
      I've had two horses choke badly on alfalfa pellets. I will not feed them. Now I use alfalfa cubes, because the horse had to chew them. If the horse is old and can't eat anything but mush, I'd use soaked alfalfa pellets I suppose. Otherwise, it's cubes for mine.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Trakehner View Post
        Why are you feeding him beets/alfalfa pellet mush vs. something else without the "glop" factor (oats?).
        I worry about the NSC and thinking ulcers may be an issue so want to get the alfalfa in him. And trying to up the protein.

        ETA: So you're saying there's little risk with the cubes though? Perhaps I could get a muck bucket and leave a goodly amount out there since he seems to be 'grazing' his supplemental feed...
        Last edited by Mosey_2003; Sep. 10, 2010, 01:26 PM.
        It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.

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        • #5
          Funny this thread should pop up now. My mare choked on alfalfa pellets just night before last. She managed to clear it without help from the vet, but we won't be feeding them dry again. No siree.
          "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp

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          • #6
            This is interesting. I've never had a problem feeding soaked beet pulp and alfalfa until a few weeks ago with my new horse. He choked. It looked like he choked on the BP, but could have been the pellets as well.

            I now have been feeding him just the alfalfa pellets, but completely soaked and like a mush. Have not had any further problems.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
              I've had two horses choke badly on alfalfa pellets. I will not feed them. Now I use alfalfa cubes, because the horse had to chew them. If the horse is old and can't eat anything but mush, I'd use soaked alfalfa pellets I suppose. Otherwise, it's cubes for mine.
              Interesting. I feed my horse alfalfa pellets and he eats them just fine dry (along with his ration balancer). Do you just find this a problem in horses that really bolt their feed? Or are they just more prone to choke on alfalfa pellets (over other pelleted feeds), and if so, why?
              Originally posted by RugBug
              Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.

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              • #8
                While treating my old mare for an alfalfa pellet choke, the vet explained that hay pellets are larger than the pellet size of senior feed, and also hay pellets are harder, while senior feed is made to be crumbly. Hence the choke risk for hay pellets.
                Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
                No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.

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                • #9
                  My Maggie will choke on a mere handful of them. Ask my DH how he learned this. When his ears quit bleeding, he agreed that he'd been advised she CANNOT eat them. Period.

                  She is not a bolter of feed by any means- she's just drier than the others, who knows. I quit buying them completely having decided DH may well risk it again.

                  I would not leave them out there for him, personally...unless I could maybe put them in a huge bucket with a lot of floor space in it so he has to somewhat graze on them...

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Hmmm, you know, novel idea here... Why the fruitbat don't I just give him alfalfa HAY?! I've been sitting here pondering this problem and this idea has just occured to me. <headdesk> For pete's sake, I'm dating a cow farmer that's BALING HIS STUPID ALFALFA RIGHT NOW! Excuse me, I think I need a nap...
                    It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.

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                    • #11
                      LOL, yes you should feed him alfalfa hay then! It's the best at helping with ulcers compared to the cubes or pellets.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                        I've had two horses choke badly on alfalfa pellets. I will not feed them. Now I use alfalfa cubes, because the horse had to chew them. If the horse is old and can't eat anything but mush, I'd use soaked alfalfa pellets I suppose. Otherwise, it's cubes for mine.
                        Interesting. My OTSTB has choked on alfalfa cubes. I wont do cubes. While I prefer actual hay, if I need to supplement with anything, I do soaked pellets only.

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                        • #13
                          My Dutch WB mare will choke on alfalfa cubes (or even alfalfa hay as she is very greedy to eat it quickly!) but does okay with alfalfa pellets mixed with whole oats (two parts oats to one of alfalfa pellet). Go figure.

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                          • #14
                            Odd, isn't it, how different horses can be?

                            My old man preferred his alfalfa cubes soaked. My old mare prefers them unsoaked. My young gelding doesn't care. I do prefer to soak them, but if the old girl wants hers dry, that's the way she'll get them.

                            The two I had with bad choke did bolt the pellets.

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                            • #15
                              When I was growing up my mom worked for our local horse Vet. He treated sooooo many horses for choking on alfalfa cubes. We used to buy them as treats but when we fed them we broke them off into little "flakes" and watched to make sure the horses chewed them well. The vet said the top two choking concerns he used to see was alfalfa cubes and hay strings.

                              When I couldn't get alfalfa bales anymore I fed my horse the pellets but I mixed them in with the rest of his grain. Only problem I had was a I was feeding him so much to make him maintain his weight that he became a fruit cake and was almost impossible to ride.

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                              • #16
                                We just had a little choke with Paco and soaked alfalfa pellets. The pellets aren't the whole culprit, but even soaked there are bits that stay hard. I didn't realize those would still present a a problem for him, but obviously those little bits are hard as heck and not chewable.

                                He's on all Senior Feed now. He loves it and is doing very well but he misses his hay. Thankfully he knows that he can't eat it and just plays with it to tick Katie off. It keeps him busy and out of trouble. Cubes are off limits too.

                                It scared me enough to soak the daylights out of the pellets and cubes the others get as a treat.
                                I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                                Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

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