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Alpha A vs Regular Alfalfa pellets

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  • Alpha A vs Regular Alfalfa pellets

    Pellets do have more protein, but is there any other difference?

    For those of you who feed pellets, how much do you feed daily?
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  • #2
    I have never used Alpha A. Typically pellets will/can have some sort of binding agent such as bentonite added. Small amounts of bentonite is a good thing.

    As for the amount I feed that depends on the horse and the season. But I have fed in the past as much as 3lbs 2x daily. Would not hestitate to increase that if needs be....but would likely do it as a 3rd feeding cuz I tend to mix alfalfa pellets with other ingredients.

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    • #3
      Same weight and reasons as D Taylor, we use the large Standlee pellets either soaked or dry. We have in the past used the cubes but the pellets are just a little easier to handle.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        And what do you feed it with?
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        • #5
          Again that depends. I have my own oat crimper and mixer and change the feed formulation depending on the horse's needs, the year and hay quality/availability....even cost of ingredients influences my choices cuz I am feeding 19 head.

          It would probably be better to tell us why you are considering feeding alfalfa pellets or Aphla A and give some detail on the horse(s).

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          • #6
            By Alpha A do you mean Alfa A, the bagged chaff/forage? I use it and really like it. All of mine gobble it up.
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            • #7
              If it's indeed a chopped forage, then it would act as a long-stem fiber, where a-pellets would not.
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Yes, Dengie's Alpha A (the bagged chaff).

                I'm paying almost twice as much for Alpha A then I would for alfalfa pellets, so I'm considering changing. What I want to know is the implications of the change... would I have to up the hay? Is it not a good idea?

                Money is getting tight and I really need to lower the feed bill...
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                • #9
                  How much hay are you currently feeding? Why are you currently feeding the Alpha A?
                  ______________________________
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                  • #10
                    Are you feeding regular hay as well?
                    Caitlin
                    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Yep, last month she managed to eat 660kg, which is roughly 1455 lbs, or at least thats what I was billed for.

                      The hay is average (not super, but I've seen far worse), and about 1/3 of it is alfalfa hay.

                      She is having the Alpha A as a part of her ubber complicated diet for ulcer prone + poor doer + hard working horse.
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                      • #12
                        I think you'd be fine switching to alfalfa pellets. As to the amount, ? How much of the dengie is she eating now? If you're wanting to maintain weight, a pound is a pound. ie if you were feeding five lbs of dengie, you'd feed five lbs of pellets.

                        Oh, and she's eating almost 47lbs of hay per day based on your last post? Holy moly.
                        Caitlin
                        *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
                        http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

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                        • #13
                          Would you have to up the hay? Oh my Lord, no! LOL At least not as a result of switching off the chopped forage LOL

                          Are you SURE she actually consumed that much hay? As said, that's coming up on 50lb of hay every day for 30 days.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Yep, you can imagine my astonishment when the bill came. I asked them to feed add lib hay, but I would never have guessed she could eat this much.

                            I'm *hoping* there was some sort of mistake with the BO, but I'm at a new barn and don't want to raise too many waves... yet!

                            I asked for her hay to be put on a net at night, and I know a net weights around what, 20lbs? During the day she is currently out on a dry lot and always has a mash of beet pulp, alpha A and bran in front of her. Usually when I go pick her up, she still has a bit of it in the bucket.

                            So if I am charged for too much over 600lbs (20 x 30), I guess I'll have to have a chat with Ms BO.

                            Getting back to the subject... she is now on a fattening diet, having 4,5lbs of Alpha A. But I am also trying to cut on the bran, so if I wanted to stick with the same DE and protein, I'd have to double the pellets. She has the mash fed to her 3 times a day (3 feedings per day is standard at the barn). Would it be ok to feed 9lbs total, spread over 3 meals and mixed with beet pulp?
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                            • #15
                              Alfalfa pellets are essentially finely chopped forage compressed into pellets for easy handling/storage. When you soak the pellets you rehydrate the hay and break up the pellets. Therefore, IMO, hay pellets should be treated like any other forage, with some caution of course. Pellets can be consumed faster than long stem forage, they don't benefit the gut like long stem forage does, and there *can* be an increased risk of choke if fed dry or not properly soaked.
                              So yes it would be perfectly acceptable to do a soaked alfalfa pellet/bp mix fed 3x a day. You could comfortable feed 6-7 lb per feeding or more. However there will be some that will disagree because technically concentrates should only be fed at a rate of 5-6 lb a feeding max. However I disagree that hay pellets would be considered a true concentrate, because really they are just hay.

                              As for your horse's hay consumption, I would be curious about how they are calculating the charges. I have easy keepers that would certainly down 50+ lb of my nice 2nd cutting orchard grass, given the chance. But as for my hard keepers that live on it? Never. They might eat 30 + lb in the dead of winter, free choice.
                              come what may

                              Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

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                              • #16
                                I'm sorry to be pedantic, but it's Alfa A, not Alpha A.
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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Alfalfa pellets are essentially finely chopped forage compressed into pellets for easy handling/storage. When you soak the pellets you rehydrate the hay and break up the pellets. Therefore, IMO, hay pellets should be treated like any other forage, with some caution of course. Pellets can be consumed faster than long stem forage, they don't benefit the gut like long stem forage does, and there *can* be an increased risk of choke if fed dry or not properly soaked.
                                  So yes it would be perfectly acceptable to do a soaked alfalfa pellet/bp mix fed 3x a day. You could comfortable feed 6-7 lb per feeding or more. However there will be some that will disagree because technically concentrates should only be fed at a rate of 5-6 lb a feeding max. However I disagree that hay pellets would be considered a true concentrate, because really they are just hay.

                                  As for your horse's hay consumption, I would be curious about how they are calculating the charges. I have easy keepers that would certainly down 50+ lb of my nice 2nd cutting orchard grass, given the chance. But as for my hard keepers that live on it? Never. They might eat 30 + lb in the dead of winter, free choice.
                                  Thank you so much for your reply, I feel much more comfortable knowing I'm not too crazy about making this change. I am finishing my masters in Zootecnical Engineering so I do know how to design a diet, but nothing beats practical experience. My calculations show she will have the same protein and energy as on her previous regime, but with more lysine and methionine (always a good thing), less starch and a perfectly balanced Ca:P ratio, which means I'll be able to drop her calcium supplement. I was just afraid there might be some downside to this diet that I didn't know about, so thank you again.

                                  Just another question, how long do you soak the pellets for?

                                  I'm sorry to be pedantic, but it's Alfa A, not Alpha A.
                                  I stand corrected then
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                                  • #18
                                    The pellets only need 10 minutes or so to become soft enough to eat. They absorb water quickly. Especially if you buy the big fat ones that they sell at Tractor Supply. The small, harder ones may need a few more minutes.

                                    I HIGHLY recommend soaking the alfalfa pellets. IME, this is the number one thing that horses choke on.

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                                    • #19
                                      Yes, second Meadow36, I would definitely soak alfalfa pellets.

                                      I go with 10-15 minutes in hot water, longer in cold water. I've never soaked pellets in cold water so I don't have a time frame, probably at least 30 mins though. I use Standlee Alfalfa Pellets from TSC. Great quality, horses love them, good price.
                                      come what may

                                      Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Do you soak them in hot water, even in the summer?

                                        I'm afraid it goes rancid mixed with the beetpulp...

                                        I was thinking of mixing a hand full of the pellets with her balancer to counteract the acid in the stomach, but that would have to go in dry (I add the pre and probiotics to the balancer, and mixing them with water is never a good idea). I guess I should just feed the balancer by itself then. Thank you once again
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