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Feeding alfalfa cubes to an older mare

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  • Feeding alfalfa cubes to an older mare

    I am moving my mare to a new state and the barn she is going to only feeds alfalfa cubes (no hay). She's an easy keeper and has never had alfalfa before (only timothy hay). Should I be concerned about tummy issues/colic/etc. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  • #2
    It can cause issues and is not the best thing for a horse to only be on alfalfa. Why do they only feed alfalfa cubes? Do they at least soak them?

    I would certainly look for another barn.

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    • #3
      If that is the only choice I would start her on soaked cubes now to help her adjust. But I would also look for a different barn.

      Comment


      • #4
        A lot depends on how good her teeth are, and whether she has a history of choke. Soaking the cubes may be necessary or at least beneficial. Find out ahead of time the answer to the 'What if' question of 'What if maresie needs something more, will you feed it if I provide it?'
        If the mare does have any trouble maintaining weight just on the forage, then you might have to get some type of commercial feed to supplement her diet. I agree with the suggestion to keep looking for a less rigid/more varied feeding plan barn.
        Last edited by sdlbredfan; Mar. 6, 2013, 08:29 PM. Reason: add content
        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.

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        • #5
          I'm currently caretaking an older mare who cannot eat hay and she's doing fine on alfalfa cubes plus a senior feed (beet pulp based). Make sure they will thoroughly soak the cubes in lots of water as they can be rock hard and some horses choke on them if not made soupy.

          There are also timothy or timothy/alfalfa cubes available, maybe they would get some for your horse. Ideally horses do better if they have long stem hay whereas cubes are short, chopped stems but they can do ok on them.

          I can't believe a barn wouldn't provide hay for paying customers, Are you sure you want your horse at this place??
          "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            This is Nor Cal - Bay area. Hay is in short supply. it's very common here. Thanks for the tips.

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            • #7
              I'd definitely start on alfalfa cubes now to help her adjust. Also see about getting her offered many small feedings per day if possible to help alleviate boredom. You can also slow-feed alfafa cubes by putting an Amazing Graze or Nose-It toy in a shallow water trough.
              Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by davistina67 View Post
                It can cause issues and is not the best thing for a horse to only be on alfalfa...
                Who says its not the best thing for a horse to receive only alfalfa hay? Plenty of horses live long healthy lives living on alfalfa as their forage source...
                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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