• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

How to feed alfalfa Alfalfa pellets?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How to feed alfalfa Alfalfa pellets?

    I have an senior gelding that has been working his way back to a healthy weight after a bad lease situation... I started working some alfalfa hay into his orchard grass hay mix to help him get some extra calories along with his senior feed and a fat supplement called Omegatin by a company called Kent offered to him twice a day. I am seeing gradual results with this program but I am having difficulty finding a supplier that I like....the last time I had to throw out 2 out of ten bales due to mold!

    A border at my facility has a OTTB hard keeper and is raving about the progress she has been getting supplementing alfalfa pellets in addition to hay and grain... soooo I added a bag to my latest feed order..Well the bag arrives and there are NO instructions on the bag!!!! Grrrrrrrreat. very helpful right? I managed to google up some info about how some ppl soak the pellets in equal parts water and some ppl feed it straight... I also read that some ppl that fed it straight caused their horses to choke! Eeek! Soooo what is the proper way to feed alfalfa pellets and how much is a safe amount to add?

    Thanks everyone!
    don't squat with your spurs on!

  • #2
    You can feed them wet or dry. If your horse is prone to choke or has bad teeth/chewing due to age, soak them. Otherwise, feed them dry.

    My favorite pellets are Mountain Sunrise because of the small diameter (pencil-size) of the pellet.

    You can replace all of his hay (by weight) with pellets, if you wish, or feed a smaller amount that when combined with the weight of hay equals his total hay ration by weight.

    As with any dietary changes, start slow and build up.
    Last edited by ksojerio; Sep. 11, 2009, 10:22 PM. Reason: more info


    • #3
      It really depends on the size of the pellets to be honest. I fed my 6 yr old some alfalfa pellets, but I got the smaller ones since I was afraid of a choke with the bigger and fatter ones that were dense and more likely to get stuck. I fed them without soaking since they were so small, but if they were bigger I would have soaked them.

      If he were a senior gelding though, I would have soaked them despite the size of them as older horses are more prone to choke. I would soak them and create a mash to prevent the risk of a choke. I am afraid this is all the information I can really provide, but I would encourage you to soak them for 2-5 minutes before feeding-probably with his other food-just to keep him safe.

      Good luck.


      • #4
        Out here (Arizona) we feed giant sized alfalfa pellets. Most of the horses eat them dry. (Some, like mine, like to put them in the water bucket...) No problems. Back east I remember much smaller pellets. But hay bales are bigger out here, too!

        The really old horses and the one mare who is prone to choke don't get pellets, they get 'fines' made into soup. I'm guessing this is the stuff that goes into the machine to make the pellets, it's basically powder.

        ... and Patrick


        • #5
          The large square ones are alfalfa cubes. The small ones are pellets. Soaking the cubes is no problem for horses that can't chew very well, soaking the pellets can be a mess. Generally, if you just dampen the whole feed mix well, including the alfalfa pellets, he will do just fine. You can dampen them with water, or a combination of water and corn oil (which is much cheaper if you buy the store brand in a gallon jug at the super market than if you buy it at the feed store) to add extra fat. Omegatin is made by Blue Seal and probably your feed dealer is Kent, but they don't make it. Omegatin is a really good quality feed with chelated vitamins and minerals to keep them stable.

          Feed your guy about 1/2 - 1 lb per feeding of alfalfa pellets. He'll be much more liable to eat them if his feed is well mixed and dampened than just tossing them in by themselves. All my horses get them.
          Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
          Now apparently completely invisible!


          • #6
            I feed the pellets and it's really a double edged sword, which is why I'm going to experiment with alfalfa meal.

            The pellets are pretty big and we did have a yearling choke mildly while eating them. So the safest way to feed is to wet them down. BUT alfalfa pellets are quite resemblant of sponge monkeys. Soaked they become a huge gunky gross mess (that sticks to the sides of the feed buckets and the horses can't eat it all without you scraping the buckets).
            Celtic Pride Farm
            Become a fan on Facebook!


            • #7
              My horse would not touch them if they were soaked, so he eats them dry. Just started a couple of weeks ago and he seems to do fine and eats them willingly. He's already worked up to a little under a pound per feeding. He's a very slow eater though, so I'm not super concerned about choke as he doesn't really rush through his grain *knock on wood*.


              • #8
                If you want to soak them and are making a mess with it, just don't use so much water. When I "soak" them, I use just enough water that there is no excess "juice" -- the pellets lose their shape and become the texture of damp sawdust. (If you took a fistful of them and squeezed, no water would trickle out.) No "gunky gross mess" at all.

                Depending on the horse, sometimes I stir in some sweet feed as well.

                If you guess wrong and over water, you can just stir in another cup or so of pellets. Pretty soon, you figure out what amount of water it takes.

                Having had several horses choke on dry alfalfa pellets, I'd never again feed them dry. And none of the "chokers" were rushy eaters.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by greysandbays View Post
                  If you want to soak them and are making a mess with it, just don't use so much water. When I "soak" them, I use just enough water that there is no excess "juice" -- the pellets lose their shape and become the texture of damp sawdust. (If you took a fistful of them and squeezed, no water would trickle out.) No "gunky gross mess" at all.

                  Depending on the horse, sometimes I stir in some sweet feed as well.

                  If you guess wrong and over water, you can just stir in another cup or so of pellets. Pretty soon, you figure out what amount of water it takes.

                  Having had several horses choke on dry alfalfa pellets, I'd never again feed them dry. And none of the "chokers" were rushy eaters.
                  Ding ding ding. I agree with greysandbays 100% on this, having also had a slow eater choke once.


                  • #10
                    Yep, one nasty choke will cure you of feeding pellets dry. I wet mine down for every horse, and I add different amounts of water depending on what each horse likes. The toothless pony gets them sloppy wet, because if they get to texture of meal, she stops eating. She seems to need the excess water to be able to swallow them. She licks her feed tub clean. I can see how this method would be a problem for wall-mounted feeders, though.

                    Horses with good teeth may prefer them less wet. But make sure there is enough water so they dissolve.

                    The problem with pellets seems to be if the horse swallows and they don't go all the way down. They take another bite, and meanwhile, the pellets in their throat are busy absorbing moisture and expanding. They can really pack down and cause a scary, difficult-to-clear choke. I've spent quite a few hours while vets work through pellet-chokes, and the look on the vet's face is enough to cure you of wanting to feed them dry, no matter how much easier it is.

                    Why have I seen more than one case of choke if one is enough to cure? Because I volunteered for a rescue and would go out to meet the vet after frantic calls from foster homes. It wasn't my horses, nor my feeding choice.

                    For weight gain, I've had good success adding rice bran pellets to the aged pony's diet. She went from gaunt to merely thin. She has cancer, so I can't expect miracles. I added them to an OTTB's diet, too, and it took care of that last bit of rounding out I wanted to see. They are both also on alfalfa pellets, and have been for a long time. Rice bran added some palatable fat, in addition to having a decent amount of protein.

                    Added benefit to wetting pellets: helps hydrate the horse. This is especially important in the winter when we worry about them not drinking enough.
                    "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                    • Original Poster

                      I'm feeding him a cup soaked now....it does create a mess but he scarfs it right up ( guess he likes the old man mush) I think I'mm work my way up to three cups or a pound worth soaked with all his other bells and whistles to try and keep him at weight through the winter. Thanks everyone!
                      don't squat with your spurs on!