Some physical signs of aging are: The total diet, hay and grain combined (dry matter basis), should contain 12-14% high quality protein, 03. Every 3 days, replace another 1/4 of the old feed with alfalfa. Also, note that one pound of alfalfa pellets has the same nutritional value as one pound of hay. Demographic – reflects an age-group population within the whole horse population. Pellets and cubes are easy to pack and feed when trailering your horse long distances. No longer do you need to soak your hay or pellets. Alfalfa is palatable and a highly digestible food source for horses. Alfalfa pellets kept in a drum are quickly scooped out and fed to your horses in a bucket. Cushing’s horses often lose muscle mass to a higher degree than a normal aging horse. The amount of alfalfa cubes you feed a horse is dependant on the size and workload of the animal. of their body weight. and cubes, to a certain extent, are hard, 30 minutes of soaking before feeding make a suitable protein source for horses that have difficulty eating grass or hay because of dental problems. Now: “Grain” has been replaced by “concentrates,” or combination feeds carefully designed by equine nutritionists to meet … Horses are individuals, and their diet should be adjusted based on their fitness level and body condition. Some people, though, just don’t want to feed alfalfa — they believe it causes laminitis. Therefore, the key to feeding older horses is to use high quality protein from sources like alfalfa, soybean meal and canola meal without oversupplying their requirements. Feeding horses Alfalfa reduces or even eliminates the need for supplements which often have a laxative effect. Bagged alfalfa is nutrient consistent, and you know you’re getting what you pay for. Tasty but hard, best fed broken and soaked in water. Alfalfa is a high protein forage, so it makes an excellent supplement for horses that are protein deficient or for horses that have higher protein requirements such as senior horses or pregnant or lactating mares. Unfortunately however, some senior horses 20+ years start to run out of tooth reserves and become deficient in tooth surface leading to teeth and gum issues that result in loss of teeth. And since there is a risk of choking, don’t leave your animal unattended when it’s eating pellets. When is a horse considered “aged” or a “senior” with respect to nutrition? Therefore, the key to feeding older horses is to use high quality protein from sources like alfalfa, soybean meal and canola meal without oversupplying their requirements. Forage based pellets or cubes can be used to replace 10-50% of the long stem/chopped forages. Most of the senior feeds on the market have some type of forage included, whether it is alfalfa meal, soy hulls, beet pulp, or a combination of these ingredients. Chaffhaye Alfalfa is a high-fiber forage and excellent source of protein. So a 1000 pound horse would typically consume 20 lb of dry forage in a day. Alfalfa cubes are great for helping a horse gain or maintain weight. Alfalfa is most beneficial for horses with high energy needs due to their moderate to high level of exertion. Eating hay benefits horses in ways not obtainable by eating pellets or cubes. High in protein, but it is a much easier to digest protein than what they get from grain or such, so a good choice for oldies who's guts aren't so good at processing protein any more. Worn molars cannot chew hay and the horses have a difficult time swallowing and digesting the hay. As horses age they go through several changes that affect how and what you should feed them. A solid foundation of good nutrition is required for maintaining our old friends. Another fiber supplement is beet pulp, which contains about the same digestible energy as good quality hay. – 0.4% phosphorous, 0.6 – 0.8% calcium and added Vitamin C. Old horses are valuable and literally have a lifetime of experience under their ‘girth’. If made in the early stages of grain formation, oat hay alone is an excellent total ration for maintaining older horses while avoiding the imbalances and excesses that can come with alfalfa. It is a vitally important hormone; however, when elevated for extended periods, as in the case of high circulating ACTH, high cortisol levels could … Protein is essential for both the growth and repair of muscles, bone, cartilage, skin, hair, and blood. For instance, horses fed hay spend more time grazing, which produces saliva, promotes dental and digestive health, and prevents boredom. For these horses, maintaining them in pastures/paddocks where feed and water sources are reasonably close together will help so the old ones do not need to travel long distances. Complete feeds are designed for these senior horses that need to get all of their fiber and other nutrients from an easier to chew source. In addition, some older horses with reduced liver and kidney function find it difficult to excrete waste products associated with eating too much protein. In order to get an accurate measure of the hays’ nutritional value, it has to be analyzed. (HYPP is a potentially fatal inherited disorder related to elevated potassium levels.) Cubes are processed similarly, but the alfalfa hay isn’t pulverized but instead coarsely chopped into small pieces and then steamed. If the senior horse is maintained in a herd, they should be evaluated on a continuous basis because most will fall down the pecking order and are more easily bossed around. A reduction in fiber fermentation means that older horses receive less nutrients from forage resulting in higher quality forages being required. Especially horses, I've been around them most of my life but I am always learning more and enjoy sharing with others. But, there is a lot to choosing the right application for your horse, and storage is just one consideration. The amount of protein supplied by alfalfa can go a long way toward satisfying the high protein requirements of young growing horses. Many people soak cubes for 30 minutes before feeding. High-quality alfalfa should be leafy and bright green. Being soft, Chaffhaye makes it easy for horses with few or no teeth to handle. In hay storage areas, there is always a lot of hay left on the ground that needs to be picked up and discarded. As fed from the bag, it contains 9% protein. We recently decided to start feeding our horses alfalfa cubes, but we’re unsure how much to feed our horses. Alfalfa is higher in calories and protein than grass hays, which makes it an excellent choice to help to add weight to a thin horse. Aged horses lose body condition and muscle along the topline due to less efficient processing of certain nutrients in the older horse, most notably protein. Plus Pony Facts Every Owner Should Know. Alfalfa has a somewhat bad reputation among horse owners, but it is often misunderstood and utilized improperly. Both Alfalfa cubes and pellets have less dust than hay and are an excellent alternative forage source for horses with respiratory issues. When a horse can no longer maintain condition on that, then I start replacing some of the hay with soaked hay pellets. The basic ingredients of a feeding program for senior horses should include high quality forage, a commercial Some of my old school horse buddies will always feed alfalfa hay and aren’t convinced that alfalfa pellets and cubes are as beneficial to horses as feeding hay. Standlee is the premier manufacturer of alfalfa pellets and cubes. “Soaking a feed, such as alfalfa cubes, does make feed consumption easier on the horse. The Diet. Forage that has been dehydrated, ground and cooked to make pellets can technically replace hay. A combination of Alfa-Beet, Pure Grass Pellets and a High Fibre Cube can be the best senior horse feed options or for those who can’t even manage to … 7 Essential Tire Facts. High-quality alfalfa should be leafy and bright green. If a horse is in training or working hard, its calorie needs increase. Fiber sources include beet pulp, dehydrated alfalfa meal and soy hull. Alfalfa is palatable and a highly digestible food source for horses. Alfalfa cubes are chopped and compressed but not pulverized like pellets. Alfalfa cubes are more appropriate either for lactating mares or growing horses and as a partial forage substitute. Starch and sugar should be adjusted based on their fitness level and body or. 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