How Much Alfalfa Cubes To Feed A Horse?

So if you’re feeding nothing but alfalfa cubes, you should feed 1.5 to 2 percent of the horse’s body weight per day. If you’re giving it in addition to hay and/or grain, the total of everything should add up to 1.5 to 2 percent of the horse’s body weight.

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  • How Much Hay Cubes To Feed A Horse? should eat approximately 16 pounds of alfalfa cubes per day. Horses are individuals, and their diet should be adjusted based on their fitness level and body condition. If you notice your horse losing weight, feeding 1.5% of its body weight in alfalfa increase the volume of cubes you’re feeding.

How much alfalfa should I feed my horse a day?

Horses can normally eat 1.5-2% of their body weight in hay, which equates to 18-24 lbs. of hay per day. The quality of the hay will determine how much is needed and if supplemental grain should be added. Good alfalfa can be 18-20% protein and 55% TDN or energy.

Will alfalfa cubes put weight on a horse?

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. If your horse tends to be wasteful with his hay, he may eat more when offered alfalfa hay cubes or pellets.

Can I feed alfalfa cubes instead of hay?

Forage cubes can be fed just like hay, at a 1:1 ratio of the like hay type the horse currently consumes. For example, you would replace five pounds of alfalfa hay with five pounds of alfalfa cubes and adjust the amount if needed to maintain the animal’s proper weight.

Can horses eat too much alfalfa?

Alfalfa hay can cause diarrhea in a horse that overeats it because the hay is rich and full of nutrients. Overeating alfalfa can also cause a horse to have excess gas, develop laminitis, and founder.

Can horses eat range cubes?

I have had horses do just fine on them but also had a few choke on them. For those who choked I had to wet it down/ soke the cubes before I feeding. When feeding cubes I fed three or four times a day instead of twice. I feed cubed or pelleted hay to my horses when I pack into remote areas.

How much does a 3 quart scoop of grain weigh?

The ‘standard’ horse sized food scoop can hold 3 quarts, which is APPROXIMATELY 3 lbs of food. But again, this varies. If you have a kitchen scale, use this to weigh out one full scoop.

Do you weigh alfalfa cubes wet or dry?

They should be at the least moistened if not soaked as they are dry and create a dry throat and choke opportunity if the horse does not chew well or tries to bolt them down. I would fill a bucket with dry cubes 20 – 24 quart size {5 gallon}. Weigh it if possible, remember to account & add for the pail weight.

How do you introduce alfalfa cubes to horses?

Adding Alfalfa Cubes to Your Horse’s Diet. Start by replacing 1/4 of your horse’s old feed with alfalfa cubes. Add alfalfa cubes to your horse’s diet gradually, as sudden dietary changes can cause health issues. If alfalfa cubes will be its primary feed, replace 1/4 of its old feed with alfalfa cubes.

How long do you soak alfalfa cubes for horses?

How long the cubes are soaked and the amount of water used depends somewhat on the horse’s preference. Generally, at least 20-30 minutes are needed with equal parts water to soften the cubes.

Are pellets or alfalfa cubes better?

Alfalfa cubes overall are better than pellets for our purposes. Pellets can’t be a substitute for alfalfa hay, but cubes can. Alfalfa cubes are convenient, provide high nutrient value, and have little waste.

How many hay cubes should I feed my horse?

Cubes made from a mixture of alfalfa and whole corn plants may also be available. We have used hay cubes as the sole source of fiber in several research studies at Rutgers with good results, feeding up to 12 to 15 lbs of cubes per horse per day.

Is alfalfa cubes good for horses?

Alfalfa cubes can be used effectively as the sole source of roughage for all classes of horses. Because of the high nutrient values for energy, protein, calcium, and vitamins, alfalfa cubes are very effective in feeding programs for broodmares and young growing horses.

How much hay is in hay cubes?

Feeding Cubes When replacing long-stem baled hay with forage cubes, you would replace one pound of hay with one pound of forage cubes.

How Many Alfalfa Cubes Equal a Flake?

“Can you tell me how many alfalfa cubes constitute one flake?” When I was having tea with a new horse owner in my neighborhood yesterday, I was approached and interrogated. Because it is a frequently requested subject, I have chosen to provide an answer here as well. Alfalfa cube is a high-nutrient feed alternative for horses that is easy to prepare. They are not only given to fill the belly, but they are also used to cure a variety of medical conditions. Flakes are a thin, easily separated rectangular section of a horse bale that can be easily separated from the rest of the bale.

With that out of the way, let’s go right into helping you figure out what the blue clues are for the day’s subject!

It is mostly determined by the weight of the alfalfa cubes.

Note On the basis of this general estimate about the weight of hay flakes and Alfalfa cubes, we have arrived at our answer.

Flakes can weigh less or more than 5lbs

It is commonly accepted that hay flakes weigh 5 pounds each (and they are most of the time). However, the weight of the flakes varies depending on the type of material utilized. For example, Bermudagrass flakes may weigh between 4-5lbs, whilst alfalfa hay flakes may weigh up to 6lbs (even though they appear thinner). I trust that these points have answered the majority of your questions. The alfalfa cubes can vary in weight from more than 5lbs to less than 5lbs, just as the hay flakes can. You should never feed your horse by volume in order to meet his or her daily food and nutritional requirements.

To put it another way, if you are feeding 10 pounds of hay flakes every day, you must replace them with alfalfa cubes equivalent to 10 lbs in weight every other day.

Why should you never feed Alfalfa Cubes the horse by volume?

Over and under supplementing are typical problems that result in horses being sent to the veterinarian, thus it is vital to feed the horse by the pound in order to maintain the same energy levels. It is advised that you feed the horse by the pound in order to meet his daily nutritional requirements. Hay flakes appear to be bigger than alfalfa cubes in appearance, although they are around the same weight. For example, if one is intrigued by the size of a flake, he would give more alfalfa cubes because they are not as large as flakes.

How much alfalfa cubes should weigh if you are about to eliminate the hay flakes from their food?

Horses consume around 1.5 to 2 percent of their body weight on a daily basis, thus the alfalfa cubes should be approximately the same weight.

How to feed alfalfa cubes and hay flakes both at the same time? How to determine the weight?

Horses cannot be put on a new diet in a single day; they require time to adjust to the new diet. As a result, if the horse has been given hay flakes his whole life, you must gradually introduce alfalfa cubes into his diet. It is necessary to initially calculate 1.5 to 2 percent of the horse’s total body weight in such situations. Read our in-depth post on How Much Does a Round Hay Bale Weigh?

to learn more. Dividing it in half will give you a clear indication of how much each hay flake and alfalfa cubes should each weigh on their own. They should be the same weight, and the combined weight of both (alfalfa and flakes) should equal 1.5 to 2 percent of the animal’s total body weight.

How to weigh soaked alfalfa cubes?

To reduce the risk of choking, alfalfa cubes are frequently offered wet to avoid choking. In such cases, dried alfalfa cubes should be weighed in accordance with the above-mentioned requirements before being soaked and fed to the animals.

FAQ’s

It is dependent on whether you have a typical diet or solely consume Alfalfa. If you are only feeding Alfalfa cubes, 1.5 to 2 percent of body weight is sufficient if you are only feeding them. If you are adding grain or hay, you should add 1.5 to 2 percent of your total body weight, including previous diets, to your total body weight.

Can alfalfa cubes replace hay?

Hay of high quality and free of mold is a vital necessity for the horse’s nutritional needs. If mold-free and high-quality hay is not readily accessible, Alfalfa cubes can be used as an alternative feeding source. Researchers have discovered that hay cubes have the same availability of nutrients and energy as fresh hay. Some Words of Wisdom It is not advisable to rely on Google when attempting to determine the weight of alfalfa cubes or hay flakes, even if the results are exact (for example, Bermudagrass flakes weigh up to 5lbs).

Never disregard the notion of weighing flakes and cubes by the pound; if the concept is too complex, get expert assistance to simplify it.

Conclusio n

Generally speaking, one alfalfa cube is equivalent to one hay flake, according to a widely held belief (even if it appears huge). The normal weight of alfalfa cube and hay flake is around 5lbs, although it might be more or less depending on the variety. In order to provide a correct response to this query (how many alfalfa cubes equal one flake), It can only be determined by weighing the flake at the time of feeding because the weight of flake might vary depending on the type of grass used in it during the processing.

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How many Alfalfa Cubes?

We’ve been feeding the finger-sized pellets to our horses once a day for the past seven years. We only give them dry food. The horses have access to water, but they don’t appear to have a strong want to gallop over to it when they are eating pellets. Perhaps the larger stones will require soaking, but the smaller ones have never been a source of concern. – 3 horses, who have been fed at least once a day for the past 7 years. Putting huge boulders in the buckets can keep them from gobbling, however I don’t do this and my horses don’t gobble.

  • A large number of horses in Arizona are completely unfamiliar with the concept of a pasture.
  • They are really intelligent.
  • In addition, when it rains heavily, the corral becomes a swampy mess.
  • However, because they consume the pellets directly from their buckets, there is no waste.
  • That doesn’t happen very frequently or for very long in southern Arizona, although they have recently gone three days without eating pellets.
  • You’re holding out for the good stuff, aren’t you?” As soon as it became evident that no pellets were on the way, they gradually gave up and settled for hay.
  • I don’t have the resources to put my hay through its paces.
  • As a result, it provides a consistent source of nourishment I can rely on.
  • In the summer, they are fed pellets produced from Bermuda hay, which means they are getting less calories.
  • I honestly don’t know how I’d manage to keep my horses healthy if they weren’t here.
  • Using an old coffee can, scoop them up and throw them away.

Oh. In addition, I purchase wheat bran. For my horses’ biotin supplement, I first sprinkle wheat bran on their pellets before mixing in the supplement and feeding them that way. They adore the wheat bran and will eat just about everything I add into it, which is quite a lot. It’s completely dry.

3 Ways to Feed Your Horse Alfalfa Cubes

Alfalfa cubes are a nutritious and practical horse feed alternative that is available in cube form. A variety of horse health conditions may be managed with their use, and they are more convenient to store and move than bales of hay. The introduction of alfalfa cubes over a 10-day period is recommended since horses are not used to rapid dietary changes. Due to the possibility of spoiling, you’ll want to keep your alfalfa cubes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

  1. 1 Begin by substituting alfalfa cubes for a quarter of your horse’s current diet. Increase the amount of alfalfa cubes in your horse’s diet gradually, as unexpected dietary changes might result in health problems for your horse. Replace one-quarter of the previous diet with alfalfa cubes if alfalfa cubes are to be the principal source of nutrition. Combine the cubes with the animal’s old feed to help it become used to its new diet’s digestive tract and taste receptors.
  • Consider the following scenario: you feed your horse a total of 18 pounds (8.2 kg) of food every day, divided into three meals. 2 pounds (0.91 kg) of alfalfa cubes should be substituted for every 6 pounds (2.7 kilogram) of old feed in each meal. Even if you’re supplementing your horse’s diet with alfalfa cubes, you should offer them to him in small doses at first. Start by replacing 25% of the previous feed with alfalfa cubes if alfalfa cubes will represent 50% of the animal’s diet in the future.
  • 2 Allow the cubes to soak for 10 minutes before incorporating them into the old feed. Pack each cube into a hay net made of nylon, a mesh laundry bag made of mesh, or any bag made of a material that will allow for proper drainage. Place the net or bag in a big bucket, and then fill the bucket with enough water to completely cover the cubes. Allow the cubes to soak for a few minutes, then remove the net or bag from the bucket and combine the cubes with the old feed in your horse’s trough.
  • If your horse has a history of choking or chewing issues, it’s critical that you soak the cubes first. In the event that your horse does not have any of these difficulties, soaking is not necessarily essential
  • Yet, most horses prefer the consistency of soaked cubes. By eliminating the sugar from the horse’s system, soaking also assists horses that are insulin-resistant (sensitive to sugar) or who are prone to heaves by reducing dust and allergens.
  • 3) After three days, increase the number of cubes by a quarter again. Increase the amount of alfalfa cubes in your horse’s diet gradually over a period of 7 to 10 days, starting with a little amount at first. Every three days, add another quarter of the old feed to the new alfalfa
  • It is recommended that you gradually change your horse’s diet to avoid intestinal issues. However, if your horse appears agitated or if you detect any changes in its bowel motions, you should contact its veterinarian immediately.
  • 4 Experiment with the consistency of the feed to discover the consistency that your horse like. A soupy consistency is preferred by certain horses, whereas cubes that have been slightly softened are preferable by others. Consider experimenting with the quantity of water you use and the length of time you allow the cubes to soak if your horse is being finicky about its new meal.
  • It is possible to extract more sugar from cubes if you use more water and soak them for a longer time. If your horse doesn’t appear to be enjoying the cubes, try reducing the amount of water you use or check if it likes dry cubes instead. Dry cubes should only be used if your horse has strong teeth and has never had a problem with choking.
  1. 1 Feed your horse alfalfa cubes that have been soaked in water to help control heaves. In order to keep your horse’s respiratory issues under control, you must limit its exposure to dust. Alfalfa cubes contain far less dust than hay and rolled grains, making them an excellent alternative for people who suffer from heaves or allergies. A 10-minute soak can help remove any dust or allergies from the cubes
  2. However, this is not recommended.
  • Before soaking the cubes, rinse them thoroughly and agitate them while they are soaking to eliminate any remaining dust and grime.
  • 2 Alfalfa can be used to supplement the diets of broodmares and workhorses. Horses who are pregnant and very active require more nutrition than horses that are not pregnant and do not receive much movement. The protein and calcium content of alfalfa is higher than that of grass hay, making it a desirable feed choice for horses with higher nutritional requirements.
  • In general, a horse should be fed between 1.5 and 3 percent of its body weight on a daily basis. When in doubt about how much to feed your pregnant or very active horse, see your veterinarian for guidance
  • 3 Soak and drain cubes for horses suffering from insulin resistance are available. Cubes that have been thoroughly soaked can have their sugar level reduced by 30%, making them better for horses with sugar sensitivities. It’s also vital to throw out the water since that’s where the sugar is going to end up. Place a serving of cubes in a large colander or strainer, set the colander or strainer in a big bucket, and soak the cubes for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature. After removing the strainer from the bucket and allowing the water to drain entirely, you may feed your horse.
  • If you’re using a hose, you won’t be able to manage the temperature of the water very well. If you’re only soaking the cubes for 10 minutes, the temperature of the water won’t make much of a difference
  • But, utilizing warm water can reduce a 1 to 2 hour soak period in half.
  • 4 Feed soaking cubes to senior horses in order to keep them at a healthy weight. Older horses have difficulty chewing and keeping their body weight stable. Alfalfa cubes that have been soaked in water are simpler to consume and contain more nutrients than grass hay. Prepare the cubes by soaking them for 10 to 30 minutes, or until they are mushy and soupy, before feeding them to an older horse.
  • For best results, experiment with different soaking procedures while keeping an eye on your horse’s feeding habits to determine its favorite consistency.
  1. 1 Limit the amount of feed given to the animals by managing the feed portions. The majority of horses prefer alfalfa hay to grass hay and will consume much too much if permitted to free feed. Before feeding your horse, weigh the meal amounts to ensure that it maintains a healthy weight and avoids stomach difficulties.
  • The appropriate amount of feed for your horse is determined by his or her activity level, age, and weight. To keep your horse’s weight stable, feed it around 2 percent of its present weight on a daily basis. You should feed your horse 2 percent of its optimal body weight whether it needs to gain or lose weight. Consult with your horse’s veterinarian if you need assistance with meal planning.
  • To avoid wood chewing in your horse, provide hay or straw to cover the ground. It takes less time to chew alfalfa cubes than it does to chew hay, especially if the cubes have been soaked beforehand, according to research. Horses may grow disinterested as a result, which may result in greater wood chewing. Maintain its interest by providing it with long-stemmed hay or straw bedding to gnaw on
  • Horses should not be allowed to eat wood. They are unable to digest wood, and splinters can cause serious injury to their mouths and digestive systems if swallowed.
  1. 3Protect alfalfa cubes from the elements to keep them from spoiling prematurely. Alfalfa cubes are susceptible to deterioration, so keep them in a dry, weatherproof location, such as a garage or a waterproof shed, to prevent them from going bad. Cubes for horses are commonly sold in sacks weighing 50 pounds (23 kg). Keep moisture out of an unsealed bag by closing it with a clip or transferring the cubes to an airtight storage container.
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  • Weight tapes can be used to estimate the weight of your horse. Drain saturated cubes by using fine mesh materials such as nylon hay nets or a strainer with small drainage pores. A lot of the soaked alfalfa will be lost if you have too many drainage holes in your system.
  • Consult your horse’s veterinarian before making any dietary modifications, especially if your horse is older, pregnant, or suffering from any health problems.

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Forage is the foundation of all horse feeding plans, regardless of their class. It is important to note that forage provides a wide variety of minerals, and that the fiber given by forage is critical to the horse’s digestive health. Hay and pasture are the most common fodder sources for horses, but when growing or harvesting conditions make them inaccessible, horse owners must look for alternate forage sources to feed their animals. Forage cubes are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to feeding long-stem hay to livestock.

The availability of certain items will vary depending on the location of the provider.

When it comes to alfalfa cubes, there are benefits and drawbacks to consider when deciding whether or not to include them in your horse’s feeding schedule.

Alfalfa Cubes Have a Number of Advantages

  • Feed waste has been reduced. Although cubes are not wasted to the same amount as long-stem hay, they are not as effective when fed on the ground. Equine nutritionists believe that long-stem hay allows horses to separate leaves from stems and consume only the bits they choose
  • However, this is not the case with cubes. Feed intake was kept under control. Cubed fodder is more convenient for horse owners to monitor and manage their horses’ daily consumption than long-stem hay because it is easier to monitor and regulate. Nutrient content that is consistent. The nutritional levels found in cubes are often more stable than those found in hay. Alfalfa cubes are marketed with a specified minimum nutritious content
  • However, this is not always the case. Dust has been reduced. Considering that cubes contain less dust, they are an excellent alternative to hay for horses suffering from respiratory difficulties. Handling is straightforward. Cubes can be handled mechanically in large quantities
  • Storage needs have been reduced. Cubes are denser than hay, requiring less storage space as a result of their density. Costs of transportation have been reduced. Cubes have a higher density than hay, allowing vehicles to be loaded to their maximum legal weight capacity. When dealing with hay, this is not always practicable. The cost of shipping cubes can be decreased if the shipping distance is the same as for other items. The ease with which it can be transported. It may be easier for horse owners to transport Alfalfa cubes to exhibitions or trail rides if they are smaller in size and take up less room in the trailer

Alfalfa Cubes Have Several Disadvantages

  • Excessive amounts of feed are consumed. The feeding of cubes must be done in a regulated way in order to avoid overfeeding and, more critically, to avoid major digestive disturbances. Handling. Alfalfa cubes require a storage place that is protected from the elements in order to avoid spoiling caused by excessive moisture. Cost. Processing increases the cost of the feed, and depending on the distance between the site of production and the point of sale, there may be extra expenses connected with transportation. The western United States, western Canada, and the province of Ontario are the primary suppliers of cubed alfalfa.

The Alfalfa Cube: What Are They and How Are They Made? Dehydrated cubes and suncured cubes are the two most common varieties of cubes. Alfalfa cubes are created from alfalfa that has been harvested at an early stage of maturity and has been partially dried in the field before being processed. A forage harvester is used to gather up the wilted alfalfa and slice it into little pieces. This material is delivered to a processing factory, where it is dried to 95 percent dry matter and cubed, before being recycled.

The cured forage is then bagged and delivered to a processing factory, where it is chopped and diced into smaller pieces.

It has been shown that Alfalfa cubes are equivalent in digestible energy, crude protein, and calcium content to long-stem hay (Table 1).

Because this product is marketed with a nutrient guarantee, cube purchasers are always given with nutritional information. When purchasing long-stem hay, the horse owner may be required to do a nutrient analysis on the hay to determine its nutritional value in most cases.

Table 1.Nutrient comparison between alfalfa hay and alfalfa cubes. a
Feed Type Dry Matter % Digestible Energy mcal/kg Crude Protein % Calcium % Phosphorus %
Alfalfa Hayb 90 2.48 19.9 1.28 0.21
Alfalfa Cubesc 89 2.45 19.0 1.44 0.22
aAll values are on a dry matter basis. bValues for the alfalfa hay are taken from the 1989 Nutrient Requirements for Horses. cValues for the alfalfa cubes are based on industry values from cube manufacturers.

Research using alfalfa cubes has revealed that cubes are an excellent forage component in horse diets when used as a forage component. Alfalfa cubes, on the other hand, must be fed in moderation since the cubes’ voluntary intake is significantly higher than that of long-stem alfalfa hay. Horses fed to their appetite devoured 17 to 25% more cubed alfalfa than long-stem hay when fed cubed alfalfa. Horses fed alfalfa cubes are more likely to consume all of the cubes provided, but horses fed long-stem alfalfa hay are more likely to sort through the hay and not consume all of the hay provided.

The researchers came to the conclusion that the horses fed cubed alfalfa consumed all of the feed offered, but the horses fed long-stem hay only consumed a fraction of the feed provided.

A part or all of the forage that horse owners normally feed their horses can be replaced with alfalfa cubes in feeding plans, according to the manufacturer.

Table 2. Feeding suggestions for different classes of horses using alfalfa cubes.1
Mature Horses at Maintenance500 kg or 1100 lb body weight
Alfalfa CubesTrace Mineral Salt 17 -18 lb per horse per day Free Choice
Broodmare in the 10th Month of Gestation500 kg or 1100 lb body weight
Alfalfa Cubes Concentrate Mix4 15 lb per horse per day 4 lb per horse per day
Mature Horse at Light Work 3500 kg or 1100 lb body weight
Alfalfa Cubes Concentrate Mix4 15 – 16 lb per horse per day 4.5 lb per horse per day
6-Month-Old Weanling Expected mature size 500 kg or 1100 lb. Current body weight 550 lb and growing at a rate of 1.25 lb per day
Alfalfa Cubes Foal Concentrate Mix5 8 – 9 lb per horse per day 5 lb per horse per day
1The feeding suggestions provided are to be used as guidelines for feeding alfalfa cubes. Horse owners should monitor the body condition of their horses and adjust the rations accordingly. 2The concentrate in the example is a commercial grain ration with a minimum of 10% crude protein, 0.75% calcium, 0.55% phosphorus, and 2000 IU/lb of vitamin A. 3Light work is considered to be activities such as Western and English Pleasure or Equitation riding. 4Horse owners can select a grain mixture that has a minimum of 10% crude protein and a crude fiber level not greater than 10%. 5Horse owners should use a commercial feed designed for foals. The foal ration in this example has the following levels: crude protein, 16%; calcium, 0.80%; phosphorus, 0.75%; and vitamin A, 5000 IU/lb. If a greater rate of growth is required, the level of concentrate should be increased and the daily intake of cubes decreased.
See also:  How Much Alfalfa To Feed A Horse? (Correct answer)

Horses fed processed diets have been shown to have a higher incidence of wood chewing, according to certain reports. The incidence of wood chewing in senior horses fed either long-stem alfalfa hay or alfalfa cubes was evaluated by the researchers. The fodder was provided to the horses at a rate of 2.5 percent of their body weight. There was no difference in the incidence of wood chewing depending on the diet. The development of the habit of chewing wood appears to be influenced by a variety of different circumstances, including boredom and the weather.

Alfalfa cubes are particularly useful in feeding regimens for broodmares and young developing horses because of their high nutritious contents in terms of energy, protein, calcium, and vitamins, among other things.

Controlling the daily consumption of alfalfa cubes is essential for all horses, but especially for the older horse at maintenance, in order to avoid overfeeding.

Alfalfa Pellets vs. Cubes: What’s Better for Your Horses?

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! On a recent visit to a friend’s horse farm, we noted that he’s feeding alfalfa cubes to his mares, which we thought was a nice touch. Seeing this prompted me to consider introducing cubes into our horses’ feed; however, I’m not sure if alfalfa pellets would be much better than cubes and would be less difficult to store.

Alfalfa pellets, cubes, and hay all have the same amount of vital elements per pound of weight as grain.

However, there are many factors to consider while selecting the best application for your horse, and storage is only one of them. This post is part of a series on horse hay that I published, with the main piece being:Horse Hay: An Owner’s Guide (http://www.horsehay.com/).

Type Nutritional value Price Storage Palatability
Alfalfa pellets 16% protein, 1.5% crude fat, and 30% fiber Prices vary from 15-40 dollars per 40 lb bag. Bags easy storage: 3/16ths to 1/2 inches pellets Tasty and easy to consume. Soaking slows eating and softens for senior horses.
Alfalfa cubes 16% protein, 1.5% crude fat, and 30% fiber Prices vary from 15-40 dollars per 40 lb bag. Bags easy storage: 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes Tasty but hard, best fed broken and soaked in water.
Alfalfa hay Each bale is different. Must be analyzed Prices vary by region 21 in wide, by 16 inches high, by 3 to 4 feet long. Tasty hay, long-stem forage.

Alfalfa pellets and cubes have the same nutritional value.

The stability of the nutritional value of alfalfa pellets and cubes is a big advantage of using these products. It is necessary to develop and test each batch to guarantee that it has the proper amounts of proteins, lipids, and fibers, which are indicated on the label of each container. A prominent producer and marketer of commercial alfalfa pellets and cubes, Standlee gives an analysis of their product on the bags of pellets and cubes that they sell, as well as on their website. I ran the pellets and cubes through the lab and discovered that they each contain a minimum of 16 percent protein, 1.5 percent crude fat, and 30 percent fiber, according to the study.

However, the protein content of alfalfa hay varies significantly depending on the age at which it is harvested, where it is cultivated, and how it is cured and stored.

Note: Forage is essential in the development and maintenance of horses’ huge muscular frames.

Alfalfa pellets have less dust than cubes.

Grass is chopped into small parts and crushed before being fed into a die, where steam is used to moisten the hay and make it more malleable so that it may be concentrated into pellets. Using a die vask, this concentrated alfalfa mixture is turned inside and forced through a series of perforations. The pellets depart the die while still heated, and they cool and solidify swiftly. Pellets range in size from 3/16ths of an inch to 1/2 inch in diameter. The finished product is pure alfalfa grass pellets that contain low moisture and little dust, as described above.

Cubes are processed in a similar manner, except that the alfalfa hay is not crushed but rather roughly cut into minute pieces and then steamed instead of pulverized.

Despite the fact that Alfalfa cubes contain somewhat more dust than Alfalfa pellets, both contain far less dust and waste than ordinary Alfalfa hay does.

Alfalfa pellets are more convenient to feed than cubes.

Alfalfa pellets are stored in a drum and scraped out swiftly to be fed to your horses in a pail of water. They require no pre-mixing and are acceptable for use on the majority of horses right out of the bag. The most serious worry is that some horses may swallow them up too quickly and choke on them. In addition, because there is a risk of choking, you should never leave your pet unattended while it is eating pellets. It is best to mix the pellets with their feed or soak them in water before giving them to your horse if your animal is a fast eater.

It is advised that each cube be split into smaller pieces to make it easier for your horse to consume.

Cubes are consumed more slowly than pellets, which is a positive development. For a variety of reasons, many individuals soak cubes for 30 minutes before serving. Aside from softening the cubes, soaking also boosts your horse’s water consumption, which is always a good thing in this situation.

Alfalfa cubes are a better source of forage than pellets.

Horses require long-stem fodder due to the specific digestive mechanism that they have. A minimum of 1 percent of their body weight in forage each day, such as hay or grass or chaff with some grain is advised for their nutritional needs. The majority of horses ingest 2 percent of their body weight in fodder every day if they have access to pasture grass or adequate volumes of hay to eat. As an example, a 1000-pound horse would ingest around 20 lb of dry grass each day. In order to improve digestion of their meal, horses require a diet that includes long-stem fiber, which pellets do not supply.

Pellets are not a suitable hay alternative due to the lack of long-stem fiber in the pellets.

Alfalfa cubes are cut and compacted, rather than being crushed as is the case with pellets.

If hay is short, you can feed pellets in conjunction with one of the two methods listed above to totally replace grass; however, you should not use pellets as a substitute for hay in their whole.

Soak alfalfa pellets when feeding to older horses.

When it comes to horses with dental difficulties, alfalfa pellets and cubes fed moist are an excellent choice. Pellets are tiny and easy to eat for elderly horses once they have been softened. Pellets and cubes are hard to a certain extent; 30 minutes of soaking before feeding transforms them into an acceptable protein source for horses that have difficulties consuming grass or hay due to dental issues. Pellets are a fantastic forage-based source of calories and protein for elderly horses that are unable to maintain a regular equine diet due to physical limitations.

Alfalfa cubes and pellets can cause colic.

Overeating and diets high in grains or concentrated meals are two of the most common causes of colic in horses, according to the ASPCA. Horses will consume far more alfalfa cubes and pellets than is necessary for their health if given the opportunity. Pellets are also abundant in alfalfa hay, increasing the likelihood of colic in the animals. A horse will most likely consume all of the alfalfa cubes that are given to them, but when offered alfalfa hay, they are fussy and will typically squander portion of it, according to the USDA.

Obesity and colic are caused by overindulging in alfalfa.

Colic is caused by the inability of pellets to transport food through the digestive tract since they do not include long-stem forage. It is vital to ration alfalfa cubes and pellets in order to avoid waste.

How much alfalfa cubes should a horse eat a day?

It was only lately that I began giving our horses alfalfa cubes, but I was confused of how much to give them at a time. As a result, I decided to do some research on alfalfa cubes in order to figure out how much to feed my horses each day. The amount of alfalfa cubes you feed a horse is determined by the size of the animal and the amount of labor it has to do. Horses consume around 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. of their body weight on a daily basis. Equine calorie requirements rise while they are training or working really hard.

should consume around 16 pounds of alfalfa cubes each day, according to the USDA.

If you observe that your horse is losing weight, you can give 1.5 percent of its bodyweight in alfalfa cubes and increase the number of cubes you’re giving him to compensate.

Are alfalfa pellets and cubes as good as alfalfa hay?

Older horsemen who still feed alfalfa hay are not convinced that alfalfa pellets and cubes are as healthy to horses as providing them with hay. As a result, I decided to investigate the advantages of hay versus cubes and pellets. Horses who consume hay get benefits that are not available to horses who eat pellets or cubes. Horses given hay, for example, spend more time grazing, which increases saliva production, boosts dental and digestive health, and minimizes boredom in the horses. Many horse owners assume that feeding their horses hay is the best option, but there are certain advantages to giving pellets and cubes instead.

Alfalfa is high-quality hay.

Horses are grazing animals with small stomachs, and as a result, they benefit from consuming modest quantities over a long period of time to maintain their weight. Food enters their stomach and goes through to their hindgut in a relatively short period of time. In addition, the long fibers of hay provide barriers that absorb acids, so preventing stomach ulcers from forming. Horses are prone to colic and boredom as a result of the rapidity with which they consume cubes and pellets. However, colic can develop for a variety of reasons, and feeding tiny quantities of soaking cubes and pellets to regulate their intake can help to lessen the likelihood of it occurring.

Because grazing horses eat constantly, their teeth are worn down more regularly over time, resulting in superior dental health.

Chewing also results in the production of saliva in the horse’s mouth, which helps to keep the meal wet and lubricates the intestines.

In addition to being pleasant, alfalfa is a highly digested feed for horses.

Alfalfa that is of high grade should be lush and brilliant green in color. The protein and vitamins are concentrated in the leaves, and the vivid green color indicates excellent curing, the absence of mold, and a high concentration of carotene.

There are some advantages of pellets and cubes over hay.

Pellets and cubes are convenient for transporting horses over long distances since they are easy to pack and feed. There is no waste when using cubes and pellets because they take up less storage space. There is usually a lot of hay left on the ground that has to be cleaned up and disposed of in hay storage places, which may be frustrating. Pellets and cubes are convenient for transporting horses over long distances since they are easy to pack and feed. There is no waste when using cubes and pellets because they take up less storage space.

When horses are fed hay, they frequently just take the leaves and leave the stems; but, when horses are fed pellets, they swallow the complete product.

Each bag is labeled by the manufacturer, allowing you to make simple adjustments to your horse’s diet.

A senior horse with missing or broken down teeth might benefit greatly from the use of pellets, which provide calories and protein in large quantities.

Take your time when switching from hay to pellets.

Horses have a highly sensitive digestive system that is readily upset when their food is altered significantly. As a result, adjustments must be implemented gradually over a period of ten to two weeks; otherwise, colic and other digestive diseases are a possibility. Introduce the pellets by placing them on top of your horse’s hay diet while concurrently reducing the amount of hay your horse consumes. Gradually increase the amount of pellets you feed your horse while decreasing the amount of hay you offer him on a daily basis.

Also, keep in mind that one pound of alfalfa pellets has the same nutritional value as one pound of hay in terms of calories.

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Summary

Alfalfa cubes are superior to alfalfa pellets in terms of overall quality for our objectives. Pellets cannot be used as a substitute for alfalfa hay, although cubes can be used in its place. In addition to being handy and providing excellent nutritional content, alfalfa cubes produce little waste. The only challenge is regulating the horses’ daily caloric intake.

Even while I don’t think we’ll be able to completely replace hay with cubes, it’s a feasible option. In case you’re interested in learning more about how to feed horses, you may read the following article: What Does a Horse Eat and Drink? A Comprehensive Guide to Feeding

FAQ

No, bermudagrass hay is not harmful to horses; but, it does not provide all of the protein, critical minerals, and vitamins that horses require. On the plus side, it has a large amount of fiber, which aids in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients by horses. More information about Bermuda hay may be found in this article: Bermuda Hay – Is It Beneficial for Your Horse? Consider the following five facts.

Does feeding beet pulp to your horse cause diarrhea?

When fed to horses, beet pulp does not often produce diarrhea in the animals. As a matter of fact, many horse owners feed beet pulp to their horses suffering from diarrhea since it is high in fiber and dry content, which aids in the concentration of the stomach fluid. More information on the benefits and drawbacks of feeding your horse beet pulp can be found in this article: Feeding Beet Pulp to Horses: The Good and the Bad (and Where to Find It).

Resources:

Alfalfa pellets and cubes are manufactured by Standlee, which is a world-renowned company. Although the prices on Amazon are exorbitant, I have provided you with a link to read what customers have to say about their items before making your purchase. The pellets earned a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, while the cubes obtained a rating of 4.5 stars.

  • Alfalfa cubes
  • Alfalfa cubes customer reviews
  • Alfalfa pellets
  • Alfalfa pellets customer reviews
  • Alfalfa cubes

Forage Substitutes for Horses

A Fact Sheet on Animal Science from Rutgers University’s Department of Animal Science (School of Environmental and Biological Sciences) and dACVN Sarah L. Ralston (VMD, Ph.D., dACVN) Fact Sheet 073 – Reviewed in 2004 Horse diets have traditionally consisted of forages such as long stem hay and/or pasture grasses and legumes, which are the staples of the diet. It is recommended that a decent source of forage accounts for at least 50% of a horse’s daily consumption, which is around 12 to 15 pounds of dry hay per adult horse.

  1. Most grain blends, even so-called “complete” meals, have less than 12 percent crude fiber compared to long stem hay and pasture grasses, which contain more than 20 percent crude fiber on average.
  2. Low fiber/high concentration diets, on the other hand, have been shown to increase the risk of colic, stomach ulcers, and the chewing of wood by horses.
  3. Hay traders and suppliers in the local area may be found on the HayExchange website, which includes the following information: But what should a horse owner do if hay prices skyrocket to more than $300 per ton, as some anticipate will happen?
  4. Following are some forage “substitutes” that may be safely integrated into horses’ feed in order to supply them with the essential fiber.
  5. They are intended to be provided without the addition of hay, grain, or other additives while still satisfying the fundamental nutritional requirements of the horse.
  6. The words “designed to be fed without forage” should appear on the label of the animal.
  7. If there is no alternative source of fodder available, this will result in significant increases in wood chewing activity.

In addition to improving digestion, giving smaller quantities (2 to 3 pounds each meal) more frequently will keep the horse more active and stimulated.

Horses should be introduced to full rations gradually, with a transition period of over a week required to entirely eliminate hay from their diet and introduce them to the proportions of complete feed required to satisfy their nutritional requirements.

Cubes of Hay: During the drying process, long stem hay (either alfalfa hay or a blend of alfalfa and timothy hay) is chopped and then compacted into cubes.

Alternatively, cubes produced from a blend of alfalfa and entire maize plants may be made accessible.

When the cubes were provided dry, however, there was a significant increase in the incidence of wood chewing in every trial, and two horses had difficulty choking on the cubes when they were fed dry.

If you are feeding adult maintenance horses as their entire source of fodder, you should consider using mixed grass or corn plant/alfalfa cubes as a supplement.

Alfalfa cubes are more suited for use as a partial feed substitute for nursing mares or growing horses than other forage types.

Straw: Although the stalks left behind after harvesting wheat or other grain crops have little nutritional value, straw is a rich source of fiber.

The use of straw bedding will lessen the quantity of wood chewing and will fulfill the horse’s urge to chew if the horse’s nutritional demands can be addressed with a full pelleted, extruded, or textured concentrate.

In addition to serving as a “chew factor” and a source of fiber, straw should not be considered to be a nutritional source for horses.

Fermentable fiber is abundant, and calcium content is modest (8 percent), with little vitamin content.

Alternatively, it is available in two forms: in “raw” form, which resembles ground-up old shoe leather, and in pellet form.

If you live in a hot, humid climate, this might be an issue since the oil can go rancid.

It is a fairly popular ingredient in “complete” feeding because of its versatility.

It should not be used as a single source of sustenance in any situation.

As it has a high concentration of phosphorus, it has the potential to induce crippling calcium/phosphorus imbalances.

It should be limited to 1 lb per day for adult horses if used as a nutritional supplement, and the calcium/phosphorus ratio should be properly adjusted with calcium supplements.

Rice Bran: Rice bran, which has recently been recommended as a source of fat (energy) for horses, is also a good source of fiber.

Some commercial rice bran products contain calcium to help rectify the calcium deficiency, however, like with wheat bran, rice bran is not suggested as a primary fodder alternative for livestock.

Even pure grass clippings from a yard are deemed inappropriate.

Feeding grass clippings and garden trash to horses can result in colic, laminitis, and/or death, and is thus not advised.

Complete feeds and hay cubes are somewhat expensive ($200 to $300 per ton), as is supplemental feed.

Neither straw nor beet pulp should be relied on as a single source of nutritional support for livestock.

However, if high-quality hay is completely unavailable or costs more than $250 per ton, beet pulp-based complete feeds and cubes can be used in conjunction with straw to provide the proper nutrient balance as well as the necessary fiber content to maintain gastrointestinal health and well-being in the animals.

Bran (from wheat or rice) is a fantastic source of fiber, but it should never be utilized as the primary component of your horse’s diet, regardless of how nutritious it is. It is imperative that lawn and garden cuttings are avoided at all costs.

Q&A: Feeding Hay Cubes to Horses

Forage cubes or forage pellets are a fantastic alternative forage source when good-quality hay or a suitable feedstuff is not readily accessible or is not cost-effective. Horses with dental disorders that make it difficult for them to chew hay may benefit from soaking forage cubes, and horses with inflammatory respiratory disease may benefit from fodder in the form of cubes, pellets, or chaff to minimize the amount of dust and mold that can be associated with hay. In many cases, forage cubes offer a greater digestible energy value than mature baled hay because they are gathered at the peak of maturity when digestible fiber (neutral detergent fiber) concentrations are at their highest.

  • When your horse is recuperating from a colic episode, the most essential thing to remember is to feed high-quality nutrition in the form of grass pasture, hay, cubes, or a mix of all of the above.
  • The length of time the cubes are soaked, as well as the amount of water utilized, are determined by the horse’s preferences.
  • It is possible that further dietary modifications may be considered in order to lessen the risk of colic in the future, depending on the underlying reason and the present diet.
  • These products function by providing a buffer between the stomach and the hindgut (cecum and colon).
  • RiteTrac is not now accessible in Australia, however there are other research-proven products that are available.
  • It operates in a similar way to vinegar in that it mildly acidifies the forage or feed in order to preserve the product.
  • Preservatives are not always present in all forage cube products.
  • The association between bentonite-containing cubes and impaction could not be determined, according to the information I could uncover.

According to the National Research Council’s publication Nutritional Requirements of Horses, released in 2007, there is a regulated limit on the quantity of bentonite that can be used in horse feed.

Increasing Chew Time for Hay Cubes and Pellets – The Horse

Q:I have a decent bit of expertise with geriatric horses and their nutritional needs. I had three of them on hay pellets or hay cubes at one point owing to dental difficulties that precluded them from eating long-stem hay at the time. Foraging for fodder was difficult for them during the day and night since they could devour the cubes or pellets so rapidly; as a result, they began chewing wood in the barn and on trees throughout lengthy periods of time during the day and night. – Karen, in an e-mail message At the moment, I have two senior horses, one of whom will chew on his buddy’s grass and spit out the quids, so chew time is not an issue.

To answer your question, I’d want to know what I can do to satisfy the chewing needs of horses that can no longer consume long-stem fodder and can only eat hay pellets or cubes, chopped hay, or full meals since their teeth are no longer effective at digesting it.

Chew time is vital because it provides your horse with something to do and more closely reflects the horse’s normal eating patterns.

A considerable concentration of bicarbonate and calcium–both of which buffer stomach acid–can be found in saliva, which lubricates the feed being ingested, aids in its travel down the esophagus, and is produced by the mouth.

The near-constant chewing and saliva secretion serve to buffer the acid released by the mouth.

When a horse spends less time chewing, whether it is due to a reduction in forage intake, a change in forage type, or a change in the method of forage administration, he generates less saliva and is unable to adequately buffer stomach acid.

Compared to the amount of chewing that would occur if the horse were on pasture all of the time, meal-feeding limiting amounts of hay lowers total chewing.

Slow feeders can increase the amount of time spent chewing and, as a result, the amount of saliva produced.

Hopefully, this results in quids, which are partly chewed mouthfuls of hay that fall out of the horse’s mouth after being balled up.

Of course, one of the biggest disadvantages of quidding is that the horse does not receive any nutritional benefit from the hay when it is not actually digested by the horse himself.

This might be due to the fact that they are no longer as efficient at digesting hay as they once were.

I’ve dealt with a number of such horses, and all of them have shown significant improvement in body condition and manure quality after switching to a diet that included either a portion of or the entirety of hay pellets.

However, because the hay has been diced up to a very fine size before it is converted into a pellet, it takes very little chewing to break the pellets down into a size that can be readily taken by the dog or cat.

If your horse can consume a flake or two of hay in a couple of hours, the amount of time it will take him to consume a similar weight of pellets will be far shorter than that.

Additionally, there is the possibility that part of the hay will be ingested, increasing the risk of impaction colic, therefore I would recommend that you examine hay-feeding techniques with your veterinarian.

An automated pellet feeder, which is simply a slow feeder for pellets, would be a more appropriate alternative.

The basic concept is that you load the feed hopper with your hay pellets and configure the feeder to release a specific amount of hay pellets at a specific time.

Some feeders will drop all of the feed you specify at once—for example, if you configure it to feed all 6 pounds of pellets at 7 a.m., it will drop all of the feed at once.

These feeders allow you to distribute your pellet meals throughout the day at intervals to imitate grazing for your animals.

Using them to augment a hay-based diet with hay pellets is also a terrific idea.

in the event that you arrive home late from your job.

A solution such as an automated feeder should help to ensure that your horses are feeding consistently throughout the day and that they do not turn to your trees or barn for alternatives to chew on.

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