Can too much alfalfa hurt a horse?

Can too much alfalfa hurt a horse?

While feeding extra protein is wasteful, a high-protein diet in itself does not hurt a healthy horse. It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. Duren also doesn’t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content.

Can a horse founder from too much alfalfa?

Alfalfa hay can cause horses to founder and develop laminitis due to the excess nutrients provided by the high quality hay if too much is fed. If switching from grass hay to alfalfa, generally less alfalfa is required to provide the same nutrients present in the grass hay.

Is feeding alfalfa bad for horses?

Feeding alfalfa hay is good for horses that have difficulty putting and keeping on weight and for those in training. Alfalfa is bad for fast-growing young horses and ones with liver or kidney problems. And alfalfa is not so good for horses that don’t need the extra calories or protein.

Does alfalfa make horses sick?

Good quality alfalfa hay that is fed in appropriate amounts will not make normal horses sick. Allowing horses unlimited access to very high quality alfalfa hay may result is some digestive upset (such as diarrhea).

How often should I feed my horse alfalfa?

In general, feed hay twice a day; limit alfalfa to one-half of your roughage; and feed grain according to body condition and use of the horse. Always have your hay analyzed so you can match the grain supplementation to your horse’s needs.

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.

Can horses with laminitis eat alfalfa hay?

The horse should be fed low-NSC hay at the rate of 1.5 to 2% of body weight. Alfalfa hay (lucerne) can be part of the diet during the acute stages.

Can you feed too much alfalfa?

Too much alfalfa requires a lot of calcium to buffer the acidic metabolites from protein metabolism. If there is not enough calcium available, the body will remove calcium from the bones, joints, and muscles. In addition, alfalfa can overstimulate the pituitary gland.

Can alfalfa hay cause colic in horses?

Rich alfalfa hay can also cause colic, so we recommend feeding a grass hay or grass/alfalfa mix. Changes in management or a horse’s routine can be stressful and contribute to colic risk as well.

Can you free feed alfalfa to horses?

Alfalfa or grain hays (such as oat or rye) can be fed free choice too, and most horses will probably regulate their intake of these as well. Alfalfa and oat hays are often somewhat higher in calories so will put weight on many horses.

Can a horse colic on alfalfa?

Rich alfalfa hay can also cause colic, so we recommend feeding a grass hay or grass/alfalfa mix. Changes in management or a horse’s routine can be stressful and contribute to colic risk as well. Intestinal parasites can lead to colic, particularly in the young horse.

What happens if you feed your horse too much alfalfa?

THREE RISKS OF FEEDING TOO MUCH ALFALFA TO HORSES: Feeding more protein than your horse requires can result in gastric indigestion as well as fermentation and putrefaction in the hindgut. This can contribute to leaky gut and will create too much ammonia which is toxic to the liver and kidneys if accumulated in excess amounts.

Which is the best hay to feed a horse?

Generally alfalfa is a good hay to feed horses, but there are caveats: 1 Don’t overfeed alfalfa. 2 Only feed alfalfa if your horse needs extra digestible energy, protein, and calcium.

What kind of alfalfa to feed a pregnant horse?

Heavily pregnant or lactating mares, and young rapidly growing horses, benefit from alfalfa’s high protein content. Alfalfa is also a rich source of calcium. Quality. Cubed and pelleted alfalfa tends to be very high quality.

What kind of bug is eating my alfalfa?

Blister beetles feed on alfalfa blossoms and might swarm fields during harvest. Beetles killed by the haying equipment can end up in the hay. Adult blister beetles emerge in June (sometimes a little earlier or later depending on the region and climate) to feed on alfalfa blooms.

What happens if a horse eats too much alfalfa?

Elevated insulin can create inflammation with the feet and the IR horse is particularly vulnerable because his insulin level is already elevated. It’s easy to overwhelm the horse with too much protein when feeding alfalfa hay because on average, alfalfa has more than twice the amount of protein as grasses.

Can a horse get insulin from alfalfa hay?

Individual grass and alfalfa hays will vary significantly; therefore it is always best to have your hay analyzed. It is important to realize that excess protein from any source can lead to excess insulin secretion.

What kind of protein does alfalfa hay have?

Horse Nutrition: Alfalfa hay for horses is a very rich horse feed containing ample protein, beta carotene, chlorophyll and trace minerals.

Which is better for horses hay or alfalfa?

I found this to be very puzzling since alfalfa is low in sugar and starch, even lower than most grass hays. Its high protein content, however, makes it more caloric, which can be a problem for IR horses that need to lose weight.