When faced with a metabolic horse, hay selection is critical. Chopped cubed hay (usually alfalfa or timothy or a combination) is another 100-percent replacement. For all small herbivores – that’s rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and degus – hay should make up around 80% of the diet. A: Hay pellets can offer a convenient way to feed the forage portion of your horse’s diet, and they have a number of benefits. Kate of passage of the feedstuff was determined using chromium‐mordanted hay. I am not a vet… but Teff hay is high in protein, low in carb. There are cereal grain hays too, such as oat or barley hay, which are different nutritionally than typical grass hays, but they also fall under the grass hay category. Digestibility data were obtained by using acid‐insoluble ash to estimate apparent digestibility coefficients of nutrients. I think the biggest con about grass hay is its lack of nutrients. Of particular import is NSC content. Much of this tradition is due to the fact that Timothy was one of the first grasses cultivated for horse hay. Id like to hear the pros and cons for each choice. (Free from Restricted Ruminant Protein Products per Title 21, CFR 589.2000/2001) It can replace all of your horse's hay, if necessary. Timothy Grass is the traditional favorite among horse owners. The difference between Alfalfa and Timothy hay is one that often confuses many rabbit and guinea pig owners, especially first-timers! People once thought that feeding alfalfa hay to horses caused kidney damage because of increased urination and ammonia production. NO OAT. Alfalfa and… In this case, the reality is that the maturity of the grass at harvest is the single most important contributing factor to the nutritional value of hay. Forage that has been dehydrated, ground and cooked to make pellets can technically replace hay. Some horses may be allergic to grass hay so alfalfa is the better choice. GrassThere are many different types of grass hay in the world. You can slowly add later, if needed. The calcium:phosphorus ratio is about 6:1 and must be considered when feeding young, growing horses. One of the reasons why alfalfa hay is so much richer and higher in calcium than Timothy hay is because it’s a legume hay and Timothy belongs to the grass family. The Diet. But, if you’re lucky enough to live close to where timothy hay is grown, it can be a great option for your horses. One reason horse owners often avoid clover is its propensity for mold. Some are young and developing, full of promise for the future. While other feeds such as Alfalfa hay can meet energy requirements of horses in high levels of products, low nutritional concentrations of Timothy hay are ideal for many life stages. Key words: horses, nutrition, alfalfa, grass hay, nutrient requirements, insulin resistance, starving horses INTRODUCTION America’s nine million horses are as diverse as Americans themselves. The most productive and popular legume hay is Alfalfa as it is a highly nutritious and a high yield crop. “For forages, I like to make sure the forage is under 12% NSC. However, the high-energy content may lead to overfeeding and to a fat horse. Make sure he gets his supplements on cold feed. Here’s an article from UC Davis about why horses should not have alfalfa. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. The draft in him may be very sensitive to hot feeds. First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. Commonly fed legume hays are Alfalfa and clover. Quality alfalfa hay has high protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals. Alfalfa can be an excellent addition to most horses’ diets, even for those that are insulin resistant (IR). An ideal hay for easy keepers will be in the higher end of these ranges. Packaged in 50 lb. Although predominantly fed to horses as hay, alfalfa can also be fed chopped (as chaff), cubed, or pelleted. Reduced protein and energy compared to 100% alfalfa. best hay for horses First Cut Hay. 3. Alfalfa hay, sometimes called lucerne hay, is the most popular legume hay fed to horses in the U.S., while timothy and orchard are popular grass hay choices. Energy requirements: Generally senior horses that are in good body condition are less active than their younger counterparts and only have maintenance energy requirements. What kind to buy? If cured correctly, vitamin C content will be high. Timothy hay is classified as grass hay. That means these pets should eat a portion of hay the same size of their own body every day! If your horse cannot handle alfalfa, I’d cut the alfalfa mix pellets and get straight grass hay pellets. Origin of the “Second Cutting Hay is Best For Horses” Myth. Choose forage sources such as Timothy instead of Alfalfa to reduce the calorie content of the diet. It offers some additional benefits for performance horses living a high-stress lifestyle—its higher calcium content compared with other hays has a buffering effect on stomach acids and can reduce gastric ulcer risks. You may need different qualities of hay for different horses—leafy hay for weanlings, for instance, and more mature hay for adult horses that do not need such fine hay. If the hay has an NDF above 65% and an ADF above 45% it will provide little nutrient value to your horse. While alfalfa is the most well-known legume hay, clover hays are appropriate for horses, even if they are not as popular with horse owners as alfalfa. Hay cubes. Alfalfa, white clover, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil are common types of legumes, with alfalfa being the most popular choice. The first cut of hay is the first hay harvested from a field for that year. 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