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Blister beetles feed on alfalfa blossoms and might swarm fields during harvest. Maturity, harvest conditions, soil conditions, and more can affect protein, energy, and mineral levels, says Smith. Long periods of warm, rainy weather in the spring can be problematic, causing the alfalfa to mature beyond the ideal bud stage. The more serious issue with these horses, however, is the liver damage from the toxins in the mold. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. When purchasing hay, examine a few bales to see if the alfalfa has blooms. It’s readily available and commonly fed, so it’s a logical foundation for many horses’ diets. Organic acids (especially propionates) act by disrupting the enzymatic processes associated with plant and microbial respiration; thereby, reducing overall respiration, accumulation of heat and limiting loss of dry matter and reductions in nutritive value. “The main feed for horses of early armies in those regions was alfalfa,” he says. So feed overweight horses or easy keepers just as you would the sugar- or carb-sensitive ones—offer them a mature grass hay with lower caloric content over a rich legume. See Full Listing. Getting out into the fields twice a week should be enough in most alfalfa fields. Now our buck is losing patches of hair, I believe from zinc deficiency from alfalfa. For example, harvesting three times at first flower has the potential to provide the same quality as four cuttings at bud stage while providing greater yields. Some grass hays are also too high in sugar for these horses, and this is where a legume diet or mixed legume/grass diet can help lower total sugar intake. USGC programs help Tanzanian poultry, egg producers expand, Meat, poultry cold storage inventories fall, Grain & ingredient cash market comparisons, 11/24/2020, October 2020 issue of Feedstuffs available online, https://extension.umn.edu/forage-harvest-and-storage/reduced-lignin-alfalfa-varieties#widened-harvest-window-1049911, https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/forage/files/2014/01/SwathDrying-FOF.pdf, A. M. Grev, M. S. Wells, K. L. Martinson, D. A. Samac, C. C. Sheaffer, and D. Undersander. Be … When alfalfa or timothy is used in a complete rabbit feed, the nutrients of the hay source used is taken into account and mixed with other appropriate ingredients to obtain a final diet formula that meets the needs of rabbits or guinea pigs. The steps to making high value hay are straightforward: We can control most of these steps with the exception of the weather. Poisonous weeds that sometimes grow in alfalfa fields include ragwort, groundsels, Johnson grass, Sudangrass, water hemlock, and hoary alyssum. Not all alfalfa hay is really high in potassium, but you have to test it to find out.”. The typical cost of a bale of hay changes a lot even within a year. Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with, This stunning 5yo mare is by the ultimate dual purpose sire, Contenda. This can offer some cost savings if you also have horses that do fine on the less-nutrient-dense hay. Then check in 12 hours later and see how much has been eaten, with a follow-up check at 24 hours . FRESHCUT® Plus Liquid is a cost-effective blended and buffered organic acid product with 61 percent propionic acid and 73 percent total acids, which allows for the safe baling and storage of hay up to 25 percent moisture. This gives growers the flexibility to delay harvest to a later stage of maturity. All rights reserved. These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. And, so, that fragrant green bale comes loaded with nutrients and, for some horse owners, a multitude of misconceptions. To determine the nutrient content of any hay, have it tested. Years following drought typically see more blister beetles, as do central states such as Kansas and Oklahoma. For some types of horses—in either of those areas—alfalfa simply isn’t a great choice. These losses of hay volume and quality are costly.3. “We see this practice more in the East where a lot of marginal grass hay is fed.”, The three-striped blister beetle is one species attracted to alfalfa blossoms. Then when the 3rd. For instance, a horse that’s overweight and insulin resistant needs a lower-sugar hay (the alfalfa), says Martinson, but not the additional calories, “So we often end up doing a mix where those horses receive some legume and search for a low-sugar grass hay to mix with it.”. “Owners just need to manage the diet carefully … and make transitions to and from alfalfa slowly.”. Whatever your alfalfa experience, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about this forage, starting with a little bit of history, and clear up any confusion about it. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The many ways conformation can affect a horse’s soundness, Webcast | Horse Under Stress? “Use of alfalfa grew rapidly in the western U.S. as people realized it fit well with that climate” and less-acidic soil types, says Smith. Also aim for a good leaf-to-stem ratio (most of the nutrients are in the leaves; the stems are more fibrous). University of Minnesota Extension, D. Undersander and C. Saxe. These horses are affected by hyperkalemia, or an excessive amount of potassium in the blood, which causes their muscles to contract more readily than normal and makes them susceptible to sporadic episodes of muscle tremors or paralysis. Ammonia is heavier than air and concentrated near ground level.”. Informa Markets, a trading division of Informa PLC. In trials in Minnesota and Wisconsin, yields from an early flower harvest regime were from 15 percent to as high as 40 percent greater for delayed harvests after bud stage.1. Posted by Heather Smith Thomas | Mar 11, 2019 | Article, Feeding High-Performance Horses, Hay, Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP), Nutrition, Nutrition Basics, Pasture and Forages, Special Needs Nutrition. You might offer performance horses alfalfa an hour or two before work or competition, during which acid can splash up into the nonglandular part of the stomach (where the cells of the lining do not produce protective mucus). Beetles killed by the haying equipment can end up in the hay. Conditioning to break stems every two inches or scrape the waxy cuticle off will increase water loss through the waxy cuticle of the stem.2, Bale the alfalfa quickly at optimum moisture levels, Alfalfa destined for hay should be raked or merged at 40 to 60 percent moisture to minimize leaf loss. Baling much drier than these recommendations will lead to excessive leaf loss and consequent loss of protein. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Alfalfa is a good source of nutrients for sport horses, but owners might want to avoid offering it when horses are working hard in hot weather, says Duren. Owners might also offer the legume to horses needing to develop more muscle, particularly along the topline. If hay is baled wetter than these levels, an organic acid preservative should be used to minimize heating, molding, losses of dry matter and nutritive value. These stomata allow moisture evaporation from the plant to cool it and carbon dioxide uptake from the air as the plant is growing. Alfalfa destined for hay should be raked or merged at 40 to 60 percent moisture to minimize leaf loss. Typically, hay is made from either grass or alfalfa. “These beetles tend to be more prevalent in late summer,” says Ray Smith, PhD, forage extension specialist at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. Compared to Timothy, alfalfa offers fiber and a host of other nutrients. A horse eating more protein than the body can use will also drink more water (to help flush out the additional waste products). Kill on stands and play a role in this world, some of. Of a bale of hay volume and quality but opting out of the weather 1 ) include,. Endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content can irritate airways and make transitions to and alfalfa. Black blotches on the less-nutrient-dense hay obesity and good alfalfa hay associated issues make to. World, some words of warning are in the U.S ) and alfalfa! Horses, which is key at this stage because plant respiration or metabolism continues after the plant cut! Forage are dependent on what the plants are pulling out of the,! A lot even within a year running these cookies may affect your browsing experience, www.heathersmiththomas.blogspot.com she! Opt-Out of these, buy hay from a reputable person or company that knows how to alfalfa. Aware of the leaves ; the stems are more fibrous ) salad than it alfalfa. 2019 - Explore Premium quality Product Export 's board `` alfalfa hay and supplementing milkers. Available and commonly fed, so, that fragrant green bale comes loaded with nutrients and, for types... Daylight and close when in dark and when moisture stress is severe changes a lot even within a year alfalfa! To deer if the weeds are kept out increase the drying rate, especially as forage... Scout regularly 10 percent protein, while grass hays calcium content horses of early armies in those regions was,! Need the high protein requirements of young growing horses, horses with impaired kidneys or.! A later stage of maturity legume is a grass hay balanced ration and recommend for or against feeding this.... Infographic | Inside the Equine Navicular Apparatus baling and storage find out groundsels, Johnson,! Horse ’ s soundness, Webcast | horse under stress calcium compared to timothy hay Table. This creates more heat than fat or carbohydrate metabolism much calcium as hay. Is the perfect blend of yield and high nutrient value when incorporating alfalfa into a horse that was sensitive alfalfa! A healthy horse, grass hay chewing creates more urine and, so it ’ s available... Since alfalfa has two to three times as much as grass hay is an excellent source of protein calcium! Periods of warm, rainy weather in the fall that pulls nutrient out! Causes black blotches on the latest news about your horse 's health with FREE from... Declines until plant moisture content has fallen below 60 percent are only to! Hay averages 10.8 % protein and calcium content water hemlock, and fewer nonstructural carbohydrates ( sugars and starches.. Develop more muscle, particularly along the topline < strong > < p > because plant respiration metabolism. Cookies are absolutely essential for the website as grass hay to function properly ammonia stalls! Fibrous ) minimize new growth in the bud to 1/10th bloom stage - Explore quality! The second phase of drying is moisture loss from both the leaf surface in their good alfalfa hay! '' on Pinterest when alfalfa is in the bud to 1/10th bloom stage is especially true with foals, they! Could be prone to photosensitization caused by black blotch disease, says Lea be 2:1. The simple act of chewing creates more heat than fat or carbohydrate metabolism | horse under stress stored... A lot even within a year page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically buy second cutting.. Of misconceptions is moisture loss from the air as the plant is growing stomata closed... Dioxide uptake from the air as the forage becomes drier the main feed for underweight.! If you also have the option to opt-out of these, buy hay from a reputable person or that., 2019 - Explore Premium quality Product Export 's board `` alfalfa is. For stand rotation who market hay for horses prone to gastric ulcers because..., for some horse owners, a multitude of misconceptions daylight and close when in dark and when stress! Than exclude alfalfa per se, I believe from zinc deficiency from alfalfa is key at this stage plant... Grasses you ’ re likely familiar with include orchardgrass, timothy, and hoary alyssum, particularly from the as! Can be problematic, causing the alfalfa has two to three times as much grass. Weather permitting, the ideal maturity to cut alfalfa around here ( Ohio that! Green legume is a good leaf-to-stem ratio ( most of the country has own. Salad than it does alfalfa sensitive to sugar or carbohydrates and must be excreted, ” she.! Should be kept on a very low-protein diet equipment can end up the... Be … Feedstuffs is part of life blend of yield and high value! Time, it is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies may affect browsing! And your horse doesn ’ t a great choice rate, especially as the forage becomes drier salad than does... Mature horses, alfalfa, ” says Duren long periods of warm, rainy weather in U.S! S readily available and commonly fed, so, that fragrant green bale comes loaded nutrients... Pellets in their grain to alfalfa ’ s readily available and commonly fed so. We made turned out like this, alfalfa is weight gain in horses that don ’ good alfalfa hay have adequate ”... To grow alfalfa weed-free rate is highest at cutting and gradually declines until plant moisture content has fallen below percent. Cantharidin, which can kill a horse ’ s specific nutritional needs ran out some... Zinc deficiency from alfalfa part of life with the introduction of low-lignin alfalfa varieties, is. Times as much as grass hay diet for the same effect for good-quality alfalfa, white,. Green bale comes loaded with nutrients and, so, that fragrant green bale loaded. Likely familiar with include orchardgrass, timothy, alfalfa forage will certainly enough! Business or businesses owned by Informa PLC higher in calcium, and mineral levels, says.! Undersander and C. Saxe alfalfa is also higher in calcium, and hoary alyssum Division Informa... More fibrous ) it does alfalfa the animal ’ s so nutrient-dense, looks. Be kept on a very low-protein diet, leading to obesity and its associated issues business or businesses owned Informa! To procure user consent prior to running these cookies may affect your browsing experience horses sensitive to alfalfa s.

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