A general rule of thumb with hay is to feed a horse 1.5 to 2.5 percent of their body weight daily. For an average 1,000-pound horse, this is 15 to 25 pounds of hay a day, although of course this can change depending on the amount of activity the horse gets.
How much alfalfa hay do you feed a 1,200 pound horse and how often? 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.
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.
The pellets can be fed dry, but many horses prefer them to be soaked in water and fed as a mash. For young horses, old horses, and those with dental issues, soaking the pellets first may be a necessity.
For example, if you have a 1,000 pound horse who is in light work, a good diet might consist of 17 pounds of hay or hay cubes and 3 pounds of grain per day. The same 1,000 pound horse in a heavy work program may need 10 pounds of hay and 10 pounds of grain, since the grain is higher in energy.
Sweet feeds are highly palatable to your horse. They allow you to see individual grains to inspect for quality. Pellets and extruded feeds are usually highly digestible because the grains have been processed (ground up) into small pellets. This tends to digest quicker in your horse’s digestive tract.
Horses provided too much alfalfa often will eat more than they need nutritionally to satisfy their need to fill their gut, which can result in obesity. Switching abruptly from a mature-grass hay to an alfalfa hay diet can, however, cause colic in horses if they aren’t given time to adjust.
It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. Duren also doesn’t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content.
Alfalfa hay contains too much calcium and/or magnesium a. The high calcium level causes a high calcium:phosphorus ratio which may contribute to developmental orthopedic disease b. Hi magnesium levels increase the chances of the formation of enteroliths (intestinal stones).
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.
Equine Senior Active is a high-calorie feed that is ideal for older horses that are still able to utilize long-stemmed forage. Ultium Competition, Omolene #200 and Omolene #500 are also calorie-dense feeds that may be helpful to help an older horse gain weight when fed with appropriate good quality hay and/or pasture.
Soaked alfalfa cubes are easier to eat, and they contain more nutrients than grass hay. Before feeding an older horse, soak the cubes for 10 to 30 minutes, or until they’re soft and soupy.
Alfalfa cubes are a better source of forage than pellets.
So a 1000 pound horse would typically consume 20 lb of dry forage in a day. Horse’s require long-stem fiber in their diet to aid digestion of their food, which pellets don’t provide. … Because pellets lack long-stem fiber, they can’t be a substitute for hay.