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Only alfalfa and pasture

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morequestions
Reg. Aug 2016
Posted 2019-02-02 7:40 AM
Subject: Only alfalfa and pasture


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Hello! My barrel horses seem to remain fat and happy on just pasture and alfalfa. I just worry that they aren't getting complete nutrition since I'm not feeding much grain. I'll feed a handful of oats to feed a hoof supplement for one but that's it.

I have fed Enrich in the past but gosh they get fat enough on grass and hay as it is. They are out 24/7 and I like to keep it that way.

My question: anyone else in this boat? Do I need to feed something else? I do have a relatively untouched mineral block out. I just worry they are plenty plump and still missing something, especially when we are hauling. (Does not look like a hay belly, I assure you... just overall plump).
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dRowe
Reg. Jan 2017
Posted 2019-02-02 8:32 AM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture



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I have my easy keeper on pasture with alfalfa and Timothy, but I do feed her a ration balancer since she is in work. She looks the same as my other 2 who do eat feed.
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MOGirl07
Reg. Feb 2012
Posted 2019-02-02 1:38 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture



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I have an easy keeper like this. I feed her 1lb of Enrich daily, just to fill in any gaps she "may" have in her nutrition, have for years.
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CJE
Reg. Mar 2005
Posted 2019-02-02 1:55 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture



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morequestions - 2019-02-01 8:40 AM Hello! My barrel horses seem to remain fat and happy on just pasture and alfalfa. I just worry that they aren't getting complete nutrition since I'm not feeding much grain. I'll feed a handful of oats to feed a hoof supplement for one but that's it. I have fed Enrich in the past but gosh they get fat enough on grass and hay as it is. They are out 24/7 and I like to keep it that way. My question: anyone else in this boat? Do I need to feed something else? I do have a relatively untouched mineral block out. I just worry they are plenty plump and still missing something, especially when we are hauling. (Does not look like a hay belly, I assure you... just overall plump).

Most people overfeed grain im my opionion.........If they are looking good and the performing good you are on hte right track...
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Southtxponygirl
Reg. Nov 2006
Posted 2019-02-02 2:00 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture



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morequestions - 2019-02-02 7:40 AM Hello! My barrel horses seem to remain fat and happy on just pasture and alfalfa. I just worry that they aren't getting complete nutrition since I'm not feeding much grain. I'll feed a handful of oats to feed a hoof supplement for one but that's it. I have fed Enrich in the past but gosh they get fat enough on grass and hay as it is. They are out 24/7 and I like to keep it that way. My question: anyone else in this boat? Do I need to feed something else? I do have a relatively untouched mineral block out. I just worry they are plenty plump and still missing something, especially when we are hauling. (Does not look like a hay belly, I assure you... just overall plump).

Just keep doing what you are doing, you must be doing it right.. 
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skye
Reg. Jul 2004
Posted 2019-02-02 9:49 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture


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A Chemistry blood panel would tell you if they are getting depleted in vitamins or minerals.  Are they getting enough Selineum? 
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WetSaddleBlankets
Reg. Nov 2010
Posted 2019-02-02 10:09 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture


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  Enrich is a ration balancer. Ration balancers supply important vitamins and minerals that hay and pasture lack... It is very low in fat so it really doesn't offer much additional calories and won't make your horses fatter. You only feed a pound or so. If you don't want to go that route why not just put out a good quality free choice mineral so they can consume what they need? Horses will only consume what they lack.... If the one you have isn't getting touched they may not need it or it may not be the right one to benefit them... There are soooo many brands and quality of products. What brand is the you have?

Edited by WetSaddleBlankets 2019-02-02 10:12 PM
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lonely va barrelxr
Reg. Apr 2005
Posted 2019-02-04 10:07 AM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture



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I checked out the Legends balancer and was shocked to see it was 28% protein! My guys get top quality alfalfa that tests out at 22-24% - the last thing I'd want is to add another high protein source to their feed. Balance is just that - balancing the nutrients. A full grown horse in heavy work should get no more than 14% protein, babies 16%, pasture or light work 12%. There is lots of math involved - but if 40% of my horses daily ration of approx 20 lbs of hay and 2 lbs of beet pulp/Legends Carbcare is high protein alfalfa, and over 50% is high quality timothy at 12-14% protein, then I do not want to add any other high protein feed or supplement. 

Loose minerals are a great idea. They add no protein to the balance and horses will generally only intake what they need, tho sometimes they do eat more because it's usually salty. 
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RockinGR
Reg. Feb 2009
Posted 2019-02-04 11:15 AM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture



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The thing that so many seem to forget when feeding an alfalfa diet is that alfalfa is very calcium rich and they need a phosphorus source to balance the calcium in the diet. Most minerals have the calcium and phosphorus in balance, so they are not helping the situation. Feed a ration balancer intended to be fed with an alfalfa diet to help balance these ratios and provide the vitamins and minerals that they DO need in their diet, such as selenuim and lysine. What they need in those will depend on your region and pasture quality.
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texpat
Reg. Jun 2013
Posted 2019-02-04 1:38 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture


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Is there a suitable alternative to oats? My wife and I will move to central Mexico within a couple of years, and other than corn, I am not aware of another grain grown in that region? There does seem to be an adequate supply of alfalfa. Thanks for your input.
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skye
Reg. Jul 2004
Posted 2019-02-04 5:54 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture


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Horses do good on just Alfalfa. 
Corn has way too much starch to be used in a horses diet. 
and have to say put Hemp oil in the diet, check it out brings good things to the diet.

 

Edited by skye 2019-02-04 5:57 PM
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huntlee26
Reg. Feb 2019
Posted 2019-02-06 3:17 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture


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I've been thinking about doing just alfalfa and pasture (we have an abundance of grass) but my mare is not really a hard keeper but she's not an easy keeper either. She is also a high anxiety nervous type (been that way since I bought her as a 3 year old, she is 13 now) I currently feed her Koolspeed feed twice a day with a flake of alfalfa once a day!

Question: Would alfalfa and pasture be a good option to try? and also ration balancer?
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mandita8907
Reg. Nov 2010
Posted 2019-02-07 11:36 AM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture



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Im feeding this way to one horse now. I have an alfalfa based diet mineral out for him to help maintain a balanced Phos/calcium ratio. I also keep my block of alf in a HayChix round bale net, it makes him less likely to stand there and gorge himself because he has to work a little bit for it.
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chasendacash
Reg. Oct 2008
Posted 2019-02-07 12:07 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture


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Does anyone put alfalfa bales out in the pasture instead of hay?  Coastal hay is the main one around here and it is hard to find good stuff this year.  I am finding a better and more consistant source of alfalfa.  I have 5 horses and put about 5 bales of hay out at a time.  I'm thinking about putting alfalfa out instead but I worry about the different types of horses...  easy keeper, hard keeper, senior, mini... 
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Whiteboy
Reg. Jul 2012
Posted 2019-02-07 12:12 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture


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chasendacash - 2019-02-07 12:07 PM Does anyone put alfalfa bales out in the pasture instead of hay?  Coastal hay is the main one around here and it is hard to find good stuff this year.  I am finding a better and more consistant source of alfalfa.  I have 5 horses and put about 5 bales of hay out at a time.  I'm thinking about putting alfalfa out instead but I worry about the different types of horses...  easy keeper, hard keeper, senior, mini... 

You could probably do it with your hard keeper and senior but your mini will founder and so could you easy keeper.   
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chasendacash
Reg. Oct 2008
Posted 2019-02-07 12:22 PM
Subject: RE: Only alfalfa and pasture


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That's what I was afraid of.  The mini already wears a grazing muzzle 24/7.  She also is an escape artist and stays in the yard by the house as much as she stays in the pasture.  Every few days I lock her up in the barn just to dry lot her. 
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