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Feeding alfalfa cubes instead of grain

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Last activity 2019-10-26 10:49 PM
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   General Discussion -> Barrel Talk
lonely va barrelxr
Reg. Apr 2005
Posted 2019-10-11 3:48 PM
Subject: RE: Feeding alfalfa cubes instead of grain

Reaching for the stars....

Posts: 12503

winwillows - 2019-10-11 4:10 PM

The OP brings up an interesting question. Reading labels, trading pound for pound alfalfa hay for grain does not add up. In reality though, by eliminating a significant amount of grain from the system, if that is being used, the difference in hind gut efficiency results in the capture of a very real increase in digestible energy from the pre existing roughage plus that of the added alfalfa. In the end, it is quite possible to have a net increase usable energy from a pound for pound trade. The grain limit per feeding that a horse can process without hind gut disruption is under two pounds. If you feed more than that, your horse may well benefit from the replacement of the excess grain, in some cases all grain, with the same amount of alfalfa. 



I have swapped out alfalfa for grain. And this past year had to swap out good local timothy with western kick tush timothy. I have now had to start lowering feed amounts of the hays because my crew is getting very portly. They all look fantastic, and Zan (my avatar) kept dapples all summer long with no fly sheet and full time turn out. My weaner this year is a butterball, seriously. 

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Reg. Jul 2008
Posted 2019-10-19 8:20 PM
Subject: RE: Feeding alfalfa cubes instead of grain

I Am Always Right

Posts: 4264
Location: stray dump capital of the world

Very informative thread. I always learn so much from this forum.

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Reg. Apr 2015
Posted 2019-10-25 9:33 AM
Subject: RE: Feeding alfalfa cubes instead of grain

Elite Veteran

Posts: 852
Location: West Texas

Sandok - 2019-10-03 8:24 AM

I would really like to try the D&D Nutrition cubes but there are no close dealers to me.  

D&D Nutrition is definitely available in your area:

1. Prime Tme Equine

Erin Gallegos

Pauls Valley, OK



2. Pride Farms

Bryel Mulligan

Coleman, OK



3. Durant Salebarn

Rebeca Hazaleus

Durant, OK


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Reg. Jan 2011
Posted 2019-10-25 11:47 AM
Subject: RE: Feeding alfalfa cubes instead of grain

Elite Veteran

Posts: 1078

LOL  Yes I know but they are like 2/3 hours away.  

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Jazz's Girl
Reg. Apr 2013
Posted 2019-10-26 7:43 PM
Subject: RE: Feeding alfalfa cubes instead of grain

Extreme Veteran

Posts: 452

I started feeding cubes about 2 years ago. 

Right now my 3 get 12.5# of Hayrite mini cubes in the morning. I have 5 ground feeder buckets I split it between. At night they get 12.5# of cubes spread between the 5 buckets, they each get 1/2# renew gold, a handful of calf manna and I add forco and vitamin E. 

We live on pretty much a dry lot. We are renting this place and they overgrazed it for years. We are trying to get grass to grow but it's a slow process. We keep round bales out for them.

The bay is 13. The sorrel with the black tail bag is 11 and the sorrel with the blue tailbag is 18. I ride 5 days a week and they eat what I posted above. 

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Reg. Jul 2004
Posted 2019-10-26 9:54 PM
Subject: RE: Feeding alfalfa cubes instead of grain


Posts: 4759
Location: Bandera, TX

They look great! 

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Reg. Nov 2018
Posted 2019-10-26 10:49 PM
Subject: RE: Feeding alfalfa cubes instead of grain


Posts: 74

When looking at all the crazy labels on feed sacks and the fad supplements people spend big $$$$'s on ... I remind myself to Keep It Simple Stupid (I call this my KISS system) .... 

I prefer baled alfalfa but when I feed cubes .. I fill a 5 gallon bucket 3/4 full with cubes and then fill it with water to soak while I am feeding WHOLE OATS to my tribe. 

In less than 30 minutes the cubes have soaked up the water, softened up and expanded for easy eating.  The reason for soaking is to prevent the compacted dehydrated cubes from landing in a wrinkle in the stomach or all the way to the colon and soaking up the protective slime lining protecting  these digestive tracts and causing choking, sores, ulcers or impaction.  AND being soaked adds water to their system rather than drawing water from their entire body. 

I decided to go back to natural feed rather than feed highly advertised and expensive feeds that have ingredients you can't pronounce and are saturated with waste products from human food processing and ethanol processing.  These are used to increase the profits to the milling companies and not for the betterment of your horses health. 

To keep bones, ligaments and cartilage growing .. the alfalfa and whole oats are the correct balance of calcium and phosphorous ... and the whole oats adds fiber to their gut to help prevent ulcers. Every other day I also throw a handful of GroStrong minerals into their buckets with a 3 lb scoop of whole oats while I return with the soaked cubes and feed a ~6 lb scoop to each horse. If you have never soaked cubes before .. you are going to be amazed how much water they will absorb and more than double their dry weight that has only 5% moisture. (when you bale alfalfa you strive to have 12-15% moisture and it is measured in the field when baling)

SUMMARY:  3 lb scoop of whole oats .. 6 lb scoop of soaked alfalfa cubes (50% is water) .. a handful of GroStrong every other day .. with pasture or hay available 24/7 ...  {{{ if horse needs added weight .. add a pound of cracked or chopped corn daily... on palominos/buckskins if you want a darker shade of gold after shedding in the spring .. add the corn to their feed program right now)}}} 

DE-WORMING PROGRAM:  You can have the best feeding program in the world but if you don't have a good worming program .. you have wasted your money ..  My worming schedule follows holidays which are easy to remember and follows the 60-90 day worming programs suggested by different wormers.   Foals start this program with the holiday closest to being 6 months of age .  

ONE YEAR SCHEDULE each worming is a full tube to each horse   ...  Christmas // New Years week one tube of QUEST 90 days;  IVERMECTIN is used on the following Holidays .. funny how they fall 60 days apart ....EASTER Ivermectin 60 days;   MEMORIAL DAY; LABOR DAY; HALLOWEEN ... then start over with Quest at Christmas or New Years ...   (reason for a full tube is simple .. you want to aggressively kill the worms and not allow any to survive to become immune to the wormer .. this also prevents any spitters or head jerkers to lose any of the wormer failing to get a full dose)  

While I am writing a book ... get to know the difference between PROBIOTICS AND PREBIOTICS .. to enhance your horses digestive system and prevent stomach//colon sores or ulcers use PREBIOTICS after any major sickness or using antibiotics to feed the good gut bacteria the sickness or antibiotics killed.  It astounds me that vets are so oriented to probiotics ... gotta be they are so available and a good profit markup ... 

My college micro-biology classes made me aware that most of the time the best information to apply to horses comes from the articles on the use of meds on humans since our digestive systems are so much alike.   The way a new born foal starts their good gut bacteria is by following Mother Natures instinctive need to eat some of their dams poop within 24 hours.. .. this is another reason I worm my mares 1-2 weeks prior to guesstimated foaling date ... so the foal doesn't get a gut full of worm eggs.  This article for humans contradicts itself as all writers do to cya from any critics ... scroll all the way to the bottom and read the summary chart on probiotics vs prebiotics to get a clear view of what happens ..... https://www.prebiotin.com/prebiotin-academy/what-are-prebiotics/prebiotics-vs-probiotics/  

Since foal season is coming up ... NO enemas on foals !! again Mother Nature has plugged up their behinds until they have sucked enough progesterone to pressure up tummy and colon to remove any wrinkles before blowing the cork out of their rear end.. it will be black as tar and nasty looking and if you look around you will find the plug  ... poop from milk will be as yellow as mustard.   

At mares heat cycle at 7-11 days foals will get diarrhea so why not help them out by greasing their butts also where they wag their tails with vaseline or other type of greasy substance to keep them from scalding their heinies ... ....  If their squirts are very thin liquid you can help them from getting dehydrated by giving 30cc of Pepto Bismol (not the generic kind) twice daily for two days in the mouth ..  .. 

Here is a photo of what mine look like on the above programs ... 

Mom with her 2018 filly by On A Gator and 2019 rd roan filly by AUTOMATIC CAT 

 Mom is in foal to SLYE BY DESIGN for 2020 baby.. 


Edited by CHASIN CANS 2019-10-26 11:01 PM
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