Alfalfa: An Often Misunderstood Forage

Alfalfa is an often-misunderstood forage. Here are a few myths about alfalfa worth debunking, as reported by The Horse.

Myth 1:  Alfalfa makes horses hot.
While alfalfa has more energy compared with grass hay of the same maturity level, one of the only ways it should make a horse more hyper is if the animal is fed large quantities of alfalfa without adequate exercise.

Myth 2: Alfalfa can cause kidney problems.
While horses with kidney disease should not eat a high-protein diet (like alfalfa), alfalfa itself will not cause kidney disease. A normal, healthy horse will excrete any extra protein, assuming he has adequate water.

Myth 3: Alfalfa aggravates horses with heaves.
While it may seem that some horses cough more when eating alfalfa, it's not the forage causing the issue—it's the dust and mold that may be in the hay. This forage can have more dust than grass hay when it's baled in less-than-ideal conditions. Additionally, the leaves shatter, making more dust than grass hay.

Myth 4: Alfalfa has high nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) levels.
Horses with a sensitivity to carbohydrates need their diets monitored closely for nonstructural carbohydrates, no matter what forage they are fed. Cool-season grasses actually have a higher NSC content then alfalfa.

Read more at The Horse.

The post Alfalfa: An Often Misunderstood Forage appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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