Thursday, April 8, 2010

Got Alfalfa?

I've been working on some feeding changes for Louie since our vet recommended discontinuing our barn mix sweet feed about a month ago. Obsessive calculations, research, email discussions with feed reps, and hours of sweat and tears later I still don't have the best answer, but I think we're getting close to deciding on the best feed option for Louie.

One of the items I have added to his daily rations is a mash of soaked alfalfa cubes. While these can be fed dry, I think it's a little safer to soak them to prevent choking. I have been feeding about 2 pounds of dry cubes per day, and mixing it with an equal amount of water, letting it sit for a good 15-20 minutes, then hanging it up for the wolves (aka Louie).

The first time I fed Louie these soaked hay cubes, he turned up his nose, tried to dump the pan over, and stepped in them. But with a little perserverence, Louie has decided that he loves his cubes, and he REALLY looks forward to his evening snack of soaked alfalfa cubes. See? You can tell by his alfalfa mustache.


  1. Oh, that is hilarious! Does it dry then brush off pretty easily?
    So is he still getting hay (and what kind?) Why did you need to discontinue the sweet feed? Maybe I missed this in another post. I'm just curious. How and what people feed their horses is always interesting to me! :) My horse use to be on alfalfa, but now he's on a less rich hay, he is not that active and did not need such protein.

  2. yes his alfalfa mustache dries up and brushes off. My vet recommended I discontinue the sweet feed because it contains too much corn.

    I think alfalfa is great for horses, especially those who are not the easiest keepers. I just wish we had more of it! He gets grass hay from the barn, so we just supplement the alfalfa cubes to provide a little "oomph" in calories and protein and some more calcium.

  3. LOL! Sweet feed is like... soooo yesterday!;-)

    I miss the days when I believed that all horse feed was the same and that it must all be OK. What I won't miss is the cold winter days trying to chip a canful of grain from a frozen block of mollasses. I also miss the days when I could feed my horse for less than $175 a month!!!!

  4. haha Brita I hear ya! Now, it's just convincing the hubs that it is bad. I've found a lot of studies about how other feeds are good, but not a lot that specificially say why sweet feed is bad. Then, convincing the hubs that $60/month is not too bad to feed your horse really good groceries.