Feeding Your Horse Alfalfa Hay Cube
Even if feeding mostly grass or hay is your preference, there are times in a horse’s life when they can benefit or even require the added nutrients, calories, and easy-to-eat feed that an alfalfa hay cube diet can offer. Alfalfa cubes are high in protein and other nutrients, making them perfect for horses that are old, ill, or recovering from an illness, as well as horses that are being rehabbed from a neglectful environment.
- Senior equines: Soaked alfalfa cubes represent a soft diet that is easy to chew, as well as easy to digest, while the high protein content of alfalfa has additional calories that will aid older horses in maintaining or gaining weight. Many older horses only need a supplement to their regular diet, but some will benefit from a diet that is wholly made up of alfalfa hay cube mashes.
- Horses with dental problems: Whether due to age or another reason, bad teeth can leave horses unable to chew their hay adequately, resulting in many lost calories as hay travels through their intestines undigested. If you’re seeing a lot of partially-chewed wads of hay in water or food troughs, it may be a sign of dental issues. A diet of primarily alfalfa cubes resolves this problem. When soaked, they are soft enough to chew and digest, even with few remaining teeth.
- Sick or recovering horses: Sick or recovering horses may also benefit from alfalfa cubes, both because the soaked cubes are easy to eat and because of the extra calories and nutrients in alfalfa hay. Most horses can be fed alfalfa cubes as supplements to their regular diet, but factors, such as how ill the horse is and how easy it is for them to eat, may make an all-alfalfa cube diet more successful.
- Underweight horses: There are many other reasons why a horse may need to gain weight, such as rescue horses being rehabbed from neglectful situations. An alfalfa hay cube diet or supplementation offers an easy, high-protein and high-calorie way to feed these horses.
While a lot of forage is good for a horse, both physically and mentally, many horses need a diet that better meets their needs. Your horse’s individual situation will determine whether he needs to be fed an alfalfa hay cube diet, or just have his normal diet supplemented with alfalfa cubes.