Alfalfa Pellets for Horses: Why They Are Important
You should include alfalfa pellets in your horse’s diet for many reasons. However, you should not use them to replace hay. Why is that? These pellets do not have particles big enough to stimulate the horse’s digestive tract. This means that alfalfa pellets, while good for the horse, do not promote a healthy tract. They lack long-stem fibers and cannot replace hay. However, they can replace the calories that hay provides safely.
What are pellets used for?
- Adding calories to a horse’s diet
They can be used to add calories to your horse’s diet because they are forage-based. Calories that are based on forage do not cause the problems caused by starch and high sugar feeds like grains. Alfalfa pellets provide calories without adding the ‘hot’ factor. Alfalfa pellets do not affect majority of horses negatively. However, you should check whether your horse is allergic to them.
- Adding proteins to a horse’s diet
Generally, alfalfa has more protein than grass hays. Therefore, it can be used to add protein to a diet. In the grand scheme of things, however, these pellets will not add that much protein to your horse’s diet unless you are feeding it significant amounts. The average horse gets more protein from hay and pasture than from a few pounds of alfalfa pellets. For instance, ten pounds of grass hay contains 1.08 pounds of protein if it has 13 percent protein. Conversely, two pounds of 15 percent protein alfalfa contain just a quarter pound of protein.
Horses do not necessarily need more protein in their diets. If your horse has an amino acid deficiency, the solution is not giving him more protein but giving him better protein. Therefore, alfalfa pellets can be used to add pellets to a horse’s diet but it is not necessary. The impact that pellets have on a horse’s diet is minimal.
Alfalfa pellets for horses usually come in fifty-pound bags and can be found at almost any feed store. When fed in conjunction with alfalfa cubes and beet pulp they are more beneficial. If you feed them with a long-stem fiber source, the pellets can replace calories lost when hay is unavailable or scarce.
To learn more about alfalfa pellets and other options for feeding your livestock, contact Sacate Pellet Mills at 602-237-3809.