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To help prevent these health issues, wait up to a week before turning horses back onto a pasture after a killing frost. A seeding rate of 7 lbs (3.2 kg)of alfalfa with 3 lbs (1.4 kg) of Meadow Brome/acre would be a good mix for pasturing in most areas. Alfalfa Cons. Whichever paddock has the most rest in the fall should be grazed first, the following spring. They say horses don't bloat like cattle. This is counter intuitive for most horse people, but is certainly something to keep in mind in regards to your horse. It also works well as bedding, just as straw does." We do have other pasture which is grass, so I can alternate them. Grasses have lower protein and T.D.N. Grazing can be a good way to harvest alfalfa and avoid the necessity of insecticides. It's the food your horse would naturally choose for itself. Why is alfalfa bad for horses? Is my alfalfa safe to graze? A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. i just bought a horse and i don't feed him grain, but i let him graze all day and he has a large round bale of alfalfa hay he can eat from whenever he wants. Horses accustomed to grazing pasture should be gradually introduced to pasture over a period of several days. With hay it takes more work to chew/eat it making it last longer, and since horses want and should graze all day, then the processed pellets go down really quick leaving nothing left to chew on. Once the final cutting of the alfalfa is done, horses can graze the field, but it is a good plan to feed grass hay before turning them out so that the horses do not eat too much of alfalfa at once. This can lead to a higher risk of colic or founder for grazing horses. It will regrow in July and August if moisture is available. Horses can graze pure stands of alfalfa, though with possible laxative effects. The only thing is it was used for alfalfa crops. Let’s take a closer look at what horses eat and what nutrients they need. It is highly palatable and may stimulate them to eat more. Also, it can give them diarrhea or loose stool if they aren't used to it because it is so rich and their bodies aren't used to it. Do not put horses into a pasture for the first time when they are hungry. The only thing is it was used for alfalfa crops. Straw from the Japan variety is especially good, being small and remaining green until harvested. Alfalfa should not be over-grazed due to the risk of damage to the crown and crown-buds. Replenishment is complete by the full bloom stage. The fourth cutting is harvested by my cattle in November and December. Grazing horses keep their minds occupied, picking through and eating hay and grass; horses that eat cubes and pellets often eat fast and have idle time, which leads to boredom and cribbing. Alfalfa can be a good option for a horse with Cushings if they are a hard time holding their weight because it is more calorie-dense than grass hay. Grazing on a rotational basis with at least 3 and preferably 4 paddocks allows the alfalfa to maintain adequate root reserves. A horse with a full stomach will not want to eat that much additional alfalfa. I understand it is a very rich food, but would it hurt horses to keep them turned out on it, assuming they wouldn't be on it 24/7? more uniform seasonal production than grass. horses don't … Warm season grasses probably need at least a 3-4" residual. My pasture mate started feeding alfalfa in the morning and oat at night. A horse with a full stomach will not want to eat that much additional alfalfa. There is flexibility in the length of a grazing period, but do not leave animals on a paddock for more than a week. Alfalfa production usually peaks in years two and three after seeding, then it drops off as the stand dies out. They can graze it in pastures or eat it as hay. Creeping rooted varieties are the hardiest and will withstand grazing pressure and adverse conditions better than the other two categories. It's a bit better than free-feeding, as you still give them an allotted amount that you can adjust. Alfalfa's potential for regrowth after it is grazed is one of the reasons it produces more pounds of quality forage than any of the grasses. Alfalfa will grow on sandy, loam and clay soils. quality of forage remains good throughout growing season. The only thing I have noticed with feeding alfalfa cubes is that they eat it really fast and have nothing left after their rations done. Grazing would then start on Paddock 4 the following year. “Grazing may reduce the grass and weed competition and allow the alfalfa to have a resurgence,” explains Lacefield. Next year's grazing would start in the spring on Paddock 2. Once completely dormant, alfalfa can be grazed to the ground with little harm. Frost-injured alfalfa (note yellowing leaves) Frost-damaged forages can contain higher sugar contents. Admittedly this can be a tough goal to achieve given that sugar levels within plants can fluctuate from hour to hour. Usually alfalfa is mixed with bromegrass or orchardgrass to provide productive pasture for horses. But grazing them during the growing season means that bloat is an even higher risk. To help your horse graze as much as possible don’t use hay feeders in the pasture but instead scatter it around. Only graze when fields are dry and firm. Alfalfa is a nutritious high protein, calcium rich legume that can be fed to horses provided some basic precautions are taken. Most grasses produce the majority of their growth in the early summer. protein. Horses can graze pure stands of alfalfa, though with possible laxative effects. Horses with poor appetites should try alfalfa. I only take three cuttings of alfalfa or alfalfa/grass mixed hay. 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