When it comes to feeding your horse, you have many options. One important decision you’ll need to make is what kind of hay to provide them. Should you choose alfalfa for sale or grass hay for sale? The question also comes up to which one is better.
To help you decide, let’s examine the pros and cons of each type of hay.
Alfalfa hay is a type of legume hay that is high in protein and calcium. It’s often fed to pregnant mares, young horses, and performance horses because of its nutrient-rich content.
- Alfalfa hay is more nutritious than grass hay. It’s higher in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients.
- Alfalfa hay is more digestible than grass hay. This means that your horse can absorb more nutrients from alfalfa hay.
- Alfalfa hay can help horses gain weight. If your horse is underweight, alfalfa hay can help them reach a healthy weight.
- Alfalfa hay is more expensive than grass hay.
- Alfalfa hay is higher in sugar than grass hay. This can be an issue for horses prone to obesity or laminitis.
- Alfalfa hay can cause digestive issues in some horses. If your horse isn’t used to eating alfalfa hay, they may experience digestive upset, such as diarrhea or colic.
Grass hay is the most common type of hay fed to horses. It’s lower in protein and calcium than alfalfa hay but also lower in sugar.
- Grass hay is more affordable than alfalfa hay.
- Grass hay is lower in sugar than alfalfa hay, making it a good choice for horses prone to obesity or laminitis.
- Grass hay is more accessible to a horse’s digestion than alfalfa hay. If your horse has trouble digesting alfalfa hay, grass hay may be a better option.
- Grass hay is less nutritious than alfalfa hay. It’s lower in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients.
- Grass hay is less digestible than alfalfa hay. This means that your horse will absorb fewer nutrients from grass hay.
- Grass hay can cause weight loss in some horses. If your horse is already at a healthy weight, grass hay may help them lose weight.
So, which type of hay is better? There is no simple answer to this question. The best kind of hay for your horse depends on their individual needs. If you’re unsure which type of hay is right for your horse, talk to your veterinarian or equine nutritionist for guidance.
Nutritional Information on Alfalfa Hay
Alfalfa hay is a good protein, calcium, and other essential nutrient sources. Here’s a look at the nutritional content of alfalfa hay:
- Protein: 18%
- Calcium: 2.5%
- Phosphorus: 0.4%
- Potassium: 1.8%
- Magnesium: 0.3%
- Sodium: 0.2%
- Copper: 8 ppm
- Zinc: 35 ppm
- Manganese: 30 ppm
- Iron: 170 ppm
- Folic Acid: 7 ppm
- Vitamin A: 9,000 IU/lb.
- Vitamin E: 50 IU/lb.
- Fat: 2%
- Crude Fiber: 25-30%
Nutritional Information on Grass Hay
Grass hay is a good source of fiber, but it’s lower in protein and other essential nutrients than alfalfa hay. Here’s a look at the nutritional content of grass hay:
- Protein: 8-10%
- Calcium: 0.5-1.5%
- Phosphorus: 0.2-0.4%
- Potassium: 1-2%
- Magnesium: 0.1-0.2%
- Sodium: 0-0.1%
- Copper: 2-4 ppm
- Zinc: 10-20 ppm
- Manganese: 5-10 ppm
- Iron: 50-100 ppm
- Folic Acid: 3-5 ppm
- Vitamin A: 2,000-4,000 IU/lb.
- Vitamin E: 10-20 IU/lb.
- Fat: 1-2%
- Crude Fiber: 20-30%
When it comes to hay, there are a few things to consider. If you have a pregnant, young horse, then alfalfa hay might be the best option. However, it is more expensive than grass hay. If your horse is prone to obesity or laminitis, grass hay might be the better choice since it is lower in sugar.