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Discussion on Does alfalfa grow better feet?

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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 559
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Monday, Apr 12, 2010 - 4:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was thinking recently that the farms I have worked where the horses were fed alfalfa or grass/alfalfa mix have had better/harder hoof/horn quality than where horses were fed straight grass or pasture. This is of course entirely anecdotal, and could be due to any number of factors, including the fact that those farms have been in drier climates. But I wondered if any studies have been done to determine if alfalfa versus grass has an affect on horn quality?
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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 6476
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 - 8:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Shannon I would think that alfalfa would grow better hooves overall, it usually has more protein. BUT if the horses are fat I would think not, fat horses seem to have many more problems with their hooves regardless of the hay, and the extra weight the alfalfa would put on would negate the good things about it??(If they were fat).
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 24673
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 - 7:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Alfalfa provides a lot of the nutrients needed for proper hoof growth and in greater abundance than grasses. If the grasses where deficient in any of these nutrients then adding alfalfa would benefit these horses. We discuss this issue in Overview of Nutrition.
DrO
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 560
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 14, 2010 - 11:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks, I guess that makes plain old sense =)

I was thinking of going back to a grass/alfalfa mix, have been feeding straight grass for the last couple years. Will have to do some baseline assessments and see what changes we see in our herd.
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