What is lucerne hay used for?

Asked By: Alyse Petersohn | Last Updated: 11th April, 2020
Category: sports horse racing
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Lucerne (also known as alfalfa) is grown throughout Australia, for use as a green fodder crop for pasture or for conservation as hay, silage or as a dried ground product. The leaves are the part of highest nutritive value but can be easily lost during the hay making process.

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Correspondingly, what is the difference between hay and lucerne?

The main difference between the two is that the metabolisable energy (ME) of Lucerne hay tends to be slightly higher then Vetch hay. Both Lucerne and Vetch hay tend to have thin stems which leads to a lower fibre content and a lower relative feed value (RFV).

Secondly, can horses eat lucerne hay? Lucerne Hay is a favourite hay for horses and contains ample protein (between 15% – 18%). For some horses, this may be more than they require. For most horses, Lucerne is a supplement, and an imbalance can cause trouble in horses. Grass Hay can average between 6%-10% protein based on dry matter weight.

Also Know, is lucerne hay high in sugar?

Lucerne hay (a legume) generally has a lot lower content of NSC and sugar. Good quality clover hay can contain a higher content of sugar as compared to lucerne hay because it grows in early spring and also more digestible protein which can increase blood sugar levels in EMS and IR susceptible horses and ponies.

Does lucerne hay make horses hot?

Grains and grain based feeds, molasses and forages like lucerne hay tend to be commonly blamed for making horses 'hot'. Whether this is because they do actually make horses hyperactive, or because they are energy dense feeds that are easy to overfeed and therefore by default make horses hot is hard to determine.

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Is lucerne hay low in sugar?

Feed hays that are typically low in sugars. Avoid any hays that are known to have high levels of sugar, including ryegrass hay, oaten, wheaten or barley hay. Lucerne haylage or silage that has been produced specifically for horses is also a low sugar forage option.

Is too much Lucerne bad for horses?

However, grass in growth mode can also be high in protein so a person has to be careful not to cumulatively feed too much. Not so widely known is the most important fact that lucerne is high in potassium and extremely low in sodium. This is why a lot of people have observed that lucerne 'sends their horse nuts'!

Is Lucerne OK for laminitis?

*Lucerne is often advocated as a suitable feed for laminitic horses and ponies on the basis that it has a lower NCS content. However because it is a very high potassium/low sodium forage it is totally unsuitable.

What is the best type of hay for horses?

Alfalfa hay, sometimes called lucerne hay, is the most popular legume hay fed to horses in the U.S., while timothy and orchard are popular grass hay choices.

How many times a day do you feed a horse?

Because of the limited capacity of its stomach, a horse should be fed small amounts of feed often. Unfortunately, domesticated horses are fed once or twice a day and if stabled, spend much of the day not eating.

How much Lucerne should I feed my horse?

"To give horses enough lucerne to satisfy their calcium requirements, we are talking about two pads of lucerne hay a day. Once we get into excess calcium intake it starts to interfere with the absorption and utilization of the other minerals. Many horses are fed in excess of 7 to 8 kilos of lucerne.

What kind of hay is best for cows?

Most experts recommend mixing alfalfa with grass hay, rather than relying exclusively on alfalfa hay. Alfalfa hay is often recommended for dairy cattle, but may not be a good fit for beef cattle, since it can lead to bloat. Legume hay is another nutritious option for cattle, since it's high in protein.

Can you feed chaff instead of hay?

Chaff can be made of any type of hay, although lucerne (alfalfa), oat, and timothy are the most common. Some chaff is mixed with molasses or oils to aid palatability. Therefore, straw chaff should be fed in small amounts, primarily as a way to slow consumption of a grain meal, and should not be used as the sole forage.

Why do people soak hay?

The reason we soak hay for horses suffering from laminitis, equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) or insulin resistance (IR) is to reduce the amount of water-soluble carbohydrates (sugars) in the hay. It is well known that feeding hay with high levels of water-soluble carbohydrates can lead to laminitis.

What hay is lowest in sugar?

While grass hays are usually lower in energy than alfalfa hay, cereal hays should be avoided for insulin resistant horses to reduce the glucose load cause by the grain content of cereal hays.

What is the best feed for laminitis?

Forage: High quality grass hay is the ideal forage for a horse prone to laminitis. Feed: A product specially formulated for metabolic issues or a ration balancer are the best bet to feed your laminitic horse.

Is fescue hay high in sugar?

Diets high in simple sugars and the type of starch found in grain are not good for horses with insulin resistance as they result in very persistently high blood sugar. Most cool-season grasses, like orchardgrass and fescue, can have high sugar content.

What is the difference between chaff and hay?

Chaff is quite simply dried forage that has been cut into small pieces, in contrast to the long grass stems in hay and haylage. There are many different types of chaff and chaff mixes on the market today, such as chopped hay, alfalfa, dried grass and straw, or mixes of one or all of these.

Can you soak lucerne hay?

Lucerne hay has the lowest natural sugar content of common hays. If your horse is 'cresty' and overweight, soak a biscuit of lucerne hay in a large tub in double its volume (30 litres) of warm water for 60 minutes. Soaking in warm water for 60 minutes will leach out up to 33% of soluble sugars in grass hay.

What can you not feed a laminitic horse?

She advises owners to feed their at-risk or laminitic horses according to the animals' energy requirements and use without overfeeding. Most importantly, avoid diets high in nonstructural carbohydrates (NSCs) such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, lactose, and starch.

What is the difference between alfalfa and Lucerne?

As nouns the difference between lucerne and alfalfa
is that lucerne is (british) alfalfa while alfalfa is (uncountable) a plant, principally of medicago sativa , grown as a pasture crop.

Is lucerne hay high in calcium?

It contains the highest amounts of energy and protein and, in fact, contains more protein than any grain. This protein is of high quality. Lucerne hay or chaff is also particularly high in calcium. All the concentrates contain low amounts of calcium, so lucerne helps to balance the diet if fed with them.