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I'm I feeding too much alfalfa hay too fast?

Discussion in 'Pasture, Hay, & Forages: Information & Management' started by Hamiam, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Dec 27, 2017
    Hamiam

    Hamiam Exploring the pasture

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    My horse normally gets 2 flakes of coastal hay per day. As a Christmas surprise, I bought some green alfalfa for her & the chickens. The flakes feel very heavy & as I gave the horse her evening flake, I started wondering if this is a bad idea to just switch so quickly. Now I'm worried. Should I run out & take it away & give her costal instead?
     
  2. Dec 27, 2017
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    I do not have horses so I really am not the best one to answer your question, however in goats an abrupt change can cause issues.
    Maybe just pull off a few handfuls and mix it in with your normal hay.
     
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  3. Dec 27, 2017
    Hamiam

    Hamiam Exploring the pasture

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    Thanks so much. My common sense tells me your right.
     
  4. Dec 27, 2017
    secuono

    secuono Herd Master

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    Yes, best to mix slowly.

    But I wonder why you give it to the chickens? Mine only nest in it, giving them expensive alfalfa hay would be a massive waste.
     
  5. Dec 27, 2017
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    Our chickens and geese love alfalfa. We often give our geese chopped alfalfa when everything goes dormant here for the winter.
     
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  6. Dec 27, 2017
    Hamiam

    Hamiam Exploring the pasture

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    Thanks. @secuono, Just a Christmas treat. The chickens love picking out the green leaves in the winter. If you protect from the weather, a flake last for a very long time. I use straw or coastal in the nest. It's a rare treat at $18 a bale.
     
  7. Dec 28, 2017
    secuono

    secuono Herd Master

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    Weird, maybe it's because I free range them? IDK or might just be my luck to always get chickens who want to be different than typical, lol.
     
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  8. Dec 28, 2017
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Loving the herd life

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    Yes -- intro any new feed slowly & mix with old.

    My chickens like to eat the flakes of alfalfa that drop out from the hay the goats & horses eat. I've taken handful of those dropped leaves from hay storage & put in a pile for them. They like it -- plus -- good nutrition for them.
     
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  9. Dec 28, 2017
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    Ours are free ranged too... the chickens are typical... they will peck at it , eat it but not like the geese. Geese love it. I think because geese are grass eaters, chickens really aren't ... they like bugs. I would say your chickens are normal. lol ;)
     
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  10. Dec 29, 2017
    BottleBabbiesrLife

    BottleBabbiesrLife Exploring the pasture

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    Its fine just watch for bloat