Saturday, November 23, 2019

Alfalfa or Grass Hay: Which Is Better for Winter Warmth? - Full Article

Our equine nutritionist weighs in on which type of hay best helps horses stay warm during cold nights.

Posted by Clair Thunes, PhD | Nov 18, 2019 |

Q.I’ve heard that alfalfa is a good hay choice at night for horses because it helps generate heat and keep them warm. Where I board my horse, the barn managers feed grass hay at night and told me that it keeps horses full longer. So, which is better for winter night feedings: grass or alfalfa hay?

—Julie, via e-mail

A.As we head toward the colder winter months, you’re not alone in wanting to make sure your horse stays warm overnight. When temperatures drop, feed requirements increase for your horse to consume enough calories to maintain condition. Staying warm requires calories beyond those needed for regular maintenance. Horses have different ways to regulate their body temperature depending on the ambient temperature, wind chill, and other climatic challenges they face...

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