Alfafa

hellybelly6

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I feed my horse alfalfa and he has recently developed signs indicating kidney problems.

I have done some research on the net and there are some articles which state that alfalfa is too high in protein and not a good feed.

I am going to change feeds and reduce the amount of protein he is on to give him every chance.

I know you guys are knowledgable on here and I wonder if alfafa is good or bad and what your thoughts are.

Thanks
 

Nickijem

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Not sure about the effects on the kidneys but when I fed it to my horse he became really itchy. He was constantly biting at his ribcage and using his back hoof to scratch his belly - it was a nightmare to try to groom him!
I took him off the alpha-oil and the itching stopped.
 

TGM

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Alfafa is a very useful feed, but can cause problems when fed to excess. However, using alfafa in the normal way we do in the UK, which is small amounts as a chaff to mix with other feeds, or as bucket feed to supplement a predominately hay or grass based diet should be fine for the normal horse. I often give alfafa-based feeds to my horses and have had no problems at all, although I never exceed the amount recommended by the manufacturers.

However, to feed alfafa in large amounts instead of hay may create an unbalanced diet which could cause problems. Having said that, some countries do traditionally use alfafa instead of hay, and many of their horses seem to suffer no ill effect.
 

hellybelly6

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My horse is also very itchy, so in your opinion could his problems be alfafa related?

I am taking him off alfalfa and hope it is this which is causing his problems.

What do you think?

Thanks
 

TGM

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I have read of a couple of occurences of skin problems that have been linked to an allergy to alfafa, although I have never come across any cases myself. I think you are sensible to remove the alfafa from his diet and see what happens!
 
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