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Feeding alfalfa or timothy cubes

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MountainMeadows

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Been to a couple of websites and in general they only suggest soaking if dealing with a horse with tooth issues - but minis have smaller mouths/teeth so I was wonder if anyone has any experience feeding cubes to their minis.

Thank you,

Stacy
 

Jill

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Stac --

I don't use hay cubes anymore but for years, THAT was all we fed as hay and I may start using them again for part of the program.

We always soaked ours. You will find different brands soak up at different rates. Some are really hard and can take an age to soak. If you get that kind, using hot water will help a lot. When ours were done soaking, almost looked like wet grass clippings.

Our horses loved them but when offered for the first time, they thought we were crazy


Jill
 

Kim

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We feed alfalfa cubes to some of the horses and regardless of their age, we ALWAYS soak them - I would personally never feed dry cubes. Our cubes are quite large and when they're broken up (ie bitten in half or moved around in the feed dish) they tend to have small particles flake off that the horses can then breath in. Also there's a risk of choke when feeding cubes dry.
 

chandab

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HOW MANY CUBES EQUAL A FLAKE LIKE OF HAY DO YOU FED IT WITH NO HAY AT ALL??
Flakes can vary so much in weight, that it would be best to weigh the hay, then feed an equal dry weight of cubes (or even a little less, as there is less waste with cubes). [Weigh dry, then soak the cubes.]

Hay cubes can completely replace hay, but long stem hay is still a good thing to have in their diet.
 

Jill

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HOW MANY CUBES EQUAL A FLAKE LIKE OF HAY DO YOU FED IT WITH NO HAY AT ALL??
What you'd want to do is weigh what you'd normally feed of baled hay and then weigh out that amount of cubes (weigh them before soaking) as a starting point. You will probably find though that it takes less in weight of cubes to replace that amount of weight in baled hay (I mean the cubes go further) because there is much less waste in the cubes than in most baled hay.

Edit to add, I guess I just echoed what Chanda said!!! But here's to "confirmation"
 
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evedex

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Hay cubes are just compressed hay and weigh the same as baled hay....just more compressed in volume. We feed our one little gal cubes only since she has a bit of a breathing problem. I use the mixed cubes for her rather than the pure alfalfa ones. I always use a kitchen scale to 'measure' out her feed portion.

We always soak for the reasons others have stated....fix up the feed for the next time at the previous feeding. Of course, this means putting it in a heated space in the winter <G>.

Feeding the soaked cubes has the added advantage of getting that extra water into a horse that is a poor drinker as well.

At any rate, you should NEVER feed cubes dry....and this comes from several vets who have dealt with some pretty bad chokes over the years.
 

chandab

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Edit to add, I guess I just echoed what Chanda said!!! But here's to "confirmation"
Jill, just shows that great minds think alike.


I just wanted to add, that I have yet to find any cubes soft enough to feed dry, the mix alfalfa/timothy cubes and straight grass cubes are usually a little softer than straight alfalfa, but still very hard to break apart. I've on occasion handed one to my big horses (not the minis) as a treat and they still have a hard time chewing up one, they really roll them around in their mouth before chewing them up.
 

MinisOutWest

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we are very lucky to buy our cubes straight from the plant here in Colorado. Manzanola Alfalfa cubes. they are super green and can break/ crumble with one hand. we never soak them, takes the nutritional value out of them. If my cubes were that dry, I would call the company and ask them, they know their product, instead of guessing and throwing money down the sink.
 

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