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Re: alfalfa hay and enteroliths

As far as I know, the mg content in the oat hay doesn't approach that in alfalfa.  So I'm happier with oat hay than alfalfa by far, and no, the two don't balance each other magnesium-wise. 
Oat hay with supplements is fine depending on the supplements (making sure it isn't creating a calcium-phosphorus inversion).
Oat hay with minimal alfalfa is okay depending on why you're feeding the alfalfa at all.  If it's to provide extra body heat during winter, that's fine, but preferably keep the alfalfa under 25% of the hay ration.  If it's to balance calcium-phosphorus, 2-3 pounds would suffice.  If it's for additional calories, you're much better off with beet pulp with or without additional fats added in.
Susan G
----- Original Message -----
From: Jeanne Slominski
To: Susan Garlinghouse ;
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 8:31 PM
Subject: alfalfa hay and enteroliths

I know the magnesium in our California oat hay is rather high. Normally, once the raining season starts, I feed oat hay and alfalfa. Sooo, now I'm feeding way too much magnesium? or do the two sort of balance each other out? Horses are currently on oat hay with supplements.
Thanks - Jeanne
----- Original Message -----
From: Susan Garlinghouse
To: Beth Gunn ;
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 3:04 PM
Subject: RC: Re: alfalfa hay and enterliths

Yes.  All alfalfa will be high in calcium, but alfalfa grown in the southwest averages up to seven times higher in magnesium than alfalfa grown outside the southwest.  Thus, enteroliths are much more of a concern when alfalfa is fed from those regions (note that alfalfa can be shipped long distances), because magnesium is one of the three primary mineral components of enteroliths.  By southwest, I would include CA, AZ, NM, NV and parts of TX, although not all areas of all of those states have soils high in magnesium.
Susan G

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