Alfalfa is recognized as one of the most nutritious forages available and is widely used as conserved forage (ex, hay, silage) in the diets of beef and dairy cattle.
Alfalfa is often the preferred roughage for young horses and brood mare nursing foals. Alfalfa also is richer in nutrients than some other roughages and is especially helpful in supplying crude protein, fiber, and calcium.
Alfalfa is one of the few forages that is capable of sustaining levels of production that are comparable to those achieved in the feedlot.
Grazing of pure alfalfa stands has the potential to more than double the net farm income generated from mixed grass-legume pastures and under irrigation production yields of 1371 pounds of beef per acre have been reported.
Alfalfa has an initial rate of ruminal digestion that is five to ten times greater than that of most grasses. The rapid microbial colonization and digestion of alfalfa reduces particle size and increases the passage of digesta from the rumen, enabling the animal to consume greater quantities of forage. Whereas this rapid digestion and particle size reduction is responsible for the high productivity of cattle on alfalfa pasture, it also is in part responsible for bloat.
Bloat risk is highest when alfalfa is in vegetative to early bloom stages of growth. As alfalfa enters into the full bloom or post bloom stages, soluble protein levels decrease, plant cell walls thicken, lignin content increases and the rate of digestion of alfalfa in the rumen decreases. Consequently, many experienced producers do not allow their cattle to graze alfalfa until it is in full bloom.
How long do alfalfa pellets last?
Heat processed feeds typically have a longer storage length (think hay or alfalfa pellets) due to the fact that the heat kills off some bacteria. Generally, experts accept that commercial pellets are viable for about six months. Textured feeds are best used within three months of manufacture date.
Do alfalfa pellets need to be soaked?
Alfalfa Pellets are very low sugar and do not need soaking, so should not become rocket fuel for any animal.