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Nsc Of Alfalfa Pellets


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#1 MyDaddysJag

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 01:26 AM

Can someone tell me roughly what the NSC of alfalfa pellets are?
I know if depends on area and manufacturer, just looking for a general idea.

#2 Smilie

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 01:48 AM

Depends on when the alfalfa was cut (late or early bloom ) and if pellets are held together with molasses
Alfalfa hay is about the highest NSC level of all forages, time of cutting and maturity being equal
I would only buy pellets with the NSC level given in the analysis
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#3 Cat2

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 01:53 AM

Does this help?

http://www.equi-anal.../GetResults.asp

#4 missyclare

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 04:25 AM

Alfalfa is hotter and is higher in sugar. I followed your link Cat and found the NFC to be 26%. Pretty high. A hay extender and more of grass cube may be better....depends on your situation/how much you're feeding/whether he eats alfalfa hay already, etc.

This 26% is an average for cubes, not pellets....could very well be different. Best thing would to be to check the labels on the products you are considering.

#5 Wild Rose

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 08:55 AM

When Chief was diagnosed as IR, my vet told me I could safely give him alfalfa. Hmmmm....

Maybe she was wrong, or considered 26% as not high. I thought beet pulp without molasses was 22%. Anyway, I never did feed alfalfa to Chief.

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#6 Beckham03

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 09:30 AM

Grow N Win ration balancer is only 13% NSC. My friend's IR horse does great on that and grass hay. NO problems since the switch.
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#7 daisysmom

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 10:18 AM

You guys aren't reading the charts right. She's asking for NSC and you're giving values for NFC. Alfalfa does have lower NSC than grass or cereal grain hays. NSC of alfalfa cubes average 10%, alfalfa hay 11%, grass hays 13%, oat hay 20+%.

Edited by daisysmom, 07 February 2010 - 10:38 AM.


#8 Fool's Overture

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 01:11 PM

This table gives the NSC for most "raw" grains and forages, including alfalfa pellets and cubes.
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#9 missyclare

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 01:35 PM

Actually NFC and NSC are the same thing....think about it Non-structural carbs and non-fiber carbs. The NSC is about to be the old designation. NFC is a new hydrolytic test with its own calculations, considered an improvement. The NSC will be faded out, but change comes hard to some, so you are seeing them both there in the values.....so no confusion there.

You are also including hay tests with products...not the same entity. I've learned to be concerned with the ESC + Starch in the hay tests. The bottom line on sugar and starch. The NFC of pellets and cubes is right up there at 27/26% respectively. The starch in the pellets is twice that of the cubes.

The NFC in alfalfa hay is 30%, oats is 24%, grass at 19%, so Im going to have to agree to disagree with you there. Oats also has a whopping starch of 5% compared to the others as well.

Remember that cubes are not fed in amounts the same as hay....more concentrated. That they are possibly delivering more sugar faster = glucose spike....hence the roll-it toys to dispense them more slowly.

Edited by missyclare, 07 February 2010 - 01:52 PM.


#10 Peggy Sue

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 03:31 PM

Alfalfa cubes
WSC 7.4%
ESC 6.2%
Starch 1.8%
NSC 9.7%
NFC 26.1%

Alfalfa Pellets
WSC 7.9%
ESC 6.3%
Starch 2.7%
NSC 10.1%
NFC 27.4%



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#11 daisysmom

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 01:03 AM

NSC and NFC are not symonymous and shouldn't be used interchangeably. NSC consists of simple sugars and starch while NFC is sugars, starch, pectin and gums. Alfalfa, BP and soy hulls are all very high in pectins and therefore have relatively high NFC values.

#12 Smilie

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 01:10 PM

Beet pulp has a gylcemic index of 1. That makes it a safe choice in my books, plus it is digested like forage, in the hind gut
Maybe our alfafa hay is richer in Canada, far as NSC, but I have seen more horses foundered on alfalfa hay than any other forage, except free turn out on spring grass
There can be very mature stemmy alfafa hay that is safe to feed to IR horses, but I steer away from any alfafa or grains when feeding IR horses
Beet pulp, soaked, with minerals mixed in that aid in reducing IR resistence has worked great for me, esp on my show horses. They are fit and free of laminitc incidences, long as I manage them this way
Raising attractive , athletic Appaloosas, equally at home in the show ring and on the open trails
Cody Chrome Supreme member of the breed( superiors in trail,halter western pleasure hunter under saddle )
San Stone Image superiors in reining, western riding and trail
Miss Kilo Bright ApHC championship ROMs western pl, trail, HUS , hunter in hand, halter
A New Dimension three year old filly presently working with
Awarded With love 6 year old mare by Awarded, riding well and proven producer
Frankie hubby's senior trail horse
Rubix Hubby's jr trail horse
Dont Skip The Cadence by don't Skip This chip-three year old in training Sold
Mex , Dun Boy and Image, three yr old prospects

http://s335.photobuc...home/KiloBright

#13 MyDaddysJag

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 10:45 PM

My issue is im going to be taking my horse completely off of his pelleted feed for the season. It is my show horse, however im taking this year off due to pregnancy, and being due in june. since he wont be working, he does not need grain. We dont have the best hay (its not at all bad hay but im sure it is not providing all the required nutrients, and must get from many different suppliers, so we cannot do a hay test) Anyway, we are going to switch to a vitamin and mineral supplement. The horse will not eat this alone, and it must be mixed in something. My horses hay is 2d cut grass hay, fed basically free choice during the off season. My first choice is beet pulp, but he is boarded, and there are issues with it being soaked. I know some say you dont have to soak it, but I personally will never feed it not soaked. I have previously fed beet pulp at this barn, but had to soak it myself daily. I know realistically with a newborn baby I will not be at the barn everyday to soak my beetpulp. It does not matter how convenient I make it to soak, it will not be done corrently.

What Im wondering is if my next best bed as far as something to mix the vitamin and mineral supplement in would be alfalfa pellets? I know grass pellets would be best, but are unavailable in my area.

I also know about grow n win, and have been feeding it so some horses. My issues is that my horses eat 1/2 cup, and the bag lasts so long that I worry about it going bad before its gone. At $35 a bag, thats a lot of money to waste. If Im going to waste a bag of pellets, Id rather it be $9 alfalfa pellets.
The supplements seem to keep longer for me, and I can order smaller quanities so I have a "fresher" supply.


#14 Fool's Overture

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:47 AM

Could you feed something like Triple Crown Lite? It's meant to be fed to easy keepers and horses that aren't in work as a way to supplement the nutrients in hay. I think it's relatively inexpensive, to be fed at a rate of 2-3 lbs a day, 4 lbs MAX.

I actually prefer to soak alfalfa pellets because it decreases the risk of choke... so that would be an issue for me. Then again, I'm so glad I don't board because if I couldn't trust people to do something as simple as soak beet pulp, I wouldn't be trusting them with my horse, period.
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#15 MyDaddysJag

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 02:33 AM

My horse weighs 250 lbs, it is my miniature show gelding. In order to get the proper nutrients from the grain, I would have to feed so much of it that it would cause weight gain when he off for the season. The alfalfa pellets we get are actually smaller than the pelleted food he gets. While showing him we give him both alfalfa pellets, equine adult pellets, and grass hay.

#16 Peggy Sue

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 05:21 AM

WHy not just go with a handful of beet pulp and a vitamin/mineral supplement from Smartpak?? THey have the Smatvit Easy Keeper Grass one now that isn't too bad


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#17 MyDaddysJag

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:57 AM

I would love to just do beetpulp and a vitamin mineral supplement, but the soaking of the beet pulkp is the problem right now. In the past I have been able to go to the barn daily and soak my own beet pulp when I have fed it but I am currently having pregnancy complications, and may have to go on bed rest, and I also dont see myself making it there daily with a newborn. It's not that they are not component enough to soak beet pulp, but I dont want to rely on my horses sorce of food as a soaked food when there is an alternative. I love beet pulp, its probably my favorite thing to feed when needed, however there are times it's not feasible. For example, I have been unable to get to the barn for about a week now. The roads there are still untouched, there are trees across the road, and they are still without electricity, water, and heat. The water pipes froze overnight when they lost power and heat. The barn owner is living in her LQ trailer, and their means of watering horses right now is filling buckets with snow, and then she boils some water in her LQ to dump with the snow to melt it, and give them water. She is doing this for 27 horses. At this point, shes having trouble just keeping up with having hay and water in front of them. If she can barely keep them with ice free water in these conditions, I dont expect her to be able to soak beet pulp for my horse. Now, this is not normal weather for us, but it is showing that sometimes you CANT always plan for things to go your way. So, my idea was if I could mix his vitamin and mineral supplement with something that does not need soaked, it would be a good idea. I know some people feel alright about feeding unsoaked beetpulp, Again, I nor my vet feel safe feeding unsoaked beetpulp.

#18 Peggy Sue

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 11:32 AM

I would just go a handful of alfalfa pellets then with a vitamin/mineral supplement ... just enough to get them to eat the vitamins



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#19 Curmudgeon

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 10:33 PM

I would just go for a supplement in pellet form, or one of those ration balancer type pellets.
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