“How many alfalfa cubes equal a flake?” I got questioned Yesterday while I was having tea with a new horse owner in my neighborhood. Since it is a commonly asked question so I decided to answer it here as well.
Alfalfa cube is a highly nutritional feed option for horses. They are not just fed to fill the tummy up but to treat several health issues as well. Flakes are a thin, easy to separate rectangular portion of a horse bale. Alfalfa cubes are handier than hay flakes as they are much easier to measure and store.
Enough beating about the bush, let’s help you in finding out the blue clues for today’s topic.
Coming to the point, how many alfalfa cubes equal a flake?
It largely depends on the weight of alfalfa cubes. Generally, alfalfa cubes are about 5lbs heavy so one alfalfa cube is equal to the 5lbs flake(the default size of a flake is 5lbs).
The answer is based on the general assumption of the alfalfa cubes and hay flakes weight. The accurate answer can only be found by weighing it at the time of feeding.
Flakes can weigh less or more than 5lbs
It is generally believed that hay flakes are 5lbs(and they are most of the time). But in fact, it varies by the content being used in it, for example, Bermudagrass flakes may weigh between 4-5lbs but the alfalfa hay flakes weigh up to 6lbs(even though they appear thinner).
I hope these points have cleared most of your doubts. If the hay flakes can weigh more or less than 5lbs so do the alfalfa cubes. So to fulfill the daily food and nutritional requirement,
You should never feed the horse by volume:
It is recommended to feed the horse by pounds. To simplify this concept, if you are feeding 10lbs hay flakes every day you have to replace it with alfalfa cubes equal to 10lbs weight.
Why should you never feed Alfalfa Cubes the horse by volume?
Over and under supplementation is a common problem that usually takes the horses to the vet so it’s important to feed the horse by pounds to maintain the same energy levels.
To fulfill the daily food requirements it is recommended to feed the horse by pounds. Hay flakes appear larger than the alfalfa cubes but they more or less weigh the same. So, if one gets fascinated by the size of a flake he would feed more alfalfa cubes as they are not as big as flakes. He would either be over or under supplementing without even knowing and both cases are harmful to the horse’s digestive system.
How much alfalfa cubes should weigh if you are about to eliminate the hay flakes from their food?
Horses typically eat around 1.5 to 2 percent of their body weight so the alfalfa cubes should be of the same weight.
How to feed alfalfa cubes and hay flakes both at the same time? How to determine the weight?
Horses can not go on a new diet in a day they take time to accept the change. So, if the horse has been fed hay flakes all his life you have to introduce alfalfa cubes gradually. In such cases, you first have to determine 1.5 to 2 percent of the horse’s body weight. Read our complete guide on How Much Does a Round Hay Bale Weigh?
Divide it into two to get a clear idea of how much your hay flake and alfalfa cubes should weigh. They should weigh the same and the total of both(alfalfa and flakes) needs to make up to 1.5 to 2 percent of the body weight.
How to weigh soaked alfalfa cubes?
To mitigate the danger of choking alfalfa cubes are usually fed soaked. In such circumstances, dry alfalfa cubes should be weighed according to the above-mentioned conditions they should then be soaked and fed.
How many alfalfa cubes do you feed a horse?
It depends on a regular diet or feeding only Alfalfa. If you are feeding only Alfalfa cubes then 1.5 to 2% of body weight is enough. Additionally, if you are adding grain or hay then add 1.5 to 2% of total body weight including other diets.
Can alfalfa cubes replace hay?
Good quality and mold-free hay is a basic feeding requirement of the horse. If mold-free and good quality hay are not available you can use Alfalfa cubes as Alternative food. According to research availability of nutrients and energy is the same as in hay cubes.
A Piece of Advice
Do not trust google when it comes to determining the weight of alfalfa cubes and hay flakes even if it gets specific(for example, Bermudagrass flakes weigh up to 5lbs). It’s always better to measure them on the measuring scale before feeding. Do not ever overlook the concept of measuring the flakes and cubes by the pound, take professional help if it’s mind-boggling.
As per a general assumption, one alfalfa cube is equal to one hay flake(even if it appears huge). The default weight of alfalfa cube and hay flake is around 5lbs but it can be more or less. The accurate answer to this question(how many alfalfa cubes equal a flake?) Can only be determined by weighing it at the time of feeding as the weight of flake can vary by the type of grass being used in it. It is recommended to feed the horse by the pound than volume not just in the case of alfalfa cubes and flakes but in general.