Pets That Like Alfalfa Hay
Alfalfa hay is a naturally sweet hay harvested from growing alfalfa in the fields. It has a much sweeter odor and is often less dusty than straw hay. It also has many more nutrients and health benefits than yellow straw hay. Cows are not the only ones that like this sweet hay either. The following four pets love it and should be fed alfalfa often.
Horses enjoy alfalfa as much as their cud-chewing barn neighbors. This sweet hay can be a regular staple in your horse's diet, especially for very young horses or pregnant and lactating mares that need the extra protein and minerals found in the alfalfa. Just be sure to limit the amount for any horse that is stuck inside the barn and serve with plenty of water because alfalfa has a higher amount of indigestible fibers. The water will help keep the horse's bowels loose so that these fibers will pass easily. Horses that stay outside a lot get plenty of water and exercise so that this is not a major concern.
Likewise, bunny rabbits love alfalfa as well. Rabbit breeders who use rabbits for food often use alfalfa as a way to sweeten the rabbit's meat and make them fatter. It also helps young rabbits put on weight if they are underweight and seem to not be thriving as they should. Fill the hay hopper in the rabbit's cage at least once a day. If you have more than one rabbit occupying the same cage space or you are raising rabbits as food, fill it two or three times a day, depending on the number of bunnies you have.
Goats may try to nibble everything, but what they love is the sweet stuff. Even the kids will enjoy some alfalfa if you drop it in their pen and let them explore it. Best of all, alfalfa in one end of the goat equals good manure/fertilizer out the other end.
Small bales of alfalfa for rabbits and guinea pigs are often sold at pet stores. A reasonable price is five to eight dollars, depending on where you live. Larger bales for goats, horses, cows, etc. are usually farm-direct purchases or bought through feed mills and farm stores in your area. Expect to pay about four times as much as you would for a small bale from a pet store for a large bale.