How much alfalfa pellets to feed a horse: Know the Feedings

Horses are robust and sensitive beings. Being herbivores, they primarily survive on grass, hay, and grains. The nutritional demand of horses in their different stage of life is variable. Alfalfa is a slow energy release and high-protein ration for horses. Alfalfa pellets are a palatable option to be fed to horses. However, several horse keepers can’t figure out how much alfalfa pellets to feed a horse.

Alfalfa is a popular and nutritious feed for horses. Knowing the right quantity to feed is important before introducing it into a horse’s diet.

Why Choose Horse Alfalfa Pellets?

Alfalfa is a leguminous forage that is a good protein, energy, and mineral source when supplemented with the balanced feed of horses. We can process this legume in several forms and a pellet is one of them.

We use alfalfa pellets for horses indulged in moderate to heavy work with higher energy and protein demands. Alfalfa also helps exercising horses in buffering gastric acids and reducing the chances of gastric ulcers.

Alfalfa is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamin C, making it a brilliant choice for growing young foals.

Drying and compressing leguminous fodder produces horse alfalfa pellets. Pellets have a small size which makes them a palatable option for horses who are underweight and suffering any dental issues.

How Much Alfalfa Pellets to Feed a Horse?

Feed calculation for a horse depends on its body weight and energy requirement. As we have already discussed the utility of alfalfa for horses, we must know how much alfalfa pellets to feed horses to a horse per day to get the desired benefits of the ‘queen of forage- ALFALFA.’

Horses consume 1.5-2% of their body weight per day in dry feed. So, if a horse has to be given only alfalfa pellets, it would be 20 lbs per day for a 1000 lbs horse.

Active 1: However, horse owners can use alfalfa pellets as the main feed, but nutritionists recommended replacing only 50% of the feed with alfalfa forage and using another nutritive substitute for the remaining portion.

You can start by adding 1-5 lbs of pellets per day for a healthy horse and increasing the quantity slowly. A quantity of 5-8 lbs will do good for thinner horses choosing to eat more hay.

Remember, this calculation will vary according to the horse’s needs and the variation of the work they’re put into.


Q 1. What do alfalfa pellets do to horses?

Ans- The alfalfa pellets are rich in protein and minerals. These pellets are slow-energy releasers that are used by horses in maintenance or for moderate to heavy work. The calcium content is useful in growing foals and lactating mares.

Q 2. Can you feed your horse alfalfa every day?

Ans- The alfalfa pellets are a palatable feed option rich in protein. Horses that are struggling to gain weight or are put into heavy work make the most out of the regular feeding of alfalfa. Horses on maintenance feed not involved in too much work don’t require it daily.

Q 3. How much alfalfa pellets to feed a horse per day?

Ans- You can feed up to 20 lbs of alfalfa pellet to a 1000 lbs horse. The recommendation says not to exceed the alfalfa from 50% in the total calculated hay quantity given per day. You can start by adding 1-5 lbs of pellets per day for a healthy horse and increasing the quantity slowly.


The quality and palatability of alfalfa forage make them a popular choice among horse keepers. Horses are sensitive to the diet change. Hence, one must start with a pound or less while adding pellets to their diet.

To meet their protein, energy, and mineral demand, you can add alfalfa pellets to the regular diet of a hardworking horse.

Don’t consider the scientifically calculated dose final for your horse. Always consult your veterinarian regarding the correct quantity and ways to introduce alfalfa to your horse’s diet plan.


Dr Akanksha Agnihotri is another animal lover like you cum veterinarian by profession. She has earned her B.V.Sc & AH from COVS & AH, Jabalpur, India. She has a knack for befriending animals/pets and treating them compassionately. She believes...