Alfalfa Cubes vs Alfalfa Hay: Which Is Better for Your Horse?

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 09/18/22 •  6 min read

Alfalfa, those green leafy legume is actually more than a wildflower.

Yeah, that’s right.

They are considered a super food for the horse.

 “Alfalfa” is an Arabic word meaning “best horse fodder” and “horsepower ”. Though it’s recently got a lot of attention as a horse diet, they have been used for thousands of years. 

But the question is, which form of Alfalfa is good for horses- Alfalfa cubes vs alfalfa hay?

Well, Alfalfa hay and cubes actually have the same nutritional value. But cubes are obviously more convenient, have minimum dust, and are easy to store. If your horse doesn’t have good teeth to chew long-stem hay, then the cube is the better option. Also, Alfalfa pellets or cubes are recommended instead of bales for the horse after colic surgery, gastric ulcer, or after post-operative care.

Alfalfa Cubes vs Alfalfa Hay

Let’s spill the beans…..What is alfalfa hay good for?

Alfalfa hay is a Horse Feed that contains all the essential nutrients your horse needs to thrive.

You bet it is!

Alfalfa hay is a rich source of B-12 and Niacin, which are essential for energy production. It also contains large quantities of fiber, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Still not convinced?

If you’re looking for healthy and nutritious hay, alfalfa hay is a perfect choice. Alfalfa hay is a type of hay that is high in protein and low in sugar. It’s also a very good source of nutrients such as vitamins B12 and K, iron, magnesium, and vitamin A.

Alfalfa hay has a light, fluffy texture that makes it ideal for livestock feeds(for the horse, cattle, goats, etc). It’s also great for equine runtime health and coats.

Related: Do horses eat apples? Discover the solution here! Learn more about this fascinating horse benefit.

And what are alfalfa cubes then?

As the name suggests- it’s the cube form of alfalfa hay. And more or less, they got the same nutritional value as hay or pallets.

So what makes them unique?

They are a convenient, healthy, and affordable option as livestock feed. These cubes are a sustainable source of protein and fiber that are also environmentally friendly.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce dust on your farm yet ensure your animal gets all the nutrition, then these tiny cubes are the best choice. Your pet or domestic animals can enjoy fresh, natural alfalfa without worrying about the dirty mess.

what are alfalfa cubes

Alfalfa cubes vs alfalfa hay – What are the differences & are hay or cubes better for horses?

Alfalfa cubes and alfalfa hay, both types of hay, are popular in the United States. The big difference between these two is actually the convenience.

Here is a head-to-head comparison of alfalfa hay vs cubes.

FeaturesAlfalfa CubesAlfalfa hayWho wins here
DigestibilitySame but more consistentsameTie
Nutritional ValueSameSameTie
DustLittle dustDusty & messyCubes
Storage requirementDenser & required less spaceRequires a lot of space,Cubes
Waste managementProduce less wasteWastefulcubes
Need Maintenance (soaking)YesNoHay
ConvenientMore convenientBales are heavy & less convenientCubes

Can alfalfa cubes replace hay for the horse?

Yes, cubes are an environmentally friendly alternative to hay for the horse. They are easy to crush and provide the needed nutrients and fiber.

These cubes are specifically designed to keep low maintenance for storage; For starters, alfalfa cubes are high in fiber which can help with digestion and assure a healthy stomach.

And if your horse has certain respiratory problems, cubes are a safe option as forage.

And how many alfalfa cubes should a horse eat a day? As the general rule, you should feed 1.5 to 2 percent of the horse’s body weight per day. Do your own calculation of the other diet you’re incorporating in horse feed and how many cubes are safe for them.

Keep in mind:

Both cubes and pellets are processed forages. That means you can’t expect the same freshness as straight hay. At the same time, horses need grazing on the open field to make them happy and cheerful. So yeah, cubes or pallets are forage substitutes when it’s harsh weather like winter or the time of drought, but cubes shouldn’t be the only diet plan for the long run.

Related: Do you have a horse and are wondering if it can eat gummy bears?

Are alfalfa cubes good for older horses?


Just like a human, age lessens the nutrient absorption of the horse.

That’s why senior horses need more care for their well-being. When it comes to horse health, one of the most important things you can do is ensure your horse is getting the right nutrients and help. 

Alfalfa cubes are a great way to help with this. Horses who eat alfalfa cubes have been shown to have better health overall, and some even say they have reverse aging effects.

Another harsh truth is…….

Time takes its toll on the teeth of the aging equine. 

Since the old horse has to go through tooth decay and sometimes teeth fall, chewing long stems are not feasible for them.

And that time, cubes come in handy.

The soaked hay cubes are easier for senior horses to graze as well as for digestion. That’s why cubes are recommended for aged horses.

Warning: What horses should not have alfalfa in any form- cubes or hay?

Yes, Alfalfa is packed with nutrition and vitamins, but that doesn’t mean these plants are good for all horses.

Here is the situation when it won’t be wise to add any form of Alfalfa to your equine diet.

Let’s not forget, Alfalfa is a type of grass that is high in fiber and low in protein, which can lead to health problems for horses if they consume too much of it.

Related: Learn the truth about alfalfa! Find out if it really does alfalfa make horses hot and what other benefits it can provide.


How many alfalfa cubes equal a flake?

Well, it depends on the size of the cubes, actually. The standard cube size on the market is 5 lbs which is pretty much equal to 5 lbs bales.

Will alfalfa make a horse colic?

Sadly, Alfalfa (in any form) increases the chance of making colic.

How long should I soak alfalfa cubes?

On average, 25-40 minutes is enough to make it soften as livestock feed.

Verdict – Which form of Alfalfa is good for horses?

There is no doubt that both alfalfa forms are good for feeding livestock, but they have different benefits.

Alfalfa cubes have a higher protein consistency than hay, so they are better for animals that need a high-quality protein source and for some specific medical conditions. On the other hand, Hay has a freshness that horses love to graze. Hay is also more affordable than hay, making them a good choice for those on a budget.

If your horses are fully fit, give them both options and see what they like most.

Zunnun Ahmed

We are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.

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