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Cutting feed costs

This is a discussion on Cutting feed costs within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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        01-18-2013, 02:33 PM
      #21
    Trained
    There are indeed plenty of low maintenance horses that are more than just fine on hay/grass diets. Our four mares (8, 10, 17, and 18 yrs) have been on grass/hay (with a mineral block) all their lives, barefoot with good feet, nice coats with no skin problems, and never had to have the vet out for an illness.
         
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        01-18-2013, 02:45 PM
      #22
    Green Broke
    Ok I am going to agree with Usandpets here even though I have an extensive feed bill with all the extras. If my horse was an easy keeper I would not have all the extras unless I felt better about feeding them.

    If it is between selling the horse or having them live comfortably on just hay without extras I think the decision is pretty clear to keep the horse in the loving environment that it is in. Not everyone can afford all the special things, that doesn't mean they shouldn't own a horse. People invented reasons for these horses to need these extras. That does not mean that every horse out there needs all this extra "stuff".

    OP- If you need to cut costs and your horse is otherwise healthy except the Vit A then just give the Vit A with hay. I am guessing you are giving the Vit A orally by syringe? If so you don't need anything to feed it with.
         
        01-18-2013, 03:26 PM
      #23
    Banned
    I have three horse ages 10 12 and 26 all they get is free choice hay and a vit min supplement.
    They have white salt and fresh water that's it their healthy and happy.

    In summer the 26 year old gets msm helps with her heaves haven't fed grain for over 4 months.
    If they don't need it I don't feed it.
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        01-18-2013, 04:15 PM
      #24
    Yearling
    You can live and stay fat on McDonald's double cheeseburgers every day too. Doesnt mean you are healthy.

    RBs or some sort of area specific Vit and min. Supplement to make up for what the hay lacks is really a bare minimum for proper horse care. No, a trace mineral block doesnt count. Course hair coats, Hay bellies, ugly top lines, rain rot, goopey eyes, shelly hooves, thrush, general unthriftiness...this is what you get with most local grass hay only diets. Rarely, if ever, is hay alone adequate nutrition to create a healthy bloomed horse.
         
        01-18-2013, 04:25 PM
      #25
    Started
    Trinity- I think you have to look at the definition of 'local' hay though. Where I lived in WA, the only common deficiency in our local orchard/timothy mixes was selenium and vitamin E after a few months of storage. Make sure the horses had salt with selenium and that's all you need for some **** fine looking horses. Other places, like where I'm at now, the hay is deficient in multiple key things and you've gotta get a RB to make sure everything's covered. You don't know for certain unless you test or buy tested hay.
    OneFastHorse likes this.
         
        01-18-2013, 04:28 PM
      #26
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Trinity3205    
    You can live and stay fat on McDonald's double cheeseburgers every day too. Doesnt mean you are healthy.

    RBs or some sort of area specific Vit and min. Supplement to make up for what the hay lacks is really a bare minimum for proper horse care. No, a trace mineral block doesnt count. Course hair coats, Hay bellies, ugly top lines, rain rot, goopey eyes, shelly hooves, thrush, general unthriftiness...this is what you get with most local grass hay only diets. Rarely, if ever, is hay alone adequate nutrition to create a healthy bloomed horse.
    ^^This. Do not judge a book by its cover. Sure, they may seem healthy on the outside, but you cannot tell what they are deficient in just by looking at them. If you won't be feeding hard feed, at least feed a vi/min supplement to ensure your horse gets everything it needs. I feed a ration balancer as well, and with a 9 month old colt, I'm feeding 3 pounds a day because he is growing and therefore needs more nutrition. I love my ration balancer. I switched over a couple months ago and both my colt and slightly overweight pony are doing great on it.
    OneFastHorse likes this.
         
        01-18-2013, 04:33 PM
      #27
    Green Broke
    Ok you all want a vit/min supp. This is what I feed my horse (along with hundreds of dollars of other "stuff"). It is a pellet and is a tiny scoop. It could be fed by itself and the horse could gobble it up in one bite no extra feed required and quite cheap.

    Farnam Vita Plus Feed Supplement - Mills Fleet Farm
         
        01-18-2013, 04:56 PM
      #28
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sharpie    
    Trinity- I think you have to look at the definition of 'local' hay though. Where I lived in WA, the only common deficiency in our local orchard/timothy mixes was selenium and vitamin E after a few months of storage. Make sure the horses had salt with selenium and that's all you need for some **** fine looking horses. Other places, like where I'm at now, the hay is deficient in multiple key things and you've gotta get a RB to make sure everything's covered. You don't know for certain unless you test or buy tested hay.
    That is why I said area specific. You still need to supplement. Some areas need more than others. There are things that your local agricultural center will know that is a typically deficient nutrient in your area based on local hays. That info is usually free. If you do nothing else, at least call and ask.

    There is no place that I personally know of offhand where the local hay is 100% nutritionally complete or adequate for an equine. It might exist but I havent heard of it. All big cattle areas have these things available that are tailored for that specific region's typical deficiency's and pasture types. Horses should have this too but are often overlooked because they are not raised for income/food typically and can get by with just hay even if they are deficient to the uneducated eye. Cattle can too but they would not produce as well and have more health problems so it benefits the cattleman to know what he needs to supplement for optimal health of his animal and in the end, his pocketbook. Conscientious horse owners are like the cattleman.
    OneFastHorse and Blue Smoke like this.
         
        01-18-2013, 06:54 PM
      #29
    Green Broke
    Yes Trinity, you are right. Hay is not 100% complete nutrition-wise. There is hay that is not adequate for horses which is designated as cattle hay. There is good hay that is adequate for horses.

    I will also agree that hay is not enough for SOME horses, such as professional or ones in a heavy work load or ones with health issues already. Light work or pleasure horses are not in the same boat. They will do fine with just hay.

    Saying all hay is not adequate for horses is the same as saying not stalling a horse is not adequate care for the horse. I'm not saying feeding supplements or other feed is not better for them. I'm just saying its not necessary.

    Here's a couple pics of our horses. When the vet and farrier say they are healthy and doing fine, I don't see a reason to change what they get.

    This horse they couldn't believe was 17yo. He thought she was only 10. She has been on hay (or grass in summer) all her life and nothing else. No health issues and solid hooves.


    This girl is the same way, hay or grass. She always has a shiny coat except when its muddy.
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        01-18-2013, 06:56 PM
      #30
    Green Broke
    How much does your horse weigh? 2 lbs a day is the amount recommended for horses 1300-1500 lbs in light work, and QH's generally weigh less than that. Cutting back to 1.5 lbs per day or less would save you some money and should still provide adequate nutrition.

    I know Triple Crown 30% Supplement was already mentioned, but I'll plug it too. It's lower NSC than GnW and has higher concentration of vitamins & minerals, so you could feed less. I haven't done a detailed comparison of TC30 vs GnW (because GnW isn't sold by my local feed stores), but when I compared TC30 to Empower Balance, I found that 1 lb of TC30 gave the same amount of nutrition as ~1-1/2 lbs of EB, negating the price difference between the two. A quick glance at GnW's analysis makes me think the same would hold true for it. My feed store sells TC30 for $38/bag, so about the same price as you're paying for GnW, but would provide better nutrition per pound.

    I'd avoid feeding a hay only diet as your horse has already had a problem with vit A deficiency.

    For the joint supplement, I'd shop around and see if there's one that provides the same amount of active ingredient for less. SmartPak has several that would fit this bill, but IIRC they don't ship to Canada.
         

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