Feed plan, how can I save money?

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Feed plan, how can I save money?

This is a discussion on Feed plan, how can I save money? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    11-14-2012, 09:26 AM
Green Broke
Unhappy Feed plan, how can I save money?

So I am going to try to put a screen print of what I am thinking of switching Lizzy to in the next month or so. Waiting for current supplements to run out. But since FeedXL lets me put in the cost and it will calculate my monthly cost it is almost making me cry. Is there anyway to possibly save money here?? The top two would be in smartpaks and this is the only diet I have come up with so far that completely balances everything out.

I feel like Lizzy has picked up weight already since starting the alfalfa pellets about a week or two ago. But this feed bill is on top of my board cost and I will be paying for my own roundbales here soon too.

Ahh please help before she eats all my money

Uckele Health & Nutrition Tri-Amino
$13 for 560 g
20.0 g
per day
per day

SmartVite Senior Grass Pellets
$25 for 2,800 g
100.0 g
per day
per day

Farnam Fortified Wheat Germ Oil Blend
$23 for 128 oz
1.0 oz
per day
per day

Equi Aid CW
$32 for 10 lb
2.0 oz

per day
per day

Alfalfa Pellets (Good)
$16 for 50 lb
2.0 lb
per day
per day

Cough Free
$15 for 1 lb
0.5 oz
per day
per day

Farnam MSM
$20 for 4 lb
0.33 oz
per day
per day

Beet Pulp (unmolassed) (Dried)
$13 for 50 lb
3.0 lb
per day
per day

Grass Hay (Average)

25.0 lb per day

Total cost of this diet

$3.92 per day
$119.31 per month
$1,431.75 per year

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    11-14-2012, 10:02 AM
I don't find that to be expensive, poppy. I don't know what some of those supplements are supposed to do, but if you can drop them that would help your cost.

I have my horses on Blue Seal Trotter, which is more to make sure they get any vitamins/minerals their hay may be lacking than because they actually need feed. I've also put the 26 y/o on beet pulp along with the Trotter and good, grass mix hay to help keep his weight up over the winter. The two younger horses don't need the beet pulp.
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    11-14-2012, 10:10 AM
Green Broke
Well it costs just a few dollars shy of my board cost which includes hay. I will be purchasing additional hay to allow her to eat 24/7 which she has food for probably about 16-20 hours a day now.

I'm thinking of stopping the cough free as soon as my current container is gone, about another week. But if her cough comes back she will have to stay on it.

MSM well she's going on 20 soon and is in pretty good work, but that is only $3 a month anyway.

The Equi-aid is daily dewormer, vet put her on it so it has to stay.

The first 3 would be the ones I could really play with. But there is so much out there I don't have a clue what would be cheaper. Come summer I'm sure I could cut back on the beet pulp and alfalfa.

I was playing around with feedxl with different vitamin mineral supps but they kept coming back with the copper ratio thing wayyyyy off.
    11-14-2012, 10:16 AM
Green Broke
I just read an article about the hay shortage in the upper midwest and the high cost of hay there.

The article suggested that beef cattle owners feed baled corn stalks and less hay so there would be more hay available to horses (corn stalks are fine for beef cattle.. but they do need to be supplemented with hay or grain). By feeding cornstalks to beef cattle the beef farmer would be spending less and there would be more hay available for horses.

Apparently, due to the high cost of hay, there are whole herds of horses being offered for free.. as there are few meat auctions since the US closed all its horse slaughter houses and the ones in Canada are too far away (or something like that).

The article was pretty good as it went into the economic loss to the region if a lot of the horses are no longer there. They mentioned how it was important for one sector of the agricultural community to support other sectors any way that can as all sectors add up to a much healthier economy.

It also touched on the emotional losses of this situation.

I too think if you can feed "just the basics" (hay, alfalfa Pellets and a mineral salt block) and your horse retains condition you may not need all the supplements which will save you quite a bit. If you are adding the wheat germ oil for calories, you can replace 3/4trs of that with corn oil which is way cheaper.
    11-14-2012, 10:17 AM
So your boarding costs are only $120 a month? You're very lucky. Even with the cost of the feed/supplements added, you're still coming out way under what most people pay for even pasture board.

To feed my three comes to around $235 a month, which works out to a little over $78 a horse. Of course, I'm not counting anything extra in there, like bedding, dewormers, or any health/vet costs.
    11-14-2012, 10:20 AM
If you're using smartpak, maybe you could look at finding a supplement that is more "well rounded" to achieve what some of the individual ones are doing.

I switched Whiskey to SmartFlex senior, which gave more benefits and eliminated the need for me to give him the MSM and probiotics since they're included in those pellets. He was good before, but he's like a new man now, and I feel that it saved overall. Check the ingredients, might have the amino acids in there too.

Is Lizzy pretty underweight or a really hard keeper? Between hay, beet pulp, alfalfa pellets and grass pellets, maybe you want to cut one out and experiment? I'm certainly not a nutrition expert so I'm just thinking out lout and curious what others have to say as well.

Whiskey is 18. He is on a round bale in the paddock, and gets one scoop twice a day of Purina Ultium/Sweet feed mix (which includes beet pulp, and he likes the texture of sweet feed blend instead of straight pellets) which runs me $39/month. Then he gets SmartFlex Senior and Cool Calories for supplements at $49/month. He's maintaining a healthy weight.
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    11-14-2012, 10:29 AM
Green Broke
Well I work part time at my barn so when you take that off the board then yes it is around that.

Lizzy is a very hard keeper. She has lost weight in the last two months. I make sure she is blanketed to keep her warm but not to warm, I live 5 minutes away so I check on her quite often. She has more blankets than I have coats. Oh and to add when you take the blanket off on a sunny day she fluffs right back up within an hour.

She can't have grain at all. She is prone to laminitis. Corn oil is cheaper but it also promotes inflammation, which would defeat the purpose of msm.

I forgot about the Smartflex senior, I will look at that. Most of the vitamin mineral supps didn't provide enough Vitamin E by a long shot. The amino acid supp is rather cheap and I think some of the weight she has lost is muscle.

It has been an uphill battle since I got her to get weight on her and keep it there. Really this feed bill isn't nearly as bad as it was this summer when we really ran into problems. I should also add that in August her cbc came back perfect and her teeth are good also, they will be floated during spring shots but have been checked in the last few months.

I'm just looking for any ways to save money that I might have missed.
    11-14-2012, 12:04 PM
Switching from the SmartVite to a ration balancer might help lower the cost. I know in my area, Empower Balance is ~$.60/lb and Triple Crown 30% Supplement is about $0.80/lb (and you feed ~1 lb/day). Both of those contain the three amino acids in Tri-Amino, so you might be able to cut that out, too.

Nutrena doesn't post their ingredients/NSC online, but I know TC30 is very low NSC at 9.8% even though it's technically not grain free (because it contains wheat middlings).

ETA- Actually, just looked at the Empower Balance site and they do publish their NSC- it's 14%
    11-14-2012, 12:12 PM
Green Broke
Do you need to buy the supplements in Smartpaks? The Smartpaks are convenient but they generally are more costly than buying the same exact thing in a giant tub.

I've done giant tubs of supplements which I stored at home and pre-portioned out the daily needs in little ziplock containers. It's the same work as a Smartpak for the BO (empty ziplock tub, toss tub in box for me to re-use) and while it's more time-consuming for me, it's cheaper.

My BO will feed anything I want but her husband does the feeding quite often and you'd think that being a very highly-educated engineer that he could measure out a few supplements but I've found him completely and utterly lost and confused in the feed room. This way is cheaper and I know my horse is getting the right amounts of everything. If I am changing his grain, I measure everything out in zippy bags so that he is changed over gradually and the person feeding isn't measuring out multiple grains.
    11-14-2012, 12:15 PM
Originally Posted by Delfina    
My BO will feed anything I want but her husband does the feeding quite often and you'd think that being a very highly-educated engineer that he could measure out a few supplements but I've found him completely and utterly lost and confused in the feed room.
Engineers are brilliant when it comes to their chosen field, but many of them are lost when it comes to everyday, common sense things. Ask me how I know this.

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