My other thought (on the alfalfa front) is to just get a single bale and try maybe adding a 5 pounds to her ration per day.
At least with my Lacey girl, she starts dropping weight like no one's business in the winter without her alfalfa. I had been trying, this winter, to cut out the alfalfa just because it's not recommended for her given her propensity towards obesity etc BUT I'm going to have to "give in" this next week. She's been eating 30lbs of grass hay a night, grazing during the day in her pasture that actually HAS grass, and getting 2lbs of alfalfa pellets/day, as well as being blanketed 24/7, but she's already ribby (as in, you can see rib pretty easily when she doesn't have a blanket on) after just a few weeks of 40*F weather+rain.
In the past, I've found that even just a single flake of alfalfa/day (about 5lbs off a 120lb bale) is enough to keep the weight on her. That ends up working out so I only need to buy alfalfa every couple of weeks (I only have room to store about 6 bales so I generally buy hay on a weekly/bi-weekly basis). At $15/bale doing it that was is significantly cheaper than alfalfa pellets (40#bag for $12). Just a thought.
Feeding alfalfa is really where I slash my feed costs. If I tried to feed A pellets and grass hay (as I'm finding out right now) things are SO much more expensive and the weight just does not stay on. For example, I'm currently spending about $25/week on hay+pellets alone which is ridiculous. For the last two winters, feeding alfalfa, I've been able to spend only about $12/week (since grass hay is $5/60# bale and she maybe eats 15#s of it per day when she has alfalfa).
On the front of supplements, I'm currently feeding Lacey Nature's Essential's 12:12 (I don't feed it free choice, I add 2oz to her feed/day) and 1oz of Red Cell to get her "everything". With alfalfa+all that, it evens out for me. The NE comes up as "not recommended" for a laminitis-prone horse, I think, BUT that's due to how FeedXL doesn't have "all" the info on it. It's literally just minerals, no sugars etc. :)
Not NSC, soy kills the thyroid. Vet said something but of course I forgot what exactly he said other than she is predisposed for it. There was a reason but well I didn't write it down. I have the memory of someone with alzheimers lol.
Wallaby I would love to get her alfalfa hay. I will be talking with everyone tonight to get this started. Her Red Cell has not been giving her enough of what she needs at 2oz a day which is really the max. The ration balancers just don't have enough. She is also in pretty good work so that might be where it differs from Lacey.
She prefers hay over any feed lately. I have at least another month before my current supply is gone so I have some time to decide what I need.
Have you looked at Red Cell + ration balancer? If the only things deficient when you tried plugging in the ration balancer were sodium, iodine and folic acid, then salt and Red Cell should fix that. I actually found that doing that combination would allow me to decrease the amount of ration balancer I'm feeding, so I'm planning on switching to that combination in a few months when I run out of the other supplement I'm currently using. Also, the Red Cell pellets seem to have a higher concentration of nutrients than the liquid per serving.
Honestly, I don't worry about getting the sodium part of my horse's chart up to 100%- it's the only mineral that studies have shown horses to be able to self regulate, so having a small gap showing on the chart should be OK as long as the horse has access to a block or (even better) loose salt. I add iodized salt to my horse's feed, which gets the iodine up to 100%, even though it says he still needs more sodium. He has plain salt available at all times, so if he needs it, he will take care of it himself.
Well they don't exactly eat more lol. The bozos will actually leave some til next feeding. 5 horses and they actually save their hay lol. On the bus now so I will have to look at the red cell with rb tonight after I get home. Going to try to get a ride in before dark. Posted via Mobile Device
Watch the iron if she has problems with laminitis. I see posts over and over again on the equine cushings group on yahoo about limiting the iron. Google iron, laminitis together and tons comes up. Red Cell is loaded with iron.
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.
Good lord. I'd die for those prices. I pay $250 PER HORSE for self care.and that's just to keep the horses not even including hay or feed let alone wormers and supplements. And I have 3 horses and I only pay $25 for my mini.... Posted via Mobile Device
Cowgirls, mine are at home, so I don't consider the cost of my mortgage because I'd have that expense anyway. If I added up all the extra electricity costs and time, it would be a heck of a lot more than $78 a month per horse.