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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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        11-17-2012, 10:39 AM
      #41
    Green Broke
    Well, I meant for the OP who only pays $120. Hehe. Didnt mean it directly at you, sorry :)
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        11-17-2012, 10:45 AM
      #42
    Green Broke
    Well that's after deducting my work at the barn. I'm there everyday doing something. But I also live in an area where cheaper board does exist.
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        11-17-2012, 11:26 AM
      #43
    Showing
    From what you are feeding I'd expect to see an elderly horse that you ride hard on an almost daily basis. Some of what you are supplementing is likely winding up on the ground as expensive manure or urine. With water soluble vitamins they don't remain in the body very long and the horse's body takes only what it needs and pees out the remainder. Why not switch to the regular Seniors as it contains probiotics, beet pulp, additional oils, etc. and toss in a handful of alfalfa pellets when she goes on the round bales. If she'd fed twice daily I'd go with a pound of alfalfa and a pound of senior's at each feed. Skip everything else except for her cough medication. That should reduce your costs considerably. If she's not a high performance horse she doesn't need all the extras.
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        11-17-2012, 12:14 PM
      #44
    Yearling
    Be careful if you decide to stop the cough free. We have a horse that's been on it for a while and we decided to stop it and no sooner than we did he ended up with a nasty URI . As soon as we started the cough free back all his symptoms went away. He always has a cough. Partially due an old injury.
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        11-17-2012, 12:16 PM
      #45
    Trained
    Jumping on what saddlebag just brought up, maybe it would be more cost effective to bring the horse up to good weight FIRST and THEN do the hard riding. Slowing down with riding IS cheaper than any supplement or feed. Just a thought.......
         
        11-17-2012, 12:31 PM
      #46
    Green Broke
    She's been off cough free for about 4 or 5 days now and so far no issues. But it's not hard to get so if I need to I can always pick some up.

    I have slowed down the riding mainly because well working one full time job, one part time job and going to college full time seems to take a lot of my time lol plus it's dark by 5 and I don't get to the barn til 4:30 most days. She has picked up weight in the last two weeks though. I rode bareback yesterday and I can get into that one spot where I can't feel her spine again. Bought another blanket too so I can make sure it is always clean and dry and that she has the right weight on.

    But with slowing down riding comes an unruly pain in my butt. But for being in season she did pretty well last night. Wednesday night she tried bolting and bucking though. At least she hasn't reared in about a month so we are getting somewhere.

    But I can feel her rounding her back in the canter and sometimes in the trot and she has been keeping her head much lower so I think she's starting to use those back muscles.

    And for fun here's a picture from last night.
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        11-17-2012, 12:55 PM
      #47
    Trained
    Looking better
    Now, that proves the theory, tho. Less riding due to daylight and mommy less time=gaining weight
    It seems to be going pretty fast, so I guess you won't have too many bucks and bolts to sit out
         
        11-17-2012, 01:05 PM
      #48
    Green Broke
    Haha yes but she's also the horse that will do laps in her paddock if she is not satisfied with her workout. I started her on the alfalfa about 2-3 weeks ago and the wheat germ oil a week ago. When she gets on a good program she will fill out quickly. I would like to cut back on the beet pulp as I go through that the most and it's only $2 a bag cheaper than the alfalfa. But I will wait until she picks up much more weight. It's supposed to be in the 50s to 60s for the next week so that should help too.

    Her coat grew just as long as it was last last year already even with being blanketed the last two months. It is almost 2 inches long and fluffy all over. She kinda looks like a goat lol her face is so furry. But her tail just keeps growing. I had to cut it super short last week because the bottom was almost to the ground again and it was all icky brown.
         
        11-17-2012, 01:20 PM
      #49
    Trained
    Sorry, no time to read all posts, so I might be reiterating a previous point. You need to know EXACTLY how much hay she is eating. I feed a few flakes at a time, and when my horse leaves some, I cut back. This winter, w/55-65 lb straight alfalfa bales, my one (1,400 lb) gelding gets 7 flakes/day, and my other 6yo gelding and my 14yo mare (both ~1,100 lbs) get 5 flakes/day. I have enough hay to see me through next April, when the pastures are edible, and I should still have about 50 bales left. Check out my horses--EVERYBODY is a 5-6 on the Apgar scale. They are ALL easy keepers, but I've owned many hard keepers, including "Corporal", (1982-2009, RIP). I put him on Purina Equine Senior, and he looked very good on it, though he was NEVER any higher than a 5.
    HAY should be your primary feed, and I would make it at least 70% of your horses diet. Horses must have lots of fiber in their diet or else their digestive system, which is the most vulnerable part of their anatomy, will digest poorly. They are made to consume grasses. The other products supplement but, unlike cattle, you cannot fatten them on beet pulp and the other stuff. I had a skinny TB mare when I first got my horses. She was a HARD keeper and lost a lot of weight. My Vet had me start with one full bale of hay/daily, no supplements, to start her back on the road to recovery.
    Alfalfa hay has deep roots and was the best survivor of this year's drought. HOWEVER, older horses have a lot of trouble masticating it. They will leave the stems and eat only the leaves. I would feed alfalfa cubes intead of pellets. They generally sell here for about ~15.00/50 lb bag. Wet them before serving and she'll be able to easily eat them.
    Good luck, no matter whose advice your take. **hugs**
         
        11-17-2012, 02:08 PM
      #50
    Started
    This is kind of an odd observation but what Saddlebag said is kinda related.

    I currently have 3 horses.
    The pony is an 11 hand, 37 yr old air fern. Only job is to look cute.
    My App is a large pony/small horse, late teens early 20's, another easy keeper.
    My TWH is a smidge over 16 hands. Needs a little more than the other 2 but I'd still call her easy.
    I keep it simple.

    For the sake of the pony all got put on a Nutrena's Empower Balance along with a very low NSC hay stretcher. Varied by who I was giving it to. The hay stretcher mostly to keep the pony from thinking her throat had been cut she gets so little of the other.

    The walker gets a 1 lb coffee can of alfalfa pellets and a cup of rice bran with hers. Finished before the pony realizes she is missing something.

    Grass hay is free choice and there is ample pasture though going dormant now.

    The horses really bloomed on the Nutrena. I love what I see. BUT, I kept noticing that when any of the mares urinated the grass would burn off, go dead. Kind of nagged me all summer but I kept thinking maybe it was because we were a little dryer than normal this year. Seemed like they peed a bit more often too. 20 acres of grass so the same spot wasn't getting hit repeatedly.
    Well tractor supply pissed me off again so I went and bought the Poulin ration balancer. I use their hay stretcher anyway so no biggy. I'm on the second bag now. I have used it before. It's only 24% protein. I need to feed a tad more but according to the directions not much. I am not seeing any new burn marks in the grass.

    What does that mean? Not sure. However excess protein means excess nitrogen and that is excreted as ammonia or urine. Only a short term observation on 3 horses at this point.

    It kinda sounds like your feeding a race horse or a high caliber eventer to me too.

    My pony, though never tested is probably IR. She is fat on nothing and has always been. She has had mild boughts of laminitis before. She has not had any since putting her on the ration balancer and hay stretcher. The protein is high in the ration balancers but you feed so little it works out. Pony gets 1/3 of a measuring cup 2x a day. It's probably the simplest way to get her vitamins and minerals into her. I couldn't come close with other feeds. Lots of laminitic animals are getting ration balancers. A small horse is getting less than a lb of it a day. If anything it would be less risky for a horse with issues because you feed so little. You can even just drop them in and out of a feed program because it is so little of it.

    Smart paks are a lovely idea but it's a whole lot cheaper to buy a box of ziploc sandwhich bags and measure it out. You could take a marker, label each bag and put it all in a covered pail so it's ready for whomever is doing the feeding. Write all the directions on the bucket so it's clear.

    Hope that makes sense. I babble sometimes.

    I wouldn't spend the money on the daily wormer either. You can buy ivermectin all day long on the net for 1.99 and sometimes it goes on sale cheaper. Plus you aren't running into the resistance issues using it like the daily stuff.
         

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