Originally Posted by Saddlebag
For those of you facing feed shortages, invest in small mesh hay nets. Your hay will last longer and the horse will better process it it because he can't chew wads of hay. If you can find oat straw in good clean condition you can feed each animal a flake of that per day to replace a flake of hay. Horses need roughage and the oat straw will provide that. This isn't the best diet for a hard working horse but it is sufficient for casual riding. If you've been feeding supplements from a bag, consider switching to oats for the protein. The oats will cost half of bagged feed. Oats aren't the devil everyone makes them out to be. They are the only thing that can help heal hind gut ulcers that medications don't even touch. Feeding round bales is very wasteful. It is no cheaper than going with square bales. At least you can control how much they eat and there's very little waste if any.
Oats here cost almost as much as bagged feed. If by "supplements from a bag" mean stuff like Purina Strategy. I think oats are around $17 a bag, and Strategy around $21.
I actually switched to rolled barley because it provides more phosphorous (if memory serves me correct) and is more digestible than oats (I have oats sprouting in the manure when I feed it) so I figure they will digest the barley better than oats and get more use out of it.
The reason I want a little phosphorous is because I am feeding straight alfalfa hay. I figure a little bit of barley is good to help balance the high calcium content. They only get maybe 1/4 lb of barley. On the mare I ride the most, I also give her 3-6 lbs of Strategy Healthy Edge a day depending on her exercise level.
Hay, well, it is $15.50 a bale here for alfalfa (100lb bales) and last winter it went over $20 a bale. I stocked up but what I can store still won't last an entire winter.
Living in Arizona I feed top dollar hay year round.
Those of you with pasture consider yourselves blessed!