How many rely on pasture as a BIG part of your feeding program?
What are you doing to offset costs as prices go up for hay and feed??
What if drought, or too much rain (any adverse weather conditions) has affected your pasture,
what/how are you compensating for that component in your overall feeding program?
Thanks for any input
1. Pasture is the bulk of my feed program, even though two of my horses are insulin resistant and wear grazing muzzles. Drought
did affect the pastures a few years back and it cost us over $500 to put weed killer down since the weeds kept growing and spreading when grass didn't. I was feeding a bale of hay every two days to my four and rotating them in the house and barn yards. Rain
is never ever an issue for us. Bring it on - bring it all on because we sit high and have the most superb natural drainage the Good Lord ever created on a piece of land. We were good and wet during the 2010 Nashville, TN floods but we were dried out in 24 hours and dusty in less than a week.
Since 2004, I have been very fortunate to buy low NSC, fescue and weed free hay five miles up the road, from a ex-breeder. Ex since the Walking Horse industry tanked in a major way
Because he stockpiled everything needed for baling, including diesel fuel, I considered myself lucky to buy 370 bales at $4.50/bale this year. I didn't need quite that much, but who knows what next year will bring, and I always like to have extra going into the next season. Not a thing wrong with year-old hay if it's stored properly.
He also lets me keep the 100 bales I don't have room for at his place until I need it.
I have four horses on 22 lush acres and should not need that much hay BUT, two of them are insulin resistant, need more hay than grass, and everyone comes in at night.
2.1 I haven't fed grain or bagged feed to anyone since the senior IR was diagnosed in 2007. They all get the same vit/min supplement and I get a whopping discount on it if I buy a year's worth and keep it in the spare bedroom.
The other things any of those horses need for one reason or another (mostly old age, arthritis and the IR) can't be cut out, so I cut things out for myself. I have never been a person to "live large" and I am now on S.S., so the sacrifices continue.
The days I paid for the hay and the vit/min supplements, were the days I started saving to pay for them next year, knowing I probably won't have enough but at I won't have to write a check for too much extra--I hope
The way things are going in this country, combined with the extreme weather conditions we all seem to be suffering, I can see where younger folks, still raising children or putting them thru college, could run into money issues keeping a horse or two. Especially if they don't have much acreage or are having to pay board and the board keeps going up.