Which would be cheaper?
I currently feed my horses sweet feed, soaked alfafla pellets and senior feed. Here are my horses needs:
21 years old
Has a harder time keeping weight on
She gets worked the most out of all the other horses
Very good feet
11 years old
Gets worked about once every week
Gets sore very easily
5 years old
currently unrideable and in quarentine with Pigeon Fever..lol
Going to start barrel training as soon as she clears up
Has good back hooves but terrible front hooves, easily chipped
2 years old
Gets riden about twice a week
Coat is rather sad and gets sunbleached very easily
Going to cutting training in the spring
Very nice feet
My question is, would it be better to keep feeding what we are feeding now, or to change to just a basic cheaper feed like Strategy (Dream has choked on this before..) and add the supplements that each horse needs? Would I feed less? Would it cost more?
Keep feeding what you're feeding....Your still going to be feeding almost the same amount of feed, plus the cost of different supplements for each of your horses...When you give supplements you shouldn't cut corners, they can't just be the cheapest on the shelf, I'm not saying that *some* cheap supplements don't work, but most don't. Then you'll be feeding a cheap feed, and cheap feeds aren't usually that great for horses..You'll be better off by keep doing what your doing..Like the old saying, don't fix something that isn't broken.
A lot of my friends feed strategy to their horses, is just a basic pelleted feed.
Another thought was, a guy I know feeds just cheap cattle feed, and then gives each horse their needed supplements..and his horses look AH-MAZING.
Main reason I am feeding them such high fat feed, is to ge them through the winter best I can. We got as much hay as we could, I think we have about 7 round bales left and around 250 square. Grass normally doesn't green up till late March here.
I feed Strategy to my black mare, it's a nice solid feed but she's also getting an all-around supplement, a joint supplement, and a free choice mineral block..Along with free choice high quality hay.
It really depends on the horses too..my other mare doesn't do well on the Strategy, she loses weight and doesn't perform at the top of her game..
So where some of your horses might do good on the Strategy, others might not.
If the goal is to save some money with your feeding program, you've got to look at the costs of what you are paying for your hay stretchers. My latest prices on Senior was $16/50# or $640/ton. At approximately 1.4 times the calories of grass hay, you get the caloric equivalent of 1.4 T at a cost of $457/ton. Alfalfa pellets are running $13/50# or $520/ton. At 1.2 times grass hay, that's 433/ton. Are you paying $400+ per ton for hay? If you're buying bulk directly from the mill than you would be saving about $100/ton and it would be cheaper in most situations.
250 small squares alone is enough to get 4 horses through the next 3 months. You could feed each one 1/2 bale (25-30#) per day and it would get you to the 1st of May. You are in better shape than most.
250 is my rough estimate:P
But thanks!! Very imformative!!
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Sweet feed is basically junk food, which sounds like it's showing up in your horses condition (hard keeper/sore/chipping hooves/poor coat). Sounds like they aren't getting the proper nutrition they need. If they are holding their weight ok (besides the one hard keeper), do you think they would be ok on a ration balancer plus alfalfa pellets? It will probably be much cheaper and you'll be able to make sure they are getting the nutrition they need, plus the choke prone horse won't have as much to choke on since you only feed a very small amount of ration balancer. You can feed a flax and or rice bran supplement and add oil for extra fat, and soaked beet pulp to the hard keeper. If you want to switch to an actual grain, look for something that is higher in fat and that you have to feed less of to make sure they get their full recommended nutritional value.
The ration balancer and rice bran are expensive by the bag, but you only feed 1/2-1 lb a day, so they last. Better than feeding 5-10lbs of a cheaper feed, plus you may find once you balance out your feed program, you will no longer need extra supplements which will be cheaper in the long run.
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