i am getting ready to buy a horse....i have no grass to feed in my paddock and bales of hay are $10...is there an alternative to feeding hay...
Not if you want to keep your horse healthy and happy.
You have to feed the expensive hay during the winter, have it on pasture in summer, pasture which hopefully produces enough to feed the horse, and buy your hay supply for next winter right at harvest, straight from the farmer. It will be considerably cheaper then.
The only way around paying 10$ a bale ( how I wish it was so cheap here), is wait with buying a horse until spring and learn all you can about horse keeping in the meantime.
You're going to cause all sorts of problems for yourself and your horse that are going to wind up costing you a lot more than what hay costs if you try and cut corners on forage. Don't skimp on hay.
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Hay is the most basic of all horse care and essentials.
Not to sound snide or rude, if you cannot afford hay, I highly suggest you do not buy a horse.
If you cannot afford hay, don't buy a horse.
You could always buy a breyer... or barbie has some pretty bad ass horses these days. Or my little pony...
Or you can play Horseland or Hworse (however it is spelled)
or you can get a bike.
The majority would need to be hay. You can give soaked beet pulp in replace of some of the hay. You can also buy slow feed nets to slow the horse down and keep him busy.
Straw can be used as roughage as well, but that has no nutritional value, it would just keep him busy and his guts working.
Horses need 1.5-2% of their weight in feed per day. so if your horses is 1000 lbs
he needs 15 to 20lbs of food per day.
so if a bale weighs aprox 40 lbs you would use 1/2 a bale per day perferably broken up into at least 2 feedings..
You will need to weigh the feed.
so if you take away a flake or 2 and that weighs 5 lbs you can feed 5lbs beetpulp soaked, but weighed dry. If you do this you would to do it gradualy and do your research. You may also need extra vitamins and minerals.
Hope this helps a little
remember there are other things the horse needs, so don't just only worry about the cost of hay. You are in the right place for people to help you make informed decisions, and not everyone has the same opinions.
Wait to buy the horse. This years hay season may or may not be better, what if it is the same? Are you prepared to pay a high amount for hay, if you can even get enough? Part of the cost is drought combined with price gauging, but it is what it is. Horses need forage, period.
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