Cutting feed costs
I'm looking for some input from everyone.
I'm looking to cut down on the cost of feed. I'm encountering some financial difficulties and I wouldn't mind cutting costs without sacraficing on my geldings nutritional needs.
13 year old Quarter Horse gelding. Always been an easy keeper. Outdoor board for spring/summer/fall and Indoor board over the winter. Free-choice grass hay is available at all times. Ridden 1-2 hours 2-3 days a week, so light work IMO.
Currently he is fed 1lb Gro n' Win twice daily (product info here - Product Details - Gro 'n Win) and one 50lb bag is $35.25 (lasts ~25 days) and on top of this he gets 1 scoop of 3000mg glucosamine ($35/month) and 1 tbsp yucca ($5-7/month). $50 to supplement him with Vitamin A orally throughout the winter as he has been deficient this year...
The vet actually has concerns of an allergy to an ingredient in the Gro n' Win which is causing an oily skin which is leading to other problems. I'm not on board with this theory yet but ... may be an interesting test to see what happens if I do change up our products.
I have considered other ration balancers but I cannot feed anything with molasses. I have been working hard to slim down this gelding over the years and he's still a bit too heavy. He does not need unnecessary sugars, I don't want to start having problems... That's making something available here difficult to find. I already travel 45-60 mins to purchase the Gro n' Win. Everything else available here molasses in it.
My question to you guys....
What about feeding hay cubes (I'm fairly certain these need soaking before feeding) and a vitamin/mineral supplement??? I certainly think this would be cost effective over the long run but I'm undecided if this is a better option??
For supplements I am considering:
Nutriquin classic - http://www.bionicheanimalhealth.com/...c-Brochure.pdf
Nutriquin Elite - http://www.bionicheanimalhealth.com/...%20English.pdf
which both seem pretty reasonable. I consider the Elite considering I may do more with him...
My gelding means the world to me. If this not a good idea I will certainly work till I drop to make sure he has everything he needs... but I wouldn't mind cutting down on cost if possible.
Do you have an easy driving distance to somebody that sells Triple Crown?
They sell Ontario Dehy hay cubes that are formulated for easy keeper and metabolic horses.
Equine Nutrition: Triple Crown Equine Nutrition For Low Carbohydrate Horse Diets.
I'm not sure of the price. A friend of mine is on a strict budget and feeds these cubes to all four of her horses - who are very easy keepers, so they get the minimum. I know she's been feeding this product at least since last summer and is satisfied, to -date:-)
I'm also a gro n win user. It really doesn't get any cheaper than that.
A bag (50lb) costs me $25.60 and it lasts one horse 50 days. That's $.51/lb. that's only like $15-month per horse. Pretty cheap if you ask me.
I've never had any issues with the gro n win and I highly recommend it. I also use triple crown feeds. They're rb is called 30%, but the gro n win is a little more cost efficient.
I'm not sure what exactly you're horse would be allergic to in the gnw... Unless he's sensitive to soy? Try a soy free feed (tough to find and not cheap) and see of there's any changes? I'm with you on not really seeing the allergy as a culprit, but who knows. Quite a few horses are soy sensitive and gnw is soy based.
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Could you possibly feed soaked beet pulp and add a vit/min supplement to that?
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What about feeding triple crown lite Equine Supplement | Triple Crown Lite Equine Supplement Is Heavily Fortified I feed it to my easy keeper appy and donkey. Appy gets 2lbs/day and donkey 1lb/day and it only costs about $20/50lb bag
this glucosamine seems like it would be cheaper AniMed Glucosamine 5000 Powder - Horse.com
So, this is JMO, I like SmartPak, so be forewarned. ;)
You pay for hay. Then the other stuff. $42+35+6 for GnW, Gluc, and Yucca is $83/mo. Add in vitamin A at $50 and you're at $133/mo in extras. Were I in your shoes, I would do the following: keep hay free choice, but put in a slow-feeder to reduce waste, which should save you 10-20% on hay every month depending on your horse.
Then I would use SmartFlex1 (4000mg Glucosamine, MSM, vit C) at $23/month and a dose of SmartVite Performance for $28/mo to replace the grow n win as well as the vitamin A so then you're at cost of hay plus only $51 a month... and shipping is free.
I left yucca out since I don't know what it does and used the SV Performace since it has a higher dose of Vitamin A (34000IU). You could probably get away with the standard SmartVite grass, but I'd have to know how much Vit A you need your horse to be getting or why. :) EZ keeper is just a half dose of SV performance if you look at the chart, so you can adjust your custom dose anywhere in there to get the Vit A level you need. Overdosing on the other things wouldn't really be a concern unless you were going over the 'performance' levels. Even then, adding in one of the coat supplements could still be a cheaper way to get your A (in the form of beta carotene).
ETA: JUST thought to check if you were in the US.... X_X
I really don't think beet pulp and a vit/min sup is going to be any cheaper, but you won't know unless you do the math.
If you're going to go that route, you can use just about any kind of feed as a carrier for the vit/min sup b/c you will only need to feed a hanful or two. You won't be feeding it in an amount that is going to cause any issues. You just need a little something that tastes good so they eat the sup.
Just noticed.... you're feeding him 2lbs GnW and he is in light work. I would back down the GnW to 1.25-1.5lbs. IMO, he doesn't need to be on a full 2lbs.
Mine are in light work, free choice hay and are on 1lb each (about 2.5cups). Usually, in most cases, it can be fed at 1lb per day for your 800-1000lb horse that isn't in much work. Dropping back a little on the GnW will decrease your cost some.
Just searched for what yucca is used for. Your horse has joint issues?
Personally, if your horse is really an easy keeper (and could lose some), eliminate all except the vit A. You could use beet pulp to give it in.
The work you have him doing is pretty light work. Shouldn't need anything extra besides the hay.
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Beet pulp is really cheap. $10-12 bucks for a 40 pound bag that lasts you an eternity. You don't need to feed much because it expands so much. It's also easy to feed the vit/min supplement in, which is what's going to cost the most. And ditto on the slow feed hay bags. I swear by them for my boy.
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