Monday, January 21, 2013

Selfish or Savvy?

OK, I'm back after a mini vaca/sick/sleep days. I worked WAY too hard for 2 days in a row outside and at the restaurant and I was pretty burnt out. But I feel MUCH better now. Yay.

Per my title, I wanted to ask you guys if I'm being selfish. I don't think so really, but there is always that little inkeling of doubt.

Yankee has ALWAYS been the most retarded of all hard keepers and it took me years to figure out what will keep weight on him. In Ohio it was $65 bags of grain that was a mixture of beet pulp, oats, high fat (%11) feed and corn. He went through about 4 of those A MONTH. God. Luckily I was still in high school so I didn't have anything else to pay for, so that was easy to swing. That was $260/mo

Then I moved here, and had to change his feed because it was a local shop that made his prissy grain in Ohio. The grain NSF used wasn't high fat enough and I was adding gobs of supps in addition to his almost FOUR scoops of grain a day, costing me an additional $70/mo. So that was technically $445/mo but I bet the grain costs were about half that.

So when I moved to SHF and went on self care I played around with his grain rations and found a mixture that worked pretty well, but was also hella expensive. It was 3 different grains, Omelene 200, Omelene 500 and Strategy-about %12 fat total. He would get 1/3sc of ea. AM/PM, 1/2sc of alfalfa cubes, and 3 flakes of hay at night, in addition to $65/mo in supplements. The bags cost about $20 each, and alfalfa was $11 (x2/mo) and I went through about 3-4 bags in a mo. So thats about $147/mo.

As you all might know, I am piss poor and barely make enough to feed myself since I spend all my money on bills and my horse. Trying to be savvy, I looked into the nuggets they put into the Omelene that adds all the fat. AND THEY SELL THOSE NUGGETS SEPARATELY. IN 50 lb bags. For only $29!! So. I thought, if I keep him on a competition feed that has %14 protein and just add the nuggets at 1lb a day, that should work right? The bags are $14, he will use 3 a month, plus 2 bags alfalfa, and 20 lbs of the nuggets (out of a 50lb bag) [have I lost you yet ;)] thats about $75/mo!

Now, I didn't count hay into those hay costs at all, minus the cubes, because I get those at the feed store. But I think with the protein and fat content remaining that should keep him stable. Haha, barn pun.

But seriously, the more processed the grain, the ^ the price, so why not buy the contents separately and mix them myself?

Am I being selfish doing this, trying to save a buck, or is this smarter?

PLEASE, do NOT think I am trying to neglect my horse in any way. As I said before, he comes first, always. I've been late on rent because I make sure hes fed, shod and housed before anything else. Its just what I do, he's my baby. But there's no harm in trying to save.

Right?

Does anyone else lay awake at night thinking about feed programs, haha. Lawd. Horses people is cray fo sho.

15 comments:

  1. Hey, if it works for him, it's not selfish it's smart. Often I think what we pay for in formulated grain is the "time saver" of only throwing one scoop. Instead of freezing our butts off in a grain room fastidiously mixing together the perfect concoction. I say if you have the time and it saves you $$ - do it.

    That being said I've had really good luck with Rice Bran and weight gain. All my kids get it - and they get the cheap $16 bags not the $40 stuff. Plus it makes their coats all purdy...

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  2. I think a growing number of owners are getting into mixing their own feed because of the quality control it offers. Some feeds are formulated on least-cost guaranteed analysis which means that whatever "byproducts or middlings" are the least expensive & fit the feed profile are going in the bags this week. Purina comes to mind and if I recall correctly, only in recent years did they even put the ingredients tag on the bags. Not good if your horse has an allergy to a specific ingredient.

    There is no shame in your game. What usually happens is that at some point mixing your own will cost more per serving than a complete feed. I haven't hit that point yet and my hard keeping OTTB is finally at a good weight with 3# alfalfa pellets, 2# rice bran (fat), and ~30# bermuda hay every day. It's expensive but not as much as a complete feed.

    Then there are others who feed by number of flakes rather than weight, then expensive bagged feed until their horse has a good weight and energy level.

    Understandinghorsenutrition.com is a good resource.

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    1. Sorry what I should have said is "fortified feed" rather than complete feed.

      Feeding and fortified feed (which has vitamins and minerals added) in the less than recommended amounts is not going to give the horse the intended serving of vitamins/minerals in addition to their hay and other supps.

      A complete feed is more like Equine Senior, a forage replacement.

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  3. I don't think you are doing anything wrong, I think that you are doing the best by your horse so what should it matter if you mix it yourself? It's becoming increasingly more popular to do, and we can all clear tell that you are doing your best for him. So i think your being smart trying to save money where you can but look after your horse to

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  4. I feed Amplify at the rate of 2# a day. I needed to put weight on my horse, while giving his muscles the fat they needed to avoid tying up.

    Where in the world did you find it for $29.00? I am paying $48. I think mixing your feed is awesome, since you then know exactly what you are putting in it.

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  5. Sounds good to me, if it works then it would be worth it!

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  6. Not selfish at all. It took me forever to find the perfect balance of grain and grass for Super Kid,and her looking awesome. Now my moms horse is different he's a TB(why are they always so difficult) and he eats a TON, doesn't matter what it is.

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  7. We use all those products and routinely gave Amplify pellets to horses that needed some weight this summer. We also give Enrich 32 too, that's got Lysine and essential minerals added plus 200 cals per little scoop. Jake gets ONLY enrich 32 cuz it won't make him hot.

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  8. If it works then why not! Nothing wrong with saving some money!

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  9. Wow, you guys have amazing suggestions AND words of encouragement :D Lauren, you really seem to know your stuff! Thank you ALL

    As for where, Orsclens's here in MO. Everything here I've found here is cheaper. Its weird.

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  10. What I will be writing isn't positive or negative, just a logical reflection I found through my own trials. Cost = Cost. By that I mean that you will "spend" your money through time/effort. It just depends on what your time costs to you. Mixing feed takes more time then buying it already mixed. Also what works today might not work tomorrow, in the time/effort department. So I say give it a try and see how it goes, its one of those things where you can always go back to the way you did it before without it really mattering much.

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    1. Exactly :) and to me, and extra 2 min can be spared to save $. Really not a big deal

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  11. Does he get unlimited hay? I only ask b/c Laz is like on literally 2 cups of grain (low starch) 2x a day, with a scant scoop of vits/mins and that is IT. Unlimited hay and he's fat..no FAT, right now. Used to be always ribby. I do make alfalfa/tim cube mash every other day (soaked about 3/4 bucket worth-enough to fill him rubber pan) with chia seed (like 1/4 cup b/c it's $$$ and I is poor!). A 50 bag of those hay cubes are like $25 and usually 2-3 last me through winter.

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  12. I don't think it's selfish at all! I think it's really smart. :D I'm so happy I have an easy keeper though because all of that math you just did makes my head hurt haha!

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