it comes to horse feed, being cheap can be expensive.
only does it actually cost more in dollars to feed cheap concentrates,
the red ink also adds up in poor performance, poor growth, the
cost of additional supplements, the additional amount needed to
be fed, and the possibility of veterinary bills, says Eleanor
Richards, nutrition specialist. Richards teaches Nutrition for
Performance Horses as part of the nine-course Professional Designation
in Horse Training program (www.horsecoursesonline.com) offered
by Austin Education Center.
If you do the math, says Richards, it is easy to see how cheap
feeds actually take dollars out of your wallet. The feeding directions
for an economy horse feed which retails for $5 per 50 pounds says
an adult horse in light training should get 1.5 to 2 percent of
their body weight per day, along with adequate forage, free choice
salt and water.
The feeding directions of a high quality feed which retails for
$9 per 50 pounds says an adult horse in light training should
get .5 to 1 per cent of body weight per day, along with adequate
forage, free choice salt and water.
A ration balancer sells for $17 per 50 pounds and
says a 1,100 pound horse in light training should have 1.5 pounds
of the balancer with 5 pounds of oats per day, adequate forage,
free choice salt and water.
Now get out the calculator, says Richards.
The economy feed per pound costs 10 cents. Feeding l.5 per cent
of body weight1,100 poundsmeans you need to feed 16.5
pounds of the concentrate per day. At 10 cents per pound it is
costing you $1.65 per day.
The high quality feed is .18 cents per pound, but you only feed
.5 per cent of body weight or 5.5 pounds per day. The cost is
.99 cents per day.
The ration balancer is .34 cents per pound for the 1.5 pounds
needed per day, or .51 cents per day. Then you have to add in
the cost of the oats at .11 cents per pound times 5 pounds or
.55 cents per day. The cost of feeding the ration balancer is
$1.06 per day.
The economy horse feed is the most expensive to feed.
is also concerned about the amount of the economy feed to be fed--16.5
pounds per day.
horse should never be fed more than 5 pounds of grain at a single
feeding, she says, so the economy feed needs to be
divided into three feedings per day.
you choose an economy feed, Richards predicts, you
are going to see the cost of feeding go up and the performance
of the horse go down.
In addition to teaching the online nutrition course, Richards
is the author of two e-books, Supplementsyes or no? and
Feeding the Senior Horse. The books are available at www.donblazer.com