Sunday, October 30, 2016

What's In Your Bucket

I have a friend that used to always call with feeding questions.  It's kind of funny, but it brings me back to how many people don't have any idea what or how to feed a horse.

Granted, there are so many options.  I have a little bit of experience from a West coast perspective as well as a Midwest perspective and it is quite different.

My family in California just fed horses pellets.  No hay, generally speaking. 

Here in the Midwest, that idea is just about impossible.  Horses should have hay, preferably 24/7.  Horses should have grass, and space, and mud and plenty of bird sized mosquitoes to carry them away.

But that brings me back to the question:
What's in your bucket?

What do you feed and why?

I have two horses of different ages.  Donni is older and after a massive choke episode, she is now eating soaked grain daily.  She also has become a much harder keeper in the past year, where she used to be just a large blimp on legs. 

She eats a combination of Tribute's Kalm N EZ and alfalfa pellets.  I just like adding the alfalfa pellets for some extra calories and roughage.

Chili is five and an incredibly picky eater.  She's always been picky, slow, and irritating.  She's also a moderately difficult keeper, so she needs more than just a simple ration balancer to give her vitamins and minerals, along with necessary amino acids.

But finally, she seems to be on a diet that she is eating (knock on wood), which is a mixture of Purina's Ultium, oats, and alfalfa pellets.  She also has added flaxeed for the omega fatty acid components and to see if it helps with her incessant itchiness.

The scientist in me wanted to balance out the diet, beyond just basic calories.

I hopped on over to which offers a couple of basic subscriptions for less than a dinner out on the town.  It is fairly easy to use and users can input amounts of a grain feed, pasture quality, hay fed, and any supplements to see what vitamins, minerals, protein, calories, and so forth, that may be missing or excessive in the diet. 

One of the things that I played around with the most was the cost calculator.  Users can input the approximate cost per bag of grain, so by toggling and changing how much of the diet was oats vs Ultium, I could adjust the price in my favor.

Needless to say, horses are still expensive, but I might as well pay and buy more the of the $12 bag of oats compared to the $28 bag of Purina Ultium and still have a balanced ration.

I mix it up in a large feed tub in the basement and bring it out to the barn to serve, so to minimize on the hassle and mixing that the barn folks would have to do.

So what about you?  What's in your bucket?

1 comment:

  1. Miles gets Purina Strategy, as well as alfalfa pellets and pretty much as much hay as he can eat. I've found that a little bit less grain, while supplementing with alfalfa pellets keeps his brain in his head, while still maintaining a good weight.


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