Ten simple tips on how to save on pony feed costs without cutting corners on nutritional values.
1. Maximize forage: Your feeding regime should be based on quality forage. You should ensure that your horse is fed hay and pasture to the extent of a minimum of 1 % of its body weight a day.
You save money on pony feed by replacing with forage in the following ways.
Direct savings in pony feed costs: Forage is far cheaper than grain. You can meet the nutritive needs of most adult horses just with forage of top quality. You do not need to add grain.
Decrease in veterinary costs: The diet gains bulk from the fibre, and therefore, puts a brake on the rate of grain fermentation in the horse’s gut. This helps significantly eliminate the risk of colic as well as laminitis.
Controlling of bad habits: Horses getting sufficient forage are not going to be chewing on stalls and fences.
2. Do bulk purchases: If you can afford it, and have the storage space, buy hay in wholesale bulk. You are able to save plenty of cash by doing this.
3. Ensure hay quality: When you purchase hay, give consideration to its quality and weight. Greenness and softness of texture characterize hay of top quality. It should also be dust-free, mold-free and weed-free. Test hay for nutritive value before you buy it.
4. Watch out for fine print: Make sure of what you are getting by talking about nutritional analysis guaranteed on the labels. Quite often, the nutritional value will be far above the requirements of your pony, and you don’t want to waste money on that kind of pony feed.
5. Balanced and complete pony feed: Pony feed labelled ‘balanced’ means you are going to have to add forage and water. Pony feed labelled ‘complete’ require no additions except water. While complete feeds do come with fibre content, you should remember that your pony still needs fibre to the extent of 1 percent of its body weight every day so its digestive tract stays in correct condition.
6. Don’t blow money on unnecessary supplements: If the pony feed your pony is getting is entirely balanced and complete, and your horse is maintaining excellent health, you don’t need to feed him extra nutriments. Most of it will simply get excreted out.
7. Are worms banqueting on your horse’s feed? Parasites rob your pony of nutrient elements and need additional feed to compensate. Keep your horse on a regular deworming programme completed in consultation with your vet.
8. Keep your horse’s teeth healthy: Periodic oral care permits your pony to masticate food efficiently. Horses with bad teeth waste major portions of feed by dropping it. The cost linked with a dentist’s visit is easily compensated by savings in feed costs.
9. Use pony group dynamics: When feeding groups of horses, expect bullying by using individual feeders. Your feed cash isn’t being used optimally if the bullies are consuming more of the feed and the bullied are consuming less. It costs less and is better for health to keep up body weight than to feed with the aim of increasing or reducing weight.
10. Use weight to work out feed quantity: Weigh feed to gauge it. Don’t measure it by volume. Bring about changes in diet slowly to stop possible digestive complications. Always figure out changes in terms of weight.
Featured Image By Sini Merikallio, via Flickr