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  • March 02, 2023 3 min read

    How To Save On Your Horse Feed Bill 

    Horses are expensive, and there is no doubt about that! And with current increases in the cost of living, it's getting hard to keep on top of a budget. But what if I told you there are some ways that you can reduce your stockfeed bill? We have shared with you below some of our top tips for feeding your horse on a budget. 

    1. Buy Local 

    It is well known that if you buy locally, you are helping to support our farmers. But did you know that buying local feed will also reduce your feed bill? By sourcing your feed from local feed manufacturers, you won't be paying for transport costs, and those savings are passed on to you. There are so many West Australian feed manufacturers that produce excellent quality feed. Some of these include Thompson and Redwood, Milne Feeds, and Advanced Feeds. 

    2. Utilise Pasture 

    If you can access good quality pasture, allowing your horse to graze as often as possible will reduce your overall feed bill. If you don't have access to good quality pasture, consider spelling your horse throughout the year. This could be at the end of the competition season or when you are going on an extended holiday. If you are in a position to improve and maintain pasture, then it might be a worthwhile investment to reduce your feed bill over the long run, especially with multiple horses. 

    3. Be strategic with hay 

    Hay is arguably one of the most expensive feed item, especially when pasture is limited. So, it is essential to prevent hay wastage. If your horse is prone to destroying their hay by stuffing it in their waterer, or using it as a toilet, then consider placing the hay in a slow feeder hay net (or any hay net if a slow feeder is not suitable). This will prevent them from spreading it around and wasting it! 

    In addition, if you can buy hay in bulk, even if it is round bales, then you will save money per kilo of hay. Also, be on the lookout for first-season cuts or deals for last season's hay, as this can be a way to save money! 

    4. Consider using a balancer feed 

    If your horse is hard-fed, then more often than not, you will be using a pelleted feed. There are different types of pelleted feed, including a Balancer Feed. Balancer pellets are packed full of the vitamins, minerals, and protein a horse needs in their diet. So, more often than not, you can forgo using a supplement, which usually often costs more money. A balancer pellet is generally used when a horse is predominantly fed a pasture or hay-based diet.

    5. Balance Your Horse's Diet 

    This is a big one. A lot of the time, we can feed supplements and extra feed because we are influenced by our peers or social media. There are SO many products on the market, and it can be challenging to decide which one is the best for YOUR horse. A good start, though, is to work out if your horse's diet is aligned with the NRC, which provides the nutrient requirements for horses. There are several ways to determine whether your horse's diet is balanced; these include:

    • Feed advice from a qualified equine nutritionist or your vet;
    • Using an independent program that aligns the current diet with the NRC recommendations; and 
    • Receiving a diet analysis from a feed company (note that these are provided for free but will generally only recommend their products). 

    While receiving a diet analysis can be costly upfront, it may save quite a few dollars in the long term. 

    6. Clean up the mess 

    If your horse is notorious for knocking over its feed bucket and then leaving half the feed on the ground, it might be worthwhile investing in a feed bin that cannot be knocked over. There are some great options on the market that prevent the horse from tipping over the feed bin. However, a general rule is the wider the bucket, the better! 

    7. Store feed appropriately 

    Rodents are the biggest challenge when it comes to keeping feed unspoiled. Rodents are the opposite of Houdini; they can get into almost anything! So make sure your feed is stored in drums or containers that cannot be chewed through and cannot be entered into via lids. Also, ensure your containers protect against moisture. By storing feed appropriately, you will reduce the likelihood of spoilage. 

    We hope the above tips have helped you save money at the feed store. As always we are here to help! If you need any feed advice, please visit us in store or online. 

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