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Do my feed costs look right to you?

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  • Do my feed costs look right to you?

    I will be moving to a piece of horse property in March and bringing my horses with me (yay!) and am budgeting for feed costs. Please take a look at my figures and see if it looks right to you:

    Horse 1 (1200 lbs. easy keeper) * 1.5% body weight = 18 lbs. hay per day

    Horse 2 (1000 lbs. easy keeper) * 1.5% body weight = 15 lbs. hay per day

    18 + 15 = 33 lbs. hay per day

    33 lbs. * 31 days = 1023 lbs. hay per month

    1023 lbs. / 110 lbs. bale bermuda grass hay = 9 bales bermuda grass hay per month

    9 bales * $10.95 per bale = $98.55 per month for hay

    2 bags of Strategy * 19.50/bag = $39.00 per month for Strategy

    ($98.55 + $39.00) * 8.75% sales tax + $10 delivery charge = $159.59 total feed costs per month

    Am I missing anything obvious?

    (I haven't calculated salt because I don't know how much they consume in a month and am planning to just put a block in their corral to share.)
    Happiness is the sweet smell of horses, leather, and hay.

  • #2
    I would add at least an extra bale per week. You never know if you get a bad bale, or some bales are only 100lbs or etc etc. I always work out my cost (much like you have) then add at least another 10% on top. If I were you i would round up and calculate based on 1.5 - 2.0% of body weight. Just in case
    Those who say "Money can't buy happiness" never bought their child a pony

    www.storybookponies.net

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    • #3
      The hay quantity sounds low to me. I'm sure that their nutritional needs will be met with that amount....but will their boredom needs be met?

      My three horses go through two bales a day (my bales are about 50lbs. So for you, one bale a day.) not just because I enjoy giving them basically free choice hay (I think it's healthier) but because if I DON'T give them hay to chew on, they are going to start chewing on the fencing, or each other, or the stalls.

      You go through a lot more hay than you think you do....I'm in my sixth year of buying hay, and STILL each year I end up running low by spring time. There's always a week in the winter when they stay in for longer than usual, and burn through hay. Or a bunch of bales in the corner get rained dripped on them and have to be turned into mulch hay.

      We are in different parts of the country, but here's my data. I feed out about 400 bales of hay in about six months. The other six months they eat mostly grass. So 400 bales x $4.00 = $1600.

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      • #4
        It really depends on how much pasture you have and how long your horses are going to be stalled each day, too.

        We have a 9 acre field our horses are turned out on during the day. Four horses share that field. We have grass all year, so our horses only get hay at night when they are brought in.

        I've kept horses at home for almost 30 years and never had to feed hay 2x a day.

        I feed about 1/2 bale of hay a day for my three, but our bales of coastal are nowhere near as big as yours, but they cost the same! Ours are about 40 lbs on average.

        According to the weight of my three horses, and their daily HAY consumption, it appears they are not getting 1.5% body weight of forage a day - but that does not take into account what they are chewing on 12 hours a day out in the field.
        Donerail Farm
        www.donerailfarm.com
        http://donerailfarm.wordpress.com/

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks for the informative responses!

          That's a good point to account for extra hay in case of a bad bale or whatever. I'll make sure I add in some extra for that.

          GoForAGallop--My horses are currently only fed twice a day in their boarding barn. I am planning to feed three times per day, so hopefully will be a step up for them. I haven't noticed any issues with boredom for them but I'll keep a closer eye on them when they're home (one great advantage to that situation!).

          cyndi--We have no pasture here (southern CA). They'll be out 24/7 in a medium sized dirt corral together, so nothing to munch on, unfortuately. I'm planning to feed 3x's, and with the 1.5% of their BW split between the feedings. I'm blessed that my two are very easy keepers, and right now they are maintaining their body condition on two "coffee cans" of alfalfa pellets in the a.m. plus one "coffee can" of Strategy, and two flakes of bermuda in the p.m. (they don't feed by weight which I find annoying, but the care has been excellent so I don't complain). I am still debating whether to keep them on the pellets in the morning or if the hay would be more cost effective.

          I am worried about feeding them free choice, as they can have a tendancy to get very fat. I suppose I could look into feeing them a low-calorie hay to munch on between meals, like oat-hay?
          Happiness is the sweet smell of horses, leather, and hay.

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          • #6
            Yep, always round up with hay. Cats pee on it, bales don't all weigh the same, the quality varies immensely if you buy a pickup load at a time, and it can be hard to get the exact amount you want without shedding a lot on the ground.

            ETA
            Dry lots in CA. OK. I used to feed alfalfa hay or pellets and oat hay, they always ate the oat hay last and did waste quite a bit. Actually they picked through it and some wound up on the ground.
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tbgurl View Post
              I am worried about feeding them free choice, as they can have a tendancy to get very fat. I suppose I could look into feeing them a low-calorie hay to munch on between meals, like oat-hay?
              You can look into some kind of slow-feeder like a nibblenet or some kind of haynet with small holes. That way they can munch throughout the day without getting too fat!
              A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by KristiKGC View Post
                You can look into some kind of slow-feeder like a nibblenet or some kind of haynet with small holes. That way they can munch throughout the day without getting too fat!
                That could work! Thanks, I'll look into that!
                Happiness is the sweet smell of horses, leather, and hay.

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                • #9
                  [QUOTE]
                  Originally posted by tbgurl View Post
                  I will be moving to a piece of horse property in March and bringing my horses with me (yay!) and am budgeting for feed costs. Please take a look at my figures and see if it looks right to you:

                  Horse 1 (1200 lbs. easy keeper) * 1.5% body weight = 18 lbs. hay per day

                  Horse 2 (1000 lbs. easy keeper) * 1.5% body weight = 15 lbs. hay per day

                  18 + 15 = 33 lbs. hay per day

                  33 lbs. * 31 days = 1023 lbs. hay per month

                  1023 lbs. / 110 lbs. bale bermuda grass hay = 9 bales bermuda grass hay per month

                  9 bales * $10.95 per bale = $98.55 per month for hay

                  hi there


                  unless CA bermuda hybrids are different dramatically than the Bermudas I have seen from TX,AL,GA,AR and the other places we bring it from, you are not really offering much nutrition....

                  but if you are in a dry lot situation 25/7 and the weather is never bad you might feed that and be ok...I hesitate to suggest it only as I am unfamiliar with the bermudas where you live...

                  otherwise good for you for actually having a plan and wanting to use a program to care for your guys...

                  Tamara in TN
                  Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                  I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You've done your homework a lot better than I did when I brought my guys home 5 years ago.

                    I guesstimated 1-2 bales a day for 2 horses and purchased a year's worth of 2nd cutting accordingly.
                    My hayguy sells 50# square bales that contain 10 to 12 4 to 5# flakes.
                    So 250 bales gets me through the year if all of them are edible.
                    BUT:
                    mold can happen, crap inside a bale can happen, horses wasting hay is guaranteed to happen!

                    My pastures were beanfields so not yet established in grass the first 3 years. I feed hay year-round still.

                    I found this amount just about makes it through to the next year as I am in the habit of tossing a couple flakes each outside in Winter to give them something to "graze" on.

                    Then when the grass comes in I can cut back on hay as they spend all day outside.

                    I'd rather buy 50-100 extra bales and not have to sweat delivery in bad weather.
                    Leftover bales from the year before get stored so I can identify it from the new stuff and gets fed first.
                    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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