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Cheaper alternative to TC Senior?

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  • Cheaper alternative to TC Senior?

    I can't believe I even feel the need to ask this because high quality grain/hay is something I refuse to scrimp on. However, with feed costs rising (cost me over $90 for 4 bags of TC Senior!) I'm thinking it may be time to look into a cheaper alternative.

    Thankfully I'm pretty blessed, in a barn of 6 horses 3 are SUPER easy keeping horses, so that offsets the 3 harder keeper TBs. Even the TBs aren't that bad, with the hardest keeper receiving ~6 lb of Senior a day, which is a lot for him, but he hasn't been handling the intense heat/humidity the greatest.

    I was looking into Blue Seal grains, they seems pretty good quality, but don't have a fixed formula, which I really like in the TC Senior. I have Pennfield, McCauley's, Purina, Nutrena, Blue Seal, Dumor, TC, and who knows what else around here. So thankfully I'm not really limited on brands. I thought about replacing a portion of senior with rolled oats, but have no clue if that is a good idea or not. My hard keepers are on free choice hay, but I'm worried that may have to stop with the potential hay shortage. Fingers crossed a nice 2nd cutting comes in.
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

  • #2
    Blue Seal absolutely sells fixed formula feeds (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). Their SBP 14/10 is the closest thing to it as far as the ingredients list goes... I don't believe it will be cheaper that the TC though.

    In my area the TC is cheaper than Purina, Buckeye or Blue Seal.
    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

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    • #3
      Do you know the carb content in the SBP 14/10? I know TC Senior is around 11% wasn't sure how the Blue Seal compared in that area.
      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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      • #4
        I've heard the Southern States 10/10/10 is pretty good, but I'm sticking with TC Senior. I don't know what the price point is either for the 10/10/10.

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        • #5
          I think I read somewhere it's around 16%. I will see if I can find it.
          Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
          Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
          "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

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          • #6
            Maybe try the Legends 12% performance pellet? Low NSC but not sure regarding price difference with TC Sr.

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            • #7
              The SS 10/10/10 is 26% NSC.

              The Legend 12% *pellet* is indeed fairly low NSC - 15%? It might even be less.
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JB View Post
                The SS 10/10/10 is 26% NSC...
                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Have you thought about using the small-hole hay nets? It drastically cuts down on the speed with which the horses can scarf down the hay, which will save you some volume (and then some $$$). They can still eat all they want, they just have to work harder for it. I have one hard keeper TB, and even she does fine with the net. All my guys are kept in a drylot during the day with small-hole hay nets, and it helps my hay last so much longer.

                  As for the feed, I honestly don't know of anything that you would get the same quality and nutrition levels for less cost. Maybe cut down on volume of Senior and add in more beet pulp?

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                  • #10
                    Make my own. Cost runs about 22-23cents a pound for my current senior ration which also doubles as my drought hay stretcher ration.

                    Ingredients are jumping in price; however, thanks to the recent rains a couple ingredients of the more have dropped more than a little. Products supplying high quality fiber alternatives still seem to be edging up. Very violatile these current markets and the fall harvest price crash or spike will be very interesting to observe.

                    Refuse to be at the mercy of prebagged horse feeds in pretty bags and the how much will the horse people pay mentality. I must eat affordably and so do the livestock.
                    Last edited by D Taylor; Aug. 6, 2012, 02:08 PM.

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                    • #11
                      The 10-10-10 is cheaperr - I was convinced to try it this spring when I decided it was crazy to keep paying for TC Senior when my horse is completely capable of eating hay.

                      He got very hot on it and I suspect the NSC had to do with that

                      I'm now feeding the Legends Performance pellets on a hard-keeper TB. I supplement with beet pulp - it adds the fiber in the Senior at a lower price. The whole barn eats timothy/clover or orchard grass hay, but mine gets a couple of lbs of alfalfa cubes additionally every day. I think it's cheaper this way - piecemeal though it may be - to get the same effect as TC Senior.

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                      • #12
                        Make your own "senior" feed by adding your own. Barley, soaked beet pulp, and soaked flax seed. Not sure if that will save you money in the long run but a cheaper alternative might be to just add beet pulp to a pelleted feed you like such as legends.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JB View Post
                          The SS 10/10/10 is 26% NSC.
                          Whoa!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do you have access to Poulin in your area? Their Fibremax, while expensive, is fixed formula and fantastic for hard keepers. I have two TBs right now who I consider to be pretty hard keepers, and they do great on 4lbs a day. (Each.)

                            Also going to second what the others are saying; decrease the TC Senior and make up the calories another (cheaper) way....beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, and good old fashioned oil come to mind.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just talked to a Blue Seal feeds representative.

                              The 14-10 is 12% NSC [ETA: The rep said it was 12% but upon seeing the chart, it appears that it's 16%: NSC = Starch + WSC. Starch is 4% and WSC is 12% so that is 16% NSC]
                              He is sending me a chart of their grains to compare. I'll share here.

                              (I asked about a chart to compare, and he said they do have one, but they don't readily hand it out. I asked him what the big secret was since most people are intersted in that information...??? He said the chart contains other information...WTF?! I "recommended" that they at least post the NSC numbers on their feed information on their website; it would eliminate people having to call for information that should be available...)
                              Last edited by SuckerForHorses; Aug. 6, 2012, 02:44 PM.
                              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                                Also going to second what the others are saying; decrease the TC Senior and make up the calories another (cheaper) way....beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, and good old fashioned oil come to mind.
                                I'm wondering what the cost comparison would be between feeding just TC Senior; or, decreasing that but having to buy other stuff to add to make up for it. The beet pulp, alfalfa, and oil all have a cost associated, so I'm wondering if it would be just as easy and the same price to keep with the TC Senior.

                                FWIW - the representative from Blue Seal said that the SBP 14-10 is comparable in price to TC Senior...in the vacinity of $20 a bag. So, I'm not sure that will save you much money from switching.
                                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  He sent me the chart...it's too big for me to figure otu how to post it here, it's an Excel file.

                                  If you want to know, shoot me a message, and I can give you the info on a specific Blue Seal feed! LOL!
                                  "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                                    I'm wondering what the cost comparison would be between feeding just TC Senior; or, decreasing that but having to buy other stuff to add to make up for it. The beet pulp, alfalfa, and oil all have a cost associated, so I'm wondering if it would be just as easy and the same price to keep with the TC Senior.
                                    I know they're not free. Of course it's up to the OP to do her own cost comparison (taking into account time for soaking additional ingredients, etc) but buying a whole ingredient is ALWAYS cheaper than a good-quality packaged grain. If not always, then at least MOST of the time.

                                    Consider the $20 bag of complete feed: $.40 a lb
                                    Then a $12 bag of alfalfa pellets: $.24 a lb
                                    A $16 bag of beet pulp is $.40 a lb as well, but a lb of dry beet pulp is a lot of soaked beet pulp, so you might not need that much. Beet pulp pellets are cheaper than the dry shreds in my area, as well.
                                    A jug of oil from Walmart runs right around $.30 a feeding, if I'm remembering correctly, and packs quite a caloric punch.

                                    Not saying the CONVENIENCE of feeding a bagged feed isn't worth every penny (which is what the feed companies are counting on) but it is really very rarely worth the price tag, if you're seriously on a budget and needing to cut back on "luxuries."

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                                    • #19
                                      I corrected my previous post regarding the NSC of the Blue Seal 14-10.

                                      The rep said it was 12% NSC.

                                      NSC = Starch + WSC (water soluble carbs)

                                      On the 14-10 grain, the Starch is 4%, WSC is 12%
                                      The two combined is 16%
                                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I'm pretty sure buying the beet pulp and alfalfa cubes separately is cheaper. I'm no math person, but pound-for-pound, the TC Senior is more expensive than a bag of beet pulp or alfalfa cubes, so I can't see how it would work any other way?

                                        (I also used to do rice bran pellets and cool calories - I can't say that I noticed a change when I dropped either.)

                                        Thank god my other horse is an easy keeper

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