If you have horses, their feed is one of your biggest expenses. In this post I want to share with you two ways that you can save money on horse feed.
- Freedom Feeders/Nibble Nets
- I don’t feed grain unless necessary. Instead, I feed a mixture of soaked beet pulp and soaked alfalfa cubes. I only feed a dry measure of 1/2 cup beet pulp and 5 Alfalfa cubes(soaked overnight) per horse per feeding. This is an inexpensive feed alternative. Although it does involve a little more time/work because you have to soak the beet pulp 12 hours before you feed it.I have a horse who is an easy keeper, and he may never need grain. My other horses need grain only when they are in hard work. And, right now it is winter, and I give them a couple of months off. So all they need is plenty of forage so they can generate heat to keep them warm. I don’t clip, and they have a run-in shed to get out of the weather.
What I have found is that by keeping hay in front of my horses all day saves me money.
Freedom Feeders or Nibble Nets
I believe in keeping hay in front of my horses at all times because horses are meant to wander and eat all day. So, I use a Freedom Feeder.
I use one on the hay bales I put in their stalls and on the round bales that go out in the fields during the winter. The tiny spaces in these hay nets make it harder for horses to gobble down their hay. And it keeps them busy and keeps them from pulling hay out and spreading it all over the ground.
This is a round bale Freedom Feeder, and it is the exact net I use for my horses. It allows them to have high-quality forage all winter and keeps them from wasting their hay. I did have to build a platform for the net covered round bale to sit on because one of my horses has front shoes. If your horse has shoes, you must enclose or elevate the bale to keep their shoes from getting caught in the net.
I use this style of the net in their stalls.
Or, one of the square bale size nets:
Horses need to graze all day. Just throwing out 4 flakes a hay and no additional pasture goes against a horse’s basic design. If you want to keep your horses healthier and happier, do some research. Check out the Freedom Feeder site for more info on how these feeders can benefit your horse and your budget.
Beet Pulp & Alfalfa Cubes
I use a molasses free beet pulp shreds and Alfalfa cubes. They are a low cost and readily available food source and I am a strong believer in a forage based diet for my horses. Plus, I like the fact that this feed is fed wet and the horses are taking in extra water with their meals. I choose the molasses-free shreds because horses don’t need extra sugar in their diet.
I feed the beet pulp in 1/2 cup portions, so one bag of shreds lasts me a long time. And, I only use 5 alfalfa cubes per meal. It is all my horses need to maintain an ideal weight. And, if your hay is not high quality adding a vitamin/mineral supplement may be necessary.
But, I also worm regularly, have their teeth checked, and provide them shelter from the weather.
How to soak beet pulp shreds and alfalfa cubes:
- I Measure out the 1/2 cup of shreds and 5 alfalfa cubes in a small bucket. But, remember, you have to adjust the amount according to your horse’s needs and work load.
- Cover with at least 6 inches of hot water.
- Check in an hour to see if you need to add more water. In the morning there should still be some water left in the bucket even after the beet pulp has fully expanded. Work on this until you know how much water you need to add on the first pour to fully expand the shreds. This is super important because horse’s can choke or colic on dry beet pulp shreds. No joke.
- When you get ready to feed add any supplements.
You can learn more here at BioStar US.
Thanks for Reading!