Thursday, April 12, 2007

feed prices and my solutions ..

First of all this photo is my "Strider" a 3yo percheron colt.

He is 17.3 HH and about 2200 lbs.. he is large but very sweet and goofy. I truly am enjoying owning this coldblood. This coming from a serious lover of arabians. Perhaps it is my age and knowledge that Im not unbreakable ..

In any case as corn prices have continued to increase , and according to my feed store will keep going up,

I have had to come up with alternative feed regimines.

rather than a basic "complete" pelleted 12% protien feed, I am now feeding, for example if the horse normally ate 5lb complete pelleted feed, I measure out in the same scoop, (not by weight)that I used to measure out the pellets, 4 scoops of dry beet pulp.

1 qt container, is my measuring device.. and I give 4 of those,

and then I also give 1 qt of alfalfa cubes. = the 5 origional lbs of feed, I soak this for about an hour... alfalfa cubes and beet pulp may cause choke in horses..

to help raise the protien lvl for those younger horses, I give 1/4 C soybean meal, and for the baby babies, I give 1/2 C rice bran too... because the beet pulp is a great base, but low in fat percentage , it is also only about a 6% protien.

the percherons are better off on less protien but my arab cross mare needs a little more, so she gets a little soy as well...

I personally chose to also add source, for the miocronutrients, and believe it or not still come out quite a bit less expensive in the long run ..

I do add horse mineral salts to the program too

I have incorporated this feed program for my sheep and goats as well with tweaking to meet specific protien needs, for example my rams do not get alfalfa cubes, but do get cottonseed meal for a boost in protien. cottonseed meal in stead of soy because soyhas some estrogenic compounds, and I do not want this to cause breeding complications.

my lactating ewes, get more alfalfa cubes than ewes that didnt lamb... as well as more soy bean meal and cottonseed meal.

I hope to have a feed that meets the nutritional needs of each species without breaking the bank . I believe as prices continue to grow, and NAIS gets pushed harder and harder small farmers will either need cost effective feeding alternatives or they will sell out .

IF you do try this feed alternative please use common sense , and watch the weight and condition of your animal closely.

I am not an equine nutritionist , but I have fed and owned horses for 30 years.

I am using a method I am trying out based in logic not in any proven scientific studies.

I would like to know your own results if you too try this regimine. and I will keep you posted on the overall health and condition of all of my animals on this feed program.