Wow! Yesterday’s topic of ‘the price of hay where you live’ really lit up the switchboard.
Clearly, the price of hay is a hot topic for those of us on the West Coast and Florida. I found out that California, Oregon, Washington and Western Canada growers all ship to Japan and/or grow subsidized corn. Many in Nevada as well – and Utah.
THE MOST POPULAR SUGGESTION
The most popular suggestion I heard all day was to get together with some girlfriends, rent a flatbed and drive to another state to pick up hay.
So, Hubby and I did some basic research into neighboring states. My neighboring states would be Nevada (already pretty high in price), Oregon (same situation as Northern CA), Utah or New Mexico.
Both Utah and New Mexico have hay but it is in small squares or rolls. We priced a trip to Utah. One night in a hotel, basic food and fuel plus the rental of the flatbed. After it was all worked out, we figured we might save $1 a bale. Of course, if we were actually in Utah, we might find better deals on hay, but from what we found on the Internet, even thought the trip might be fun – it wasn’t much of a savings.
AND THEN I THOUGHT ABOUT THE PONIES…THEY DON’T EVEN EAT HAY…
HMMMMMM. Maybe there is a way to replace the hay?…
I then thought about my two ponies who hardly eat hay because one of them has no teeth. While doing research, I did find many compressed and chopped hay options in the feed stores. I ended up with this combination that seems to work really well.
I feed one Shetland per month:
Beet Pulp $15, Timothy Hay Pellets $16, Renew Gold 1/2 bag per month $13, Equion $6, Chia $10, Psyllium $12 = $72/mo.
If I fed them hay, they’d get 3 bales a month which would be $75/mo (plus I’d still give them the Psyllium, Chia and Equion).
So, the beet pulp, timothy hay pellets and Renew Gold plus the other is actually less expensive than hay!
SO WHAT ABOUT A REGULAR SIZED HORSE? Well… Tess LOVES HER COOLSTANCE! and SHE LOOKS GREAT! (No affiliation – I wish!)
Mama Tess has to be fed only low starch, low sugar feed – which is hard to find. I soak her hay and she’s really tired of it. She was thin and the Founder Warrior commented. She asked if I could ‘up her hay’. I told the FW that Tess had free choice hay but she rarely finished what I put out there.
Since the ponies loved Renew Gold, I did some research and found CoolStance. I wrote about testing CoolStance a while back (linked here – it has all the info on CoolStance).
Anyway, I decided to start MT on Coolstance in addition to what I had been feeding her.
CoolStance made a huge difference!
MT has filled out exactly enough. The Founder Warrior thinks she looks fabulous, has great dappling, and her topline is perfect. I can pour it on anything and MT will gobble it up! I’ve given her meds in soaked CoolStance and she eats it all!
Myy moderately thin horses have all tested the CoolStance… All of them love it! I just don’t understand why some people say it isn’t palatable. Gosh, mine lick their bowls. But you have to add a lot of water – make it mushy.
The tough part is finding CoolStance. It comes from Australia and not that many feed stores carry it. But, if you can get it, a little bit goes a long way! (Here is the store locator page)
*IMPORTANT NOTE: I found that when I first started feeding Tess the CoolStance, her manure was too dry. So, I made sure to mix the CoolStance with double the water. And, I give her psyllium. I think the psyllium is a good idea for any stalled (low mobility) horse…
PRICE COMPARISON BETWEEN MY HORSES WHO EAT HAY AND TESS WHO EATS COOLSTANCE AND BEET PULP
This is the feed bill breakdown for Tess per month:
CoolStance, 3/4 bag = $30, 2 bags Beet Pulp = $30, Mixed Grass Pellets 1 bag $15, Chia Seed $20, Enzion Hoof Supplement $20, Psyllium powder $15, Hay (she only eats about 2 bales a month) $50.
Total feed bill per month for Tess: $180
One other of my regular sized horses eats per month:
1 bag Beet Pulp $15, 2 bags timothy pellets $34, Chia Seed $20, Equion $22, Psyllium powder $15, Grass Hay (5 bales a month) $125
Total feed bill for my other regular sized horse per month: $231
So, I am actually spending less to feed Tess and she looks great! I think the CoolStance is a fine product if you can find it… AGAIN, I have no affiliation but wish I did.
MY BIG IDEA…
As I was fuming about the price of hay and the fact that there is no competition, I had an idea… What if there was a non-profit that grew hay to supplement their community horses?
What do you think?
Hi Met: Yes, we are all doing that… ;) Trying!! I used to order 360 bales from my grower… but that is too small of an order now,
Joni: I have not used PowerStance because we cannot get it. I think you should try it and let me know the results you see.
It sounds more like a coat conditioner and overall health supplement than feed, BUT it also states that if you are trying to put
weight on a horse, use 10-12 ounces. Did you see the key benefits from the website? It sounds worth a try, for sure! Keep me posted!
Saturated oil. Coconut oil is saturated, ie it is not prone to rancidity
Coconut oil has useful nutritional and antimicrobial benefits
Increased muscle glycogen storage – Saturated fats such as those found in coconut oil are more effective at enhancing muscle glycogen storage than the unsaturated fats found in other vegetable oils (eg. canola, corn and soya oil).
Anti-viral and anti-bacterial protection – possibly for gut health and well being from Lauric and caprylic acid
Ready energy – coconut oil contains MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) which are easier to digest, absorb and convert to muscle energy than the long-chain fatty acids found in other vegetable oils. MCT’s are absorbed directly into the portal blood and transported to the liver, whereas polyunsaturated oils are transported via the lymphatics.
Long shelf life – unlike other vegetable oils, coconut oil is highly saturated and therefore more resistant to rancidity.
PowerStance is an odourless white powder making it easy to mix into feeds
Regarding your personal situation, might there be a large facility nearby that could be persuaded to let you add your 80 bales to the numerous tons it orders? I think big orders probably are being filled. What about TB Friends? http://www.tbfriends.com/
The CoolStance sounded intriguing but, no one even close to me sells it. The shipping on one bag is almost the same as the price of a bag, so it wouldn’t be economical to try. But, they have PowerStance and this is what it says.
“PowerStance is a unique powdered coconut oil supplement. PowerStance delivers the secret ingredient from CoolStance as a powder.”
I feed so little grain and only add ground flax, so I wonder if this would deliver the same positive results as the bagged version.
Dawn, have you tried the PowerStance? It would be more affordable.