Feeding cubes and pellets instead of hay

Discussion in 'Ask The (wannabe) Vets & Farriers' started by AKPonygirl, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. AKPonygirl

    AKPonygirl New Member

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    So hubby asked me why we even bother feeding hay when we have cubes and pellets..

    My response was.. cause my grandma fed hay.. my mom fed hay.. it was good enough for them, it is good enough for me? I wasn't real sure how to answer him.. other than cost.. but hell.. up here.. it is pretty close to the same price..

    so someone tell me.. Can you feed nothing but cubes and pellets? And.. Why feed cubes/pellets vs. hay and visa verse...
     
  2. TwistedWire

    TwistedWire Guest

    Personally I think it's more natural on their systems and *usually* more cost effective than feeding complete feed.

    How much does your hay cost? Do you know how much senior or how many cubes you'd have to feed to equal a third of a bale of hay?
     

  3. Shadow

    Shadow New Member

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    Horses guts are designed to have something in there pretty much all the time..they are grazers..so if you limit to pellets & cubes they have ALOT of "empty" between feedings... and I am pretty sure ,unless you are a filthy rich, having cubes in front of them at all time would cost a small fortune..hay/ pasture makes way more sense for them to eat on all day..basically horses do not need grains..we have squeezed them into smaller and smaller pastures and have limited the area in which they eat..so we have to supplement with grains to make up for limited foraging..in the wild..horses roan over VAST areas and they only eat the best available grasses..then move on...they do not stand in one area and eat and eat until there is nothing left. hence,they need food that has all the added ingredients to keep them healthy....

    You could do what you purposing..but it would cost a small fortune to do so in my opinion... ;) JMHO
     
  4. HFSH

    HFSH New Member

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    Cubes & pellets are more expensive definately. Also, there is always a risk of choke if you're not careful.
     
  5. AKPonygirl

    AKPonygirl New Member

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    hay is around $600 per ton for a good timothy/brome mix.. for a 50 lb bag of timothy/brome pellets it is about $10.. I don't remember what a bag of alfalfa cubes was... I am unsure how many cubes/pellets it would take vs. flakes.

    I have fed cubes before.. but I made sure they were completely wet.. I don't like to feed cubes.. but they were more convenient than hay at that moment in time. I have never fed pellets..

    good reasons tho.. keep em coming..
     
  6. paige

    paige New Member

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    you feed it pound for pound.

    So if you normally feed 25 pounds of hay, you feed 25 pounds of either cubes or pellets. Although that is a lot for most horses, when it is for something more than keeping busy and cubes would not really do that in the same way hay does

    A lot of horses live like that.

    At 10 a bag, and 40 bags per ton, cubes would be 400 per ton. That is cheaper than the 600 your hay cost.

    If it were me, I would probably feed a mix of both
     
  7. AKPonygirl

    AKPonygirl New Member

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    paige.. that is actually a pretty good idea.. I never even considered using pellets or cubes.. but since hay can be scarce up here and sometimes not all that good.. I could go half and half.... hmm I am gonna have to do some research :)
     
  8. desederada

    desederada New Member

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    NOT if you live in Florida or Alaska. Here a bag of cubes or pellets is under 13.00 and a bale of alfalfa is 15.00 and up. You also don't have waste with the cubes and pellets like you do with a bale. We have fed just cubes but prefer to feed them with the coastal bermuda grass that's grown locally. It also reduces the cost that way.
     
  9. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    I think hay gives them more "play time" with their food, keeps them munching and fiddling around longer than cubes and especially pellets. Seems like horses need that psychologically. I don't have an issue going with hay that's cheaper in nutrition due to that, as long as it's clean hay. It fills them up and gives them some busy time. Whatever nutrition gaps there are I can fill with pellets and cubes.

    I liked the timothy/alfalfa blend cubes and pellets, but they aren't easy to come by locally, so the straight alfalfa is all right. Just adjust accordingly.
     
  10. Peggy Sue

    Peggy Sue New Member

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    A horse needs long stem fiber aka Hay , may horse can and do survive on just hay cubes or beet pulp .. but with teh iron content in both of them it would scare me long term...

    pellets will not and can not replace hay .. cubes or beet pulp can but IMO is just not as healthy
     
  11. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    The iron content?

    I've heard of people being careful to balance the calcium - phosphorus ratio, but have never heard anything related to iron content in hay cubes or beet pulp.

    Would like to hear more about that.
     
  12. desederada

    desederada New Member

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    A client of our says she washes her beet pulp to remove some of the iron and sugars. She has an IR horse. I thought beet pulp had way more iron in it than alfalfa.
     
  13. Peggy Sue

    Peggy Sue New Member

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    Beet Pulp iron is AVERAGE of 543ppm per lb

    Alfalfa cubes iron is AVERAGE of 913ppms per lb

    you just want to make sure teh Cu:Zn:Fe ratio is right at about 1:4:4
     
  14. Ponythief

    Ponythief New Member

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    Cubes are designed to swell up in the stomache from liquids, that gives the horse the full feeling. If feeding cubes, specially in the winter make sure your horse drinks lots of water. The stable down the road feeds nothing but cubes, she said $ to $ with hay is no diff. She buys in the bulk so she gets a really good deal. She also likes the advantage of littlier space needed than bales and no mess like hay leaves around.

    I prefer hay but have used cubes in different situations with no problems.
     
  15. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

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    Wowzer on the Alfalfa cubes. I wonder where that's coming from, since alfalfa hay is not that high. (According to the stats I looked up on Equi-Analytical for Legume hay, it was in the 300's) So what is it in the processing that makes it so high?

    I rinse my beet pulp, but do it more for the sugar; not so sure it does much for the iron....unless the iron is surface iron
     
  16. Peggy Sue

    Peggy Sue New Member

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    www.dairyone.com which is a partner company of Equi-Analytical and has a larger variety of feedstuffs alot of stuff that isn't on one is on Dairy One :)
     
  17. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

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    No, no, I wasn't questioning where you got the info, just wondering out loud why it would be so much higher than alfalfa hay. I would think the cubes would have the same mineral content as the hay, just that it is in a different form.
     
  18. Peggy Sue

    Peggy Sue New Member

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    we also have to remember that these numbers are averages and also depend on teh area the hay came from for either product...
     
  19. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

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    Alfalfa hay is also averages. I understand that. Just trying to make an apples-to-apples comparison.
     
  20. Peggy Sue

    Peggy Sue New Member

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    LMAO good luck I have yet to find any that are the same LOL the ranges are HUGE on the hay stuff it seems ...