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Horse Feed Management Tips

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Did you know that you could easily spend almost $1,000 a year per horse for horse feed?  That’s quite a chunk of change so its important to set up a feed management program that will help you avoid wastage, and most importantly, ensure a fresh supply of grain for your horses.  Test out a few of the following strategies in your barn to get the most out of your feeding program:

The Right Rotation

Ever heard of the production term FIFO (first in, first out)?  Well the same principle should be applied to horse feed.  As you replenish your stock be sure that you are stacking the new bags in back so you grab the older ones first.  Not sure which product is newer? Be sure to feed a brand, such as Manna Pro, that puts date codes on their feeds so that you always know when the bag was made.  Different types of grain have different shelf lives.  As a example, pellets tend to keep fresh longer than textured feeds as they typically have less moisture in them.  Check out this Shelf Life Reference Chart for Manna Pro products that gives guidelines for a variety of feeds.  Also, remember never to feed any product that is moldy as this could create serious health issues for your horse. 

Avoid Moisture Mayhem

Water is feeds arch enemy so its essential to keep your grain dry at all times.  If you store your feed in bags, be sure to store it up off the ground on a pallet or a platform.  The moisture of the ground or cement can cause condensation on bags which can lead to wet, moldy feed.  Make sure your feed is up off the ground so plenty of air can circulate around it.   Always try to store your feed in a cool area , out of direct sunlight to prevent moisture build up due to rising humidity and temperatures.

Keep The Critters Out

For the health of your horse, you never want to feed grain that is insect or rodent infested so it’s a good practice to keep your feed in containers that can not be infiltrated by these nuisance pests.  Many horse owners prefer to store feed in galvanized cans or bins as they can not be eaten through like plastic or paper can.   Not only will this be helpful to keep smaller critters out, but it will prevent curious horses from overindulging on grain.  You also may want to consider periodically spraying your grain room or area with a pyrethrin based insecticide like Manna Pro’s Best Defense or EFM Aerosol.  Take care to not spray any feed or water sources and make sure both animals and humans have vacated the area for 15 minutes after spraying.describe the image

These simple strategies will help ensure fresh feed for your horse and less spoilage for you!  For more information on feed management practices check out these helpful links:

Storing Horse Feed Safely

How To Organize Your Feed Room

Design Plans For Building Your Own Feed Storage Bin

Happy Horsekeeping,

Carolyn

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