At first glance balancers may seem like an expensive way of feeding, but the low feeding rate makes them a convenient and cost-effective solution for good doers…
A cost-effective way to provide nutrients without excess calories
Many horses maintain weight easily (if not too easily!) on forage alone. Whilst forage only diets may easily meet or exceed energy (calorie) requirements, they are unlikely to provide a balanced diet and may be lacking in key nutrients such as copper, zinc, selenium, vitamin E and lysine (an essential amino acid or ‘building block’ of protein). Balancers provide a concentrated supply of vitamins, minerals and protein but due to the low feeding rate (typically 500g per day for a 500kg horse), contribute negligible levels of calories, starch and sugar to the total diet. This makes them the ideal way to ensure good doers receive a balanced diet without compromising their waistline or your bank balance.
If you are simply looking for nutrients to balance a forage-based diet, consider a balancer without added bells & whistles such as joint and digestive support. At £19.99 for a 15kg bag, SPILLERS™ Daily Balancer will last a 500kg horse 30 days and cost just £0.67 per day to feed. In comparison, the recommended ration of SPILLERS™ Horse and Pony Cubes (3kg per day for a 500kg horse) would be 5 times higher in calories and cost £1.60 per day to feed!
Balancers vs. broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplements
Vitamin and mineral supplements are generally fed at a lower rate and in some cases, cost less to feed (per daily serving) than a balancer but how do they compare in terms of nutrients? Firstly, vitamin and mineral supplements generally don’t supply additional protein and amino acids which may be lacking in forage only diets. As the name suggests, broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplements may not be tailored to meet your horse’s requirements and a balancer specifically formulated for horses on restricted diets, increased work or breeding stock may be more suitable. Many balancers also include added functional ingredients too.
Many balancers contain added functional ingredients such as joint and digestive support. Although this will undoubtedly affect the price tag, the recommended amount of balancer still costs less than the recommended amount of compound feed. When choosing a balancer, consider which functional ingredients may be of most benefit to your horse.
For more advice on feeding a balancer contact the SPILLERS Care-Line