With price a tag of close to £40 in some cases, it’s easy to see where the myth that balancers are expensive came from. However the low feeding rate actually makes them a very cost effective solution for horses and ponies that don’t need the additional calories provided by compound feeds.
How much does it really cost to feed balancer?
Just like your supermarket staples, the most accurate way to calculate the cost of your balancer (or any other feed/ supplement) is on a ‘per day or ‘per serving’ basis. Most balancers are designed to be fed at a rate of 500g per day for a 500kg horse which means a 20kg bag will last one horse 6 weeks. In comparison, the feeding rate for a low energy mix/ cube is typically 3kg per day and therefore despite the lower price tag, the cost per day is higher.
Tips for spending wisely
Value for money is important to us all so here’s a few tips to help you spend wisely.
- Start by deciding whether or not a balancer is a suitable option. If your horse is unable to maintain weight easily on forage alone, buying a balancer to improve condition is false economy. In these cases, paying a little more (per day) for a compound feed that will provide essential calories in addition to vitamins and minerals to balance the diet is money well spent.
- Consider which if any functional ingredients may benefit your horse the most. Ingredients such as probiotic live yeast and glucosamine are expensive so inevitably, increase the cost of the product. If you are not looking for additional joint or digestive support, choose a balancer which simply contains the nutrients to balance a forage based diet. On the flip side, choosing a balancer with added functional ingredients may mean you no longer need to feed a separate supplement.
- Look at the price per day rather than the price per bag – some products may simply be lower in price because the pack is smaller
For advice on choosing the most cost effective balancer for your horse contact the SPILLERS Care-Line.