Life with horses is busy, and often we do not have the opportunity to sit down and actually read the label on our horses feed bag or supplement. We take note of the colourful packaging and the information on the front, and sometimes overlook the full list of ingredients on the back. Knowing exactly what is in your horses feed or supplement can help you determine if you are feeding the best product for both your horse and your wallet!
Things we need to Consider:
- Price Per Dose- some feeds or supplements might be more concentrated than others, so the price of the bucket might be more expensive, but the price per dose may be considerably lower.
- Nutritional Value Per Dose- Yes, the price per dose may be lower, but are the level of ingredients lower per dose? Do you need to feed two doses per day compared to one?
- Value for Money- Can you save money by investing in the larger pack size?\
Price per Dose:
It is very common to buy a bucket of product off the shelf that is cheaper. You see two buckets that look similar and you pick the one that costs less. This seems like a logical thing to do, but is that bucket of the product really costing you less?
Let’s do the math:
For example, you have two different brands of vitamin & mineral supplements for horses. One is 3kg at $77.00 and the other is 5Kg at $39.50. At first this seems like a no brainer. The bigger bucket that is cheaper must be better value, right?
When we look at the label and do the math, the bigger bucket is really more expensive. The bigger bucket requires an average 500kg horse in light work to have 105 grams a day to reach the recommended levels of vitamins and minerals. Compared with the smaller bucket that only requires 30 grams a day for an average 500kg horse in light work. This means that the smaller bucket only costs $0.77 cents a day, while the bigger bucket works out to be $0.82 cents a day. The smaller bucket has a more concentrated formulation, so you do not need to feed as much. This is something that is very important to consider when purchasing feeds and supplements. How much does the manufacturer recommend giving, and how does that work out as a price per dose or price per day?
Nutritional Value Per Dose
Something else that is worth considering is how does nutritional value compare between products? Sometimes cheaper does not mean better. Sure, product A. might be cheaper per dose, but does it give me the levels of vitamins and minerals that I need? Sometimes paying a few cents more will give you a better result. Always make sure you are comparing apple to apples. In this case product A. was better value per dose, and it had more concentrated levels of vitamins and minerals.
Value for Money
Sometimes size does matter. Now we have decided which brand we are going to buy, now we need to ask ourselves, which size of that same brand is the best value for money? Supermarkets have started putting wonderful labels on shelves that show us how much a product costs per 100g. This is great because it tells us without having to do the math for every product which size is the best value for money.
For example, a 500g bag of pasta at the grocery store costs $2.60. This is cheaper than the 750g bag of the same pasta that costs $2.90, but is it better value?
The 500g bag of pasta costs $0.52/100g and the 750g bag of pasta is only $0.39/100g. Over time you could save a lot of money if you bought the bigger bag of pasta, especially if your family is eating pasta regularly. This is true for horses as well. It may be much better value to invest in the bigger bag or bucket. When purchasing a large pack size, you need to ensure that the product has a good shelf life and will still be fresh and effective for the length of time that we will be using it.
For example, if you buy a 15kg bucket of Ranvet’s Ration Balancer it will cost you $0.62 per dose compared to the 3kg pack size which will costs you $0.77 per dose.
Ration Balancer is manufactured with two years shelf life and a 15kg bucket will last two 500kg horses 250 days or about 8 months. Whilst a 3kg bucket lasts for around 50 days for two horses on 30g/day. However, if you it would take 1000 days for a little pony to get through a 15kg bucket of Ration Balancer, so in that case a 3Kg bucket will be the better value option.
Therefore it is very important to work out the math and ask yourself, is this product really giving me value for money.
We hope this blog post has been informative and inspired you to go out and read your horses feed and supplement labels. If you would like help reducing your horses feed bill and simplifying your horses diets complete our online diet evaluation form here.