"....In Oregon and WA so much hay, grain and alfalfa being sold to Asian countries - feeding any equid has become prohibitive. Even at harvest it's over $100 per ton for grass hay. Orchard hay from eastern WA and Oregon, are running at $200-$300 per ton depending on whether you purchase in bulk or go get it yourself or from feed stores. In western Oregon currently pay feedstore prices over $200/ton for field hay and $300+ for orchard. Oregon alfalfa is being shipped to Calif due to the drought. In WA, alfalfa is going to Japan and far east....."
It's got me thinking. I was a bit surprised at how it compares to here an I am wondering what it costs to keep a horse or donkey in the rest of the world. I think this might be of interest to a lot of people and I am hoping that you horse/donkey owners out there will join in and let us all know what things are like in your area. You can leave a comment here or, if you are a blogger and would prefer, feel free to write about it there and post a link in my comment section. (I haven't figured out how to put up one of those blog-hop link thingys though.)
In my little patch of universe, the mixed grass hay (which is about all that is available here) is selling for $3.50/bale. That might not sound like a lot, but they are small bales. The bales average, at best, 30-35 pounds. If you do the math, that is $200-230 per ton, not including trucking. Second cutting is going for $4-5 per bale. Alfalfa is not readily available here as it does not grow well in this area so if you want that, it is likely to cost $10-15 a bale, again for a small bale. Same for straw. Much of the hay grown in this area is shipped to areas just outside of NYC, where it is sold for 2-3 times these prices
Veterinary costs have skyrocketed in the last few years and have become downright prohibitive. The vet is scheduled to come out here tomorrow to do routine dental checkups and vaccinations. It will cost $70 just to get her to show up, $80-100 per critter for dental work as long as nothing is wrong and $40 each for vaccines. I could do most of the shots myself, but NY state won't allow me to buy the rabies vaccine and it is required by state law. Rabies is prevalent here so I would do it regardless.
The frequency and types of vaccination is another topic I wrestle with, but lets leave that for another day. Vets will not come out for an emergency unless you are an established client, a good part of paying them for routine care that I could do cheaper myself is a type of insurance so that they will come out if I really need them. These are routine minimums and I am expecting this to be at least a $300 vet bill. Just a few years ago, it would have been under $100. I'd like to have a new set of x-rays taken of Ramsey's foot, but I don't think I can manage the extra $150 that would cost right now.
Farrier costs average $30 for a trim and, last I checked, $70-80 for a set of front shoes and $120-150 for all four. Just one of the many reasons I do my own hoof trimming.
This little bit of geography is also one of the most economically depressed areas in the country. Taxes are very high, yet wages are nearly half of the national average (I looked it up on the bureau of labor and statistics). While there are some jobs out there, few of them pay much above minimum wage or provide full time hours. This used to be a manufacturing town, but it is all gone now. The area has also been hit with two catastrophic floods in the past ten years. It has not recovered well. I am fortunate to have a very necessary job that can't be outsourced (yet) so it is at least fairly secure, (I work as a very specialized type of lab tech in a hospital). The hour long commute over poorly maintained, twisty, windy roads though is brutal.
So, I am curious, what's it like in your neck of the woods, wherever that may be?
- Where are you?
- What kind of hay is available and what does it cost (remember to tell us a price per ton or at least what a bale weighs as it varies tremendously. Weight is the only way to compare.)
- What are routine vet costs?
- What are farrier costs?
- What is your area like?
Inquiring minds want to know:)