Hay and feed prices have risen effecting many horse owners

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 9:54 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - PARR is an organization in Ocala that rehomes, rehabilitates, and rescues horses. The group held a fundraiser two weeks ago to pay for items like feed and hay as prices continue to rise.

“The feed that’s specifically made to feed in the pasture, a pasture pellet has gone up to $20.75 a bag to $23.75 in probably the last four months,” said Monti Sims.

These prices have affected many horse owners not just PARR as a bale of hay has also gone up. Jackie Acksel the founder of OTTB Foundation explained how high she’s seen the cost rise.

“It was $35 for a one hundred pound bale its now $55 in a year’s time that’s kind of outrageous.”

Owners said the jumps are due to the pandemic and the rising cost of fuel. They added that some are having to give up their horses because of the higher upkeep.

“Fuel prices really drive Florida prices for hay and feed because everything is trucked in or most of it. Even the mills that make their own feed everything they use to make it with is trucked in,” said Sims.

Acksel said this is affecting rescues especially as they live off donations from other people’s generosity.

“It’s so hard to get donations because everybody else is trying to take care of their own horses and we’re trying to get donations to save these horses, but what used to cost us $250 a month for the hay and feed is now costing us $400 for a rescue horse.”

There are other avenues horse owners take to save money Sims said sometimes that’s receiving hay from Canada which can save them $200 a ton.

“Anything helps I don’t care if it’s $5 occasionally somebody will try to drive by and drop off a bag of feed.”

Horse owners said they know that grooming, vets, and blacksmith fees are causing some rescues to close their doors.

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