Friday, August 12, 2011

The Cost of Feed

Prices on the Rise?

Hard to say for sure, but I bought alfalfa cubes today at Tractor Supply and the price had gone up $1.50 a bag since my last purchase...just a few weeks ago. Is this foreshadowing of things to come?

When I switched to Purina Healthy Edge--high fat, low carbohydrate--I expected to pay a bit more than for a less speciailized feed. I was first using the Country Acres feeds--also a Purina product, but more generic. Then I switched to Triple Crown Low starch, and eventually ended up with the Healthy Edge. I think when I first started, the feed was $12.99 a 50 lb. bag. I it up to $15.99 now.

I am not sure what is inflating the price the most. The field corn producers are selling their corn to agri fuel companies, which does have an impact on the animal feed industry. I would also guess that the weather in the midwest is causing some issues. And what about the cost of transportation? With gas/diesel prices rising, it costs more and more to ship the product.

So far, my hay prices are still at $6.75 a bale for a nice mixed hay. My supplier is just across the street and delivers, unloads, and stacks it for me. That makes the price a real bargain. There may be cheaper hay right off the field locally, but I'm better off with this price and arrangement. Still, I used to be able to get good hay for around $3.00 a bale and I was paying around $5.00 not too long ago.  Of all the feed stuff, I guess hay is the easiest to shop around for bargains--at least here in New Jersey. Farmers do make deals sometimes, and even my supplier gave me a discount when he had leftover supplies last year.

I am sure some of my readers pay more for feed and some pay less. It does vary from one part of the country to another and here, even from one part of the State to another.

But the "sticker shock" of today's alfalfa cube purchase sticks with me. I went to Tractor Supply expecting a savings of about $12 for three bags over my closer feed store. That savings was cut to $4.50 instead and with the price of gas at $3.50 a gallon, I'm not sure the extra driving miles didn't cost me most of that.

Then again, I haven't priced the cubes at my feed store since a few weeks ago either. Maybe, when I do, I will discover I actually did save what I'd anticipated.

All I know is that the Boys were happy to get their cubes at lunchtime instead of with breakfast. And extra feeding always appeals to them.

But I made the mistake of leaving Tucker's interior stall gate unlatched and when I went out to feed dinner just now, I had to clean the aisle of the barn where Toby and Tucker had spent at least a part of the day knocking things around and generally "redecorating."  On the plus side, from the looks of things, Chance was not involved in their efforts. If he had been, I would have needed to do a lot more work trying to set things right again.

Oh yes...and nothing was ripped up.....


  1. I haven't had the sticker shock, yet, since I only feed grain in the winter. Beet pulp hasn't gone up in price and I feed locally grown hay, which is $5 a bale. I'm not looking forward to this winter, though. I've heard the drought in the Midwest is raising corn prices, and thus feed prices.

    Oh well, you don't get into this particular "hobby" expecting it to be cheap. I just hope these horses know how good they've got it! *G*

  2. For us it all depends where we buy the hay from. Some of the suppliers around here are very expensive running between $10-15 dollars a bale (delivered). They're big heavy bales but still too expensive when you have seven hoovers. If we can get it by the ton it's usually about $7 a bale depending on the quality it could be lower or higher. Sometimes I feel like turning them loose in my neighbors hay field but I guess that would be frowned upon.

    Wish we lived in Jersey our gas prices just came down to about $3.97 from almost $4.40 something for regular.

    Good to hear the boys had fun "redecorating" today. They were most likely just trying to help you clean out the barn before your surgery :)

  3. Out here in California alfalfa is nearly $20 a bale!!! YIKES! I'm switching my herd to bermuda pellets for their treat ($10.45 a bag) and extra meal instead of sweet feed, which is $22.95 a bag! We paid $3.63 a gallon for gas in California and over here in Arizona, it is $3.29 (we're on vacation in AZ).

  4. I think we kind of expect prices to creep up, everything does. But not too long ago the Nutrena Life Designs Senior that I feed jumped up almost $2/bag. That is a shock and it made me more aware of the smaller amounts that everything else had gone up also. I board and the barn supplies hay, but when their costs go up so do mine, just a little delayed reaction.

  5. Alfalfa cubes are $9.75 here and a bag of TC senior is $21.50. Across town it's more expensive.

  6. all i can say is, i wish we were only paying that for gas (petrol) - in the UK, it's £1.32 a litre - i hate to think what that is a gallon, gave up trying to work that one out a long time ago, but certainly over £5 - whatever that is in USD