As any horse owner would know, keeping horses is an expensive hobby! Owning horses is not an endeavor for the faint of heart- the veterinary, farrier, boarding, training, and feed costs quickly add up over time. As large animals, the cost to feed horses is undoubtedly higher than the average pet, but why do feed prices seem to always increase? Sometimes it seems that companies are continually increasing prices, making the generic brands that are half the price seem like a better option. A variety of reasons explain the increasing feed prices and why it is best to stay with quality, nutritious producers rather than a more value-based feed.

A primary cause of the increasing bag prices is the growing price of feed ingredients. Naturally, when the price per ingredient increases, the price for the bagged content must rise as well. Currently, the worldwide grain demand is extremely high. As the global population is reaching nearly 8 billion, the push to produce more food is as urgent as ever. At the time of this article’s publication, the grain prices for animal consumption are expected to increase 10-15% from 2020 values due to ingredient prices.

The steep rise in ingredient prices is reflected in Excel Equine®® ’s bags. Our 3 most popular ingredients, cracked corn, soybean meal, and recleaned oats, have all inflated in the past year.

Cracked Corn

  • May 2020: $145/ton
  • May 2021: $235/ton

Soybean Meal

  • May 2020: $320/ton
  • May 2021: $440/ton

Recleaned Oats

  • May 2020: $250/ton
  • May 2020: $378/ton

So, to be upfront, Excel Equine® customers will see price changes in the feeds. However, feed price increases will be gradual, not all at once! Also, for every $1 an equine feed increases, the price increases only 10 cents/day for an average horse. At the end of the month, the $1 bag increases totals to only an additional $3/month. While the $1 bag increase seems drastic, the additional $3/month is about the same price as a small coffee, fast-food purchase, or even a hand sanitizer or cloth face mask purchase. For many individuals, spending $3 is easy and oftentimes done without much consideration. So, think of spending an extra $3/month like purchasing another cup of coffee!

If the feed ingredient increases still leave a bad taste in the mouth, it is important to take in other considerations before switching to a less expensive bag of feed. First, reflect on what you like about your feed and why you chose it for your horse. What benefits does it bring? Will you lose some of those nutritional benefits if you switch to a new feed? It is very important to look at the ingredients of the horse feed. If you are looking at a less costly grain, compare the new feed’s ingredients with your current feed; is the new mixture lacking in ingredients, thus requiring supplementation? Oftentimes, low-end equine feeds do not contain enough fortification to support bone growth, muscular growth, or active lifestyles. Adding supplements to a less costly feed may lead to the added cost, which may not be saving the owner any money. At Excel Equine®, all our feeds are complete feeds, meaning that they contain the required number of vitamins and minerals and will not require supplementation for an average, healthy horse. Lastly, if you are considering a horse feed that does not reflect an increasing price, the brand may be trying to mislead the consumers by replacing the premium ingredients with less-expensive grains, therefore reducing the quality and nutrition of the horse feed.

While rising feed prices are scary, doing business with Excel Equine® is not! Excel Equine® cares about the health of each horse it feeds and crafts each production with the health of the horse in mind. We only use the best ingredients and produce our grains in an equine-only, medication-free facility to give our horses maximum nutrition. If you are concerned about our feed or prices, please contact us at (502) 587-6606 or email at awill@excelequinefeeds.com and we will be happy to help with any questions.

Feed Increase Infographic
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