Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Draft Animals and Land-Use in the Future › Future of our draft horse population
- November 2, 2017 at 9:42 pm #95842dominiquer60Moderator
I just want to put it out there that the draft horse young stock market is on fire right now. Not everyone breeds or keeps up with the sales, or the broader industry news, but the price of young stock is soaring at the moment. This week in Topeka, IN you couldn’t go home with a Percheron weanling (papered or not) for less than $3,500. While older stock went for less, there is going to be a real problem for folks looking for young broke or maybe even just good broke stock in our future.
A large percentage of the young draft horses at major and some minor sales these days are going to the Asian meat market. They are purchased in Canada and US, sent to Western Canada for feed out(word on the street is that they have nice accommodations), then flown to Japan for several months to be “Japan Raised,” the finished horses can sell for $20K and the meat for $100/lb. This could very well trickle down to the rest of us having a harder time finding affordable work horses. It also means that there will be less animals in the breeding pool and that good genetics are being blindly exported for meat. Good genetics meaning both show and work type stock.
I did not post this to have a debate about eating horses, I put it out there so that those of you with young stock to sell, or mares to breed are aware of what is going on in other parts of our country. There is great potential that supply will continue to not meet demand and prices of working stock may be continue to go up. If you have young stock to sell know that some breeders are turning to selling privately and even under sale prices, just to see young stock go into good hands where they will be able to reach their potential. It may really get to the point where if you don’t like what is on the market (price wise/type wise) you will have to make your own.
While certain areas of our continent may not be under immediate threat, I feel like we have been experiencing this problem for a while. Broke working pairs are going for up to $32k a pair (work horses not show) at Midwest sales and an average pair in their prime easily bringing $8K to $10K. These prices used to follow a 7 year cycle, but since the housing bubble popped in ’08 and the slautgher houses shut down do to lack of funding for inspectors, the price of draft horses just keeps going up, bucking the general 7 year cycle. With Asian meat buyers gobbling large numbers of young stock, there could likely be a shortage of good young teams in our future. Will we have to work old horses longer to get by and save for a scarce young pair, will more people step up and breed working stock for our communities?November 6, 2017 at 9:42 pm #95849JayParticipant
Thanks for posting, Erika.November 7, 2017 at 8:58 am #95850LongViewFarmParticipant
I plan to start making my own by breeding my mare next year. Within two years I plan to have much better barn facilities and try to produce a number of foals in the coming decades, simply because there is a shortage and I think it will be good to have them/ potentially sell them.
That said, I am going into it green, and will learn a lot in practice, and will make mistakes. As always, DAPNet will be a great conduit to folks with the knowledge I need.
I have no real breed preference, and I’m busy with full time work, but I’m going to do what I can and what I enjoy to keep some chunk horses around in this region.November 7, 2017 at 9:19 pm #95851the.lilac.dragonflyParticipant
Yikes. This is not good news. Although I don’t/never have worked horses, I like to watch them at work and want them to continue to be available at reasonable prices. It’s kind of like people who make their money doing big city jobs, coming up here and buying up land. Then regular folks can’t afford to buy land to homestead or farm because sellers are holding out for the rich Flatlanders to pay big bucks.
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