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Slaughter Horses Pay off for Grower
Drought-ravaged pastures last summer forced horse owners across the Upper Midwest to sell horses they no longer could afford to feed. Bob Starr, Redwood Falls, Minn., saw the sell-off as a potential meat-export opportunity, according to a recent story by Jim Dickrell in The Farmer Magazine.
Starr bought the horses through horse buyers in Carrington, N. Dak. and Cannon Falls, Minn., and 43 were trucked in from throughout the Midwest. They were Appaloosas and large-framed quarter horses averaging only about 975 lbs.
Including trucking and commissions, Starr had $34/cwt in the horses at delivery last September. He had pastures, corrals and haylage available because he had sold off his 75-cow beef herd earlier in the year. His goal was to get experience feeding horses to determine if it might be a viable option to cattle again in the future. His preliminary conclusion was that in order to make them pay you either have to get the animals cheaply or have a source of cheap feed.The meat was exported to France, Italy, Switzerland or Japan from Morton, Tex., location of a horse slaughter plant.

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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #3