December 19, 2014

Elyria
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Rescue seeing more horses up for adoption as hay price doubles

EATON TWP. — The price of hay has doubled in recent months, and some people are having difficulty feeding horses and other animals, according to an operator of the Angels Haven Horse Rescue.

The price of hay — coupled with lingering problems with a poor economy — has prompted the rescue to create a new place on its website with horses available for adoption from community members, said Heidi Sandrev, co-founder.

“A lot of them are free to a good home,” said Sandrev, who founded Angels Haven with her mom, Mindy Kazaroff.

Lack of rain has limited harvests of hay, so the price is going up, according to farmers in Lorain and Medina counties.

Liverpool Township farmer Jim Crocker said he planted 60 to 70 acres of hay on his farm near the Medina-Lorain county line, but the hay hasn’t grown much since the first cutting.

“Normally by this time, we would have clipped it off three times and be working on the fourth,” Crocker said.

He said he’ll incur additional expenses by purchasing a lot of feed for his 100 milking cows.

The only comfort is that corn and soybean prices are skyrocketing, so that should help the farm pay its bills, he said.

Hay is selling between $400 and $600 a ton, which is double the cost it was selling at last year, he said.

Last year, corn was selling for $5 to $6 a bushel, and prices are now about $8 and rising, Crocker said.

As for soybeans, the cost doubled from about $9 a bushel to $17 or so, he said.

In Lorain County, fair board member Jack Ternes said bulk hay prices also have increased, and the price for a bale has risen from $3 last year to about$5 this year.

Fortunately, Ternes said, Lorain County got some rain that other counties didn’t get.

“The corn harvest is going to be good in our area,” Ternes said.

“We’re going to have a good year,” said Ternes, who has a small farm in Sheffield Township. “The ears are nice and full, just a little smaller.”

Rain was a bigger problem in Medina County and the corn seems to be variable, according to Crocker, who serves as a Liverpool Township trustee.

“It depends on which way you drive down the road,” he said. “Ours is kind of mediocre.”

Meanwhile, Angels Haven is fortunate to have several suppliers still selling hay at a reasonable price, perhaps because the facility is nonprofit, Sandrev said.

But extra hay and feed will be needed, and donations of money and time are appreciated, she said.

Angels Haven takes in critical cases of horse abuse and neglect such as Angels, who needed some $4,500 worth of surgery on her feet.

She’s now ready for adoption — but only to an experienced rider, Sandrev said, warning: “She can be pretty fast.”

The special place on the website was created in recent months because the center doesn’t have the resources to take all of the horses that people can’t afford to keep, she said.

Those who want to help — or see horses available for adoption — can visit Angelshavenhorserescue.com.

Four horses that community members hope to place in new homes can also be seen on the website, she said.

To see photographs of the horses, click on “The Horses” tab and scroll down to “Horses Needing a Home.”

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.