Equine Business in Hood River Area
I'm planning on starting a horse breeding and training facility in the Hood River area. I was wondering what I should expect in terms of the cost of land and hay? Also, what are common plants that are toxic to horses in this area and the potentially toxic and deficient minerals in the soil?
In regard to purchasing land in the Hood River area my best advice would be to contact a realtor in the area that specializes in horse property. Horse property in the state of Oregon is characteristically expensive, but it also depends on whether you want a site already set up with barns and pastures or whether you want to buy bare land and build yourself. The other thing that highly affects property price is location. So it would potentially depend on what direction out of the Hood River area you want to buy.
Hay in Oregon is quite expensive. The majority of the high quality horse hay comes from Eastern Oregon. Good orchard grass will range from $200-300 per ton. Alfalfa hay is traditionally about $50 cheaper per ton. There is also what is called "valley hay" that is quite a bit cheaper to purchase, but I don't think it is going to have the nutrient value you will need when feeding young growing horses in training and mares in gestation and lactation.
Toxic plants in the state range. But the most common poisonous plants are flatweed (false dandelion), bracken fern (in the mountains), tansy ragwort, hemlock (found in a lot of road ditches, so it spreads), nightshade and oak trees (some horses like the acorns which can be poisonous).
The entire Pacific Northwest is selenium deficient, so all of the pasture grass and hay raised in the PNW is selenium deficient. Most horse owners in the state supplement to get the required Se amounts or feed grains at an amount that the horse will get their Se requirements. But Se is the main mineral we worry about.
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