Feed manufacturers are keeping shelves stocked and helping owners tweak horses’ diets
Bulk-buying of feed – fuelled by horse owners’ fears of supplies running short if their livery yards are in lockdown or they are self-isolating – has left empty shelves in some retail outlets.
Inevitably manufacturers – themselves with new and increased health, safety and staff measures to contend with – are under pressure. So, will there be a shortage of animal feed?
At animal feed manufacturer I’Anson Brothers, the situation is being carefully monitored.
“We’re working extremely hard to ensure that production of all products continues while sticking to the Government guidelines to make sure our staff members and customers are safe,” said Will I’Anson, sales director of Masham Micronized feeds, the I’Anson Brothers division that makes British Horse Feeds and The Golden Paste Company supplements.
“Feed ingredients, supplements, animal and horse feed are a necessity and we are working closely with our suppliers and customers constantly planning, reviewing and putting measures in place to keep production going.
“[The coronavirus pandemic] has come at a time of year when we normally experience two of our peak production and sales months, so it’s additionally challenging.”
Products’ shelf life is another aspect for retailers and consumers to consider just now, added Will. British Horse Feeds’ Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet are freshly made and have a shelf life that means they last for a good period of time.
“Please do check your products for the shelf life. Only take what you need and we will continue to keep the pipeline supplied,” he added.
At Dodson & Horrell, CEO Sam Horrell was keen to reassure customers that the company was “here to help as much as we possibly can.
“Our manufacturing facilities are working in earnest to ensure that our supplies meet demands and our objective is to keep all our customers and retailers fully stocked with our range of goods,” he said.
Spillers has seen “unprecedented demand throughout the last three weeks across our entire range of products,” reports sales director Sarah Dawson.
“The retail trade is trying to keep up with consumer demand in challenging circumstances and we are working closely with our trade customers to ensure there is adequate supply.
“At this time, we are continuing to supply our customers with our full range of products and are not anticipating this will change.”
Good reason not to stockpile
TopSpec has increased production to ensure customers continue to get reliable supplies.
“We are doing our best to reassure customers that there is no need to panic buy and are busy advising horse owners how to make changes to what they feed their horses with inevitable changes in routine and workload due to restrictions,” said Katy Mickle of TopSpec. “That’s another reason why customers shouldn’t stockpile too much feed!
“There will be lots of grass soon and we anticipate low calorie feed balancers will be key to feeding a lot of horses especially for those getting less work than normal.”
Meanwhile, Equerry have seen increased sales in particular of Equerry Conditioning Mash and Equerry Minty Treats. “Despite this we anticipate no problems with supply and have increased production to meet demand,” added Katy.