Explain kill pens to me

Discussion in 'Horse Rescue / Adoption' started by all4him, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. all4him

    all4him Senior Member

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    Are these places where horses are sent to then be bought by kill buyers or what?
     
  2. GooseIsLoose

    GooseIsLoose Full Member

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    Kill pen is a term used at an auction house. Horses that are unfit in one way or another, normally temperament or soundness, are put into a kill pen for the meat man. These horses will be dirt cheap to free.

    The term "kill pen" has became overused. Any trader or KB that buys in large quantity, well the horses they purchase are normally put in pens together for easy loading. Traders and KB's also buy horses that are fit for resale and they are put in the same pen. "Rescues" like to refer to this pen as a "kill pen" even though some were never going to be destine for slaughter. It makes it a little more dramatic and earth shattering for them to use that term.

    Horses that are truly purchased out of a kill pen will either take hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of veterinary care for soundness/medical issues or will try to bite, kick, stomp you head off.

    It's became a fad term to pull at heart strings and make a little $$$
     
  3. hamerface

    hamerface Senior Member

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    My understanding of kill pens is a pen of horses already purchased by a kill buyer waiting for transport from the auction market to the end destination.


    Our local auction house does not have kill pens as described above. Horses are consigned to the sale and "chased" through if not suitable to be handled or ridden. Only horses consigned by the same person are run through as lots.

    It is important to remember that buyers who purchase horses for meat, also have other contracts for ranch and saddle horses as an example, and will often buy sound usable horses for those contracts. Often times when people cite that kill buyers are unwilling to sell from a kill pen, it is these contract horses they are unwilling to sell.

    Any horse at any livestock auction market has the potential to go to slaughter.
     
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  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Kill buyers come to auction to buy horse for profit. For example: You put a 1000 unbroke 10yo gelding in the auction to sell. He's unpapered and not been handled much so they run him in. He's not even led in or ridden in the auction ring because they can't even do that with him he's going to need lots of work.
    Now, the Kill buyer will start off the bid, probably will wait until the bid goes down (because nobody is bidding at the starting bid of 400) to 100 bucks. Nobody else there wants him so the Killer gets him. Same for any other horse there. He may be broke but nobody there, at that moment, wants to put out more money than the kill buyer's lowest bid so the Killer gets him.
    It's how it is with livestock. No home, he has to go somewhere. Now, with the slaughter facilities all closed in the US, (not sure if that one out west is open now, but that's besides the point) the market has bottomed out, horses are literally worth nothing in some areas, people take the horse to an auction if there IS one within driving distance and if they get 50 bucks he's sold.
    In O9 the last action near me closed. Before it closed a Papered, solid black, broke right up to but not including saddling, led, loaded, vetted, did all the groundwork, 2yo Paso Fino filly ,..........to die for looks and manners on the ground., No-sale'd at 35 bucks.
    Send letters of commendation to HUS and PETA for this. Don't forget~!!
    So, if she had sold, it would be to someone who DID want to put to put the time and money into her, or to a Killer who would have turned her out, let her grow and then sold her later for more than 35 bucks.
    I asked to handle this filly before the sale. After he no-sale'd her he came to me and asked me if I would take her. Free w/papers. I had no use for her. Told him I didn't bring the trailer. "I'll deliver her." he said.
    The Killer has a pen he puts his just bought horses in at the auction. You want one? One he just bought from the auction? He has a price. Pay it and take the horse. Get your butt to the auction and buy it before he does and you pay a little less for it.
     
  5. all4him

    all4him Senior Member

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    A friend is looking to "bail" a mare and foal out of the Kaufman Kill Pen and I was just wondering if these horses were truly in danger or not. Aren't babies not allowed to be slaughtered?
     
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  6. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    The Killer takes babies to either his own or someone else's field to grow up. They do not take studs, babies, minis, skinners, crippled, lame, etc at the killers. Only big healthy horses, mares or geldings who are worth it to kill for meat. If there isn't enough meat on them they are not going to slaughter.

    If she wants the horses, let her take them. If not, they aren't going to slaughter until they meet the above criteria.
     
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  7. equinitis

    equinitis Senior Member

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    Tell your friend to wait until they go through the sale. They will be cheaper as it is typically very easy to outbid a meat buyer.

    The term "kill pen" is a phrase coined strictly to tug at the heart strings of soft hearted people. I have been going to auctions all of my life and have never heard this term until the last few years. Same with "kill buyers" and "meat buyers". Those people were simply traders until equine slaughter got to be such a huge AR deal. I used to ride horses for a trader, I rode whatever he brought home each week to determine where it could best be marketed. He actually rarely bought strictly for sale to slaughter as there was much better money to be made selling to a rider. Even when meat prices were good, more money was made selling to a rider.
     
  8. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    Exactly, the 'traders' are in it simply for profit, and if there is a quick profit to be made by selling them as riders/projects etc etc then they will. Anything not suitable will go for meat.

    The word auction, as in a general auction rather than a speciality one has become a dirty word, people are ashamed to admit that they send their horses there. If you have tried to sell one, have run out of money, space. or whatever the reason is to sell, and auction SHOULD be a good option, it gets you money TODAY, no quibble, non refundable money. Now is it a good option for the horse, well if you do your best for him, have him ridden or led through, rather than run through from the general pen, then he stands a chance of being bought as a riding horse.

    Lets face it, once you sell a horse, even if you do all the homework you can, you don't know where he is going to end up, so although the person you sell to privately maybe the right one, the next step could be to a poor owner.
     
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  9. all4him

    all4him Senior Member

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    So my friend has "bailed" 12 equine (donkeys, minis, mares, geldings, foals) where there were rescues that would take them but they couldn't bail them. My feeling is that if they couldn't bail them, they couldn't care for them but that goes back to "the cheapest part of owning a horse is buying them." Now, some of these WOULD have gone to slaughter? And what of these "rescues"? Do they really have limitless space to take horses that people pay hundreds to "bail"? I don't know - there seems to be a lot of sketchiness to me, you know?
     
  10. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    I don't know what you are referring to as 'sketchy'. I find anyone saying they are 'bailing' a horse, 'rescuing' a horse to be sketchy. They're livestock. Livestock were bred, just like cattle, for a purpose. They go to a sale when the owner can't take care of them, wants to downsize, wants to sell them now. I don't get what's so bad about a horse dieing. They don't know they're going to die when they're loaded up to go to slaughter. What would make anyone think the horse is any more panicy on a slaughter truck than on any other trailer? They aren't psychic; don't know they will die nor do they even know what death is.

    Way better they go to slaughter than starve in a rescue's field or be inadvertently put through more misery with an unknowledgable horse lover who wants to 'bail' them but doesn't know what they're doing.
     

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