Food Woes

If you own horses, you likely know how infuriatingly difficult it can be to find the right feed.

I’m feeding 4 horses with wildly different needs. Newboy is prone to ulcers and becomes food aggressive when his stomach hurts. Jack is huge and a hard keeper. Beau is 28 and has all the digestive issues of an older horse. Spots gets fat on air and water and, as a pony, is prone to founder.

One size fits all is hard to find.

I like keeping everyone on the same feed because it’s just easier, but that perfect feed is hard to find. A feed to meet all four horses needs must be high fat, forage based, low NSC and, most importantly, available in my very rural area. I thought I had the perfect solution in Triple Crown Senior feed. It’s 10% fat, grain free, and 11% NSC. Everybody looks great on it and Newboy doesn’t fly into a murderous rage at mealtime.

A few months ago I began to notice whole oats and corn popping up in the feed. I didn’t think much of it, that can happen sometimes in the mill and since I buy 7 bags a week I might have just hit a bad run. But it continued. Every single bag I bought that month had whole oats and corn in it. I emailed Triple Crown because I had concerns about contamination from other feed. Monensin is an additive in cattle feed that is extremely toxic to horses and cross-contamination in horse feed has resulted in the death barns full of horses. I wanted to be certain this mill did not produce cattle feeds.

Corn and oats in my “grain free” feed.

Their response was to say that it happens sometimes, the mill does not process feeds containing monensin and here’s a coupon for a free bag.

At the time, that was good enough for me. I assumed the problem would be resolved. Unfortunately, every single bag I’ve opened since then has still had whole oats and corn in it. Today, however, was the final nail in the coffin.

That’s right, metal. In my feed. And it’s clearly been mixed in there, because it’s covered in molasses.

Needless to say, I will be discontinuing my use of Triple Crown products. I did email pictures to the sales rep I spoke with earlier last year so that they know about the issue and they offered me “replacement bags”, but at this point there’s really nothing they can do to keep me on as a customer. The hunt is on for a new feed. I just hope I don’t end up having to buy four different feeds again!

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6 thoughts on “Food Woes

  1. That’s scary! Not to mention disappointing from a brand name known for quality products. I had a bunch of mold problems with a Buckeye feed I had been using for years. The first time it happened I thought no big deal it happens and Buckeye gave me free coupons to replace the bags. Except then it happened again a few months later. So I switched feed stores. Then the new feed store right off the bat gave me moldy bags. I’ve now been using Tribute products for a few years happily.

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    1. I’m really disappointed because my horses look great, but I just don’t trust the brand anymore. I have used Buckeye EQ8 in the past, but had to supplement with a high fat supplement to keep weight on the hard keepers and they still looked unthrifty. It’s amazing how complicated feeding a horse can be!

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  2. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been using the same brand of feed for several years with no issues (ADM), but I do have to buy different kinds of feed for my different horses – the girls (young, easy keepers) are on a ration balancer and the boys (older, one a supremely hard keeper) are on the brand’s higher quality senior feed. And I still supplement the hard keeper with beet pulp and alf pellets, so I still have a ridiculous number of trash cans in my feed room, but it’s less than when I was feeding 6 different kinds of grain haha. Hopefully you find a brand that works better for you soon!

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  3. I stopped buying Triple Crown when they were bought by Purina. It used to really bother me that Purina didn’t list feed ingredients on the bag because their focus is “fixed price” instead of fixed formula. So they will use whatever ingredient ratios they need to in order to keep the price per bag the same. Your story is not the first I’ve heard of there being quality control issues with TC since Purina took over in 2017.

    I second Tribute if you can find it in your area. It’s a hike for me to the one feed store that carries their products, but I love their feed and they have a couple of grain-free, low NSC, high fat formulas.

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  4. Ugh that’s unreal 😦 I hate not being able to trust a product like that, esp after previously feeling like TCS was such a good fit for a lot of horses at my last barn…. I’ve been feeding nutrena to my giant ass TB and he’s doing well on it – they’ve got some nice options too.

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