On Friday I went to my local feed store to find out which mills produced what so I could get a new feed that was not produced in the same mill as the TC feed. It was an illuminating conversation, to say the least.
I hadn’t bothered to tell my feed store about the problems with corn and oats in the Triple Crown Sr because it wasn’t their fault, they just sell the stuff. This was a problem with the mill. I had told Triple Crown about the problem and trusted that they would handle it. After finding metal in my bag, I did tell my dealer because I wanted to avoid that mill. I knew most mills produce more than one brand of grain, what I didn’t realize is how little consistency there is with where brands are produced.
My dealer was extremely helpful, and was easily able to rattle off which feeds came from which plants. My Triple Crown is produced in a Blue Seal plant, not Purina as is commonly thought. Triple Crown is apparently notorious for skipping from mill to mill like the “village bicycle” of feed brands, they’ve been produced out of nearly every mill around. The good thing about this is that every major brand now knows the TC formulas because they’ve made the stuff, so every major brand has a version of TC Sr. It makes choosing a replacement from a different mill really easy.
My dealer was surprised to hear about my issues, though, as both the TC and Blue Seal sales representatives had been in recently and hadn’t mentioned anything.
So, she called the Blue Seal rep to find out what was up, since Blue Seal runs the mill. The Blue Seal rep hadn’t heard a peep from TC. My dealer gave me the Blue Seal rep’s number so I could forward on my pictures.
To their credit, the Blue Seal rep was very helpful. I spoke with her at length about the milling processes and products. It turns out there are two types of mills: one produces the “sweet feed” type products and another produces the cooked, extruded pellet type products. The mills that produce cooked, extruded pellets have much tighter quality control than those producing sweet feed types. This also means that feeds from the same company can be produced in completely different mills.
In the end, I decided to try Blue Seal’s Sentinel LS. It’s a cooked and extruded pellet, so it’s produced in one of the facilities with tighter quality control. It’s also very similar to the TC Sr formula. The rep didn’t come right out and say it was a dupe for TC Sr, for obvious reasons, but it was heavily implied. It didn’t hurt that they’re sending me free bags of the stuff, too. If this feed doesn’t work out, my feed store was also able to recommend several other feeds that are similar to TC Sr and produced in a different mill.
The take home message here is that it doesn’t really matter what brand you feed, because the mill can screw everything up and there is little consistency with which brands are produced in which mills. Many of the brands contract out to the various mills and bounce around a lot. Different lines of one brand may even be being produced in different facilities. Make friends with your local feed dealer, because they can tell you which feeds are being produced out of which facilities if you have a problem with a certain feed.
I am, however, extremely disappointed in Triple Crown’s handling of this situation. I understand that the problem is with this particular mill, but for Triple Crown to never have informed the mill to take action to fix it is absolutely inexcusable. They’ve lost a customer here.
6 thoughts on “Food Woes Update”
Is Tribute an option where you are? It’s what I’ve fed for years and I love it. All of their feeds are low starch, fixed formula and manufactured in a dedicated facility. Not many feed manufacturers can say all three of those things.
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The closest dealer is an hour away, so not really. One of my biggest issues is availability as I’m in a pretty rural, very impoverished part of the state and local dealers just don’t stock high end feeds. If I have to, I’ll start driving or see if my local dealer will special order something for me.
I feed Tribute as well the ration balancer (
Tribute Equine Nutrition Essential K Horse Feed, 50-lb bag) it is expensive as can be in my mind but it is clean and easy to feed and no dust. I order on Chewys but I only have two horses.
Good luck finding something that works and DOES NOT CONTAIN METAL that is nuts!!
Wow I never would have expected that one 😊 most certainly something to watch for ! I didn’t know they change mills that is good to know.
Out here in my version of the boonies – the only local feed source option is Ace Hardware. They carried Southern States, who repped Triple Crown and Legends. Triple Crown dropped Southern States and then Ace dropped Triple Crown. I had heard Purina was milling TC now, but maybe that’s not true (hopefully) – or is it a regional thing?
Still haven’t sussed out who is milling the T.C. down here in NC – but I have talked Ace into special ordering it for me, which requires lots of advanced notice and storage issues, but beats a three hour round trip. The only difference I’ve found from the new milling is the feed seems less sticky than it used to. No foreign bodies (yet). It’s my understanding that sometimes the mills use corn to clean out the machinery between different formulations…
For some reason you aren’t in my blog roll anymore, so I had no idea you were back to blogging until I saw a comment on Nicole’s blog a few days ago. So happy I found it – I have always enjoyed your honesty and sense of humor. Yay!
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I switched over to WordPress because the mobile app is easier to use, but then I stopped writing for awhile after Spider died. I’m kind of starting to get back into the swing of things now.
TC is it’s own company, but doesn’t have it’s own mills so they shop around for whoever has the best price in the area, could be Purina, Blue Seal or SS. If you ask whoever does the ordering at Ace, they should be able to tell you which plant they’re getting it from. The mills do use corn to clear the runs, but it should be mostly clear of the runs before the next batch goes through. I probably had 150 bags that were just full of corn and oats, not a great thing to have in a “grain-free, low NSC” feed. 😆