Buying and Storing Feed in the Summer

Download PDF One of the questions Triple Crown representatives are most often asked is, “How do I know if my feed is fresh?” This is particularly true in summer when the heat and humidity can be hard on stored feed. Generally, it would take 6 to 9 months for degradable ingredients like vitamins to diminish below guarantees, but for best quality, feed should be used before that time. For optimum freshness and palatability, we recommend feed be used within 60 to 90 days from the date of manufacture to avoid problems such as drying out, mold or insect infestation. These dates may have some variability based on where you live. Each feed bag will have a tag sewn on it that has a date indicating when it was manufactured. (Some manufacturers also stamp the date directly on the bottom of the bag, for example 051212 would mean May 12th, 2012.)

If you don’t know how to read the date codes, contact your local dealer or call us at 800-451-9916. When purchasing feed, select bags that look nice; avoid dirty or ripped bags. If you come across a damaged Triple Crown feed bag, or if you have a feed question or concern, please contact us.

How should your feed be stored? Common sense needs to prevail on storing feed in the summer. In the hot months, we recommend keeping no more than 45 days of feed on hand. The lower price from the dealer for buying two months of feed, will not recoup the cost of several spoiled bags. Don’t buy more than you need for a short time. Feed should be stored off the floor by placing it on a pallet. Feed sitting directly on the ground or on concrete can be susceptible to moisture and rodents. Once you open your feed bags, we recommend you store your feed bag in a tub or another sealable container. Remember to keep your feed tubs separate from your trash cans to avoid others throwing garbage into your feed supply. A great idea some horse owners use is an old chest freezer to store their feed. Finally, keep your feed out of the sun and away from the roof so it isn’t subjected to large temperature swings. Roofing material tends to get hot in the day and cold at night. Some horse owners find that switching from textured feeds with molasses to pelleted feeds can help solve storage problems.

Paying attention to your summer feed supply can save you from problems and save you money.