Make sure your horse’s feeds and grains are fresh!
- Just as you don’t want to eat food that’s rancid, filled with bugs, or even “hairy” with mold, your horse won’t want to eat it either. Keeping your horse’s grains and pellets fresh starts at the feed store, and ends at your horse’s dinner plate. Paying attention to a few basic things along the way will help guarantee that your horse’s meals are as fresh as possible.
Don’t buy too much at a time!
Check the feed store storage area – how sketchy is it?
- The mountains of feed bags should be out of the sun, off the ground (pallets are a common way to make this happen) and protected from rain. Your feed store should also follow the “first in, first out” rule of inventory, otherwise, the bottom of the pile remains the longest. Someone will eventually buy it, and who knows how long it’s been there!
- Try and thoroughly inspect all bags for tears, holes, wet spots, semi-opened tops, the works. I also like to buy from feed stores that will accept horse feed back with no questions, even if the bag is opened just in case you find something suspicious.
This feed store keeps their bags inside, in ridiculously organized aisles.
Stock up on 30 to 60 days worth of feed.
- You can also check for expiration dates (if your manufacturer includes them) so you can feed them in a logical order. If there are no expiration dates, you can use the lot number and a phone call to the manufacturer to find out how old the feed is.
Store your horse’s food to maintain freshness.
- Storing your grains and pellets is the next step in the freshness process. Keep rodents, air, dust, weather, and sun out, and you are good to go.
- I like to keep my grains in their bags inside of a larger sealed container. This allows me to store more than one type of horse feed per bin, and I never need to clean out the larger bins. More ideas on this fascinating topic can be found here!
Keep lids secure, and use sturdy containers like the Vittles Vault pictured above. You can also use regular metal trash cans, although the lids sometimes like to get warped.
Inspect your horse’s food before feeding it.
- You can easily look for bugs by looking for movement. You may also notice critters crawling up the walls of your bag or container.
- Also look for weird or fuzzy colors – white, blue, and green are common mold colors.
- You may also notice a funny smell… In pelleted feed, you may notice that the pellets are starting to flake, get dusty, or generally fall apart. All are indications to return or toss that bag!
Use your eyes and your nose to check for freshness before you feed!
Have you had any experiences with icky horse feed?
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Vittles Vault 80 lb – many sizes to choose from!