It’s on the Horse Feed Tag – Part 8

  1. It’s on the Horse Feed Tag – Part 1
  2. It’s on the Horse Feed Tag – Part 2
  3. It’s on the Horse Feed Tag – Part 3
  4. It’s on the Horse Feed Tag – Part 4
  5. It’s on the Horse Feed Tag – Part 5
  6. It’s on the Horse Feed Tag – Part 6
  7. It’s on the Horse Feed Tag – Part 7
  8. It’s on the Horse Feed Tag – Part 8

Let’s take a look at the importance of expiration dates, lot numbers, and manufacturers’ information.

Expiration dates:

Freshness is important to horse owners. No one wants to feed his or her horse an old, stale bag of feed. Checking the expiration or “best used by” date on your feed tag or feedbag tells you just how fresh the feed really is. It is a good idea to locate these numbers and check them each time you get a new supply of feed. If you can’t find them, ask your feed distributor to show you where they are.

If you purchase large amounts of feed at a time you will want to arrange your stockpile of feed so that you are feeding the oldest feed first. Feeds that have gone past their expiration/best used by date should be checked carefully before being fed or not used at all. Expiration dates are based on shelf-life testing that tells the manufacturer how long the nutrients in a feed remain viable and at what point a feed will begin to go bad. Feeds that are past their best used by dates may not provide adequate nutrition, or they can become moldy or rancid. Manufacturers typically recommend discarding feeds that have expired.

Lot numbers:

Each bag of feed also carries a lot number. As manufacturers produce feeds, they do so in batches that are numbered and tracked. The ingredients in the feed are also numbered and tracked. Samples of the feed are collected and kept (known as “retained samples”) for a period of time just in case the quality or nutrient content of the feed comes into question. Lot numbers become important when there is a problem with a feed. It allows the manufacturer to easily track down the feed involved in an adverse situation and it allows the consumer to identify if they have a feed with that problem. If you have a complaint about a feed, the manufacturer will need the lot number to follow up on your complaint. If you store your feed in a container other than the feed bag itself, it is wise to keep the feed tag and part of the bag that contains the lot number and expiration/best used by date until you finish using the feed.

Manufacturers’ information:

Commercial feed manufacturers are required to put their name, address and contact information on each bag of feed they produce. This is so regulatory agencies, feed distributors, and customers can contact them when necessary. These days many manufacturers will include a website where you can go at any time to learn more about the feed. Even with all the information available to you online and on the feed tag, there may be times you wish to contact a manufacturer with a question or complaint.

To make the most of your phone call, you should have the following information readily available.

If you have a nutrition question:

  • The full name of the feed, or better yet, the feed tag itself
  • Details about your horse’s diet and feeding schedule
  • Nutrient information on your hay, if available
  • A list of all the supplements and medications you give your horse

If you have a complaint about a feed:

  • The full name of the feed or the feed tag itself
  • The lot number from the feedbag
  • A sample of the feed and the history of your complaint
  • The contact information of whom you bought the feed from
  • The date you purchased the feed
  • Details about your horse’s diet and feeding schedule

The feed tag is yet another tool in a smart horse owner’s toolbox. Taking the time to learn how to use the feed tag properly will benefit both your horse and your pocketbook!


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *