Moldy Feed Warning

Yup. I was offered rained on feed for a dollar a bag once. Staff told me it happens all the time

The batch date for TC is always on the bag seal/ribbon (top or bottom I don’t remember). Sept 11, 2021

The date on the actual bag is when the bag was printed - 6-22-21

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I won’t buy anything from Tractor Supply for this and so many other reasons. My local store works their few employees to the bone for peanuts. Everything is rained on, in addition to moldy grain, I’ve had moldy shavings and treats.

And then there is what happens to surplus chicks that go unsold :skull:

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This is what I would do…

  1. Report it to Triple Crown as complaints
  2. Report it to FDA consumer complaint coordinator for your state (can find on
  3. Report it to TSC HQ

As part of the animal feed regulations, the company is required to log and investigate all complaints. In this case they will go to the contract manufacturer who is also required to do this investigation.

When you report this stuff to FDA, during inspections it will be looked and make sure the company investigated the issue. If you still have the product, they will sometimes send an investigator out to sample. I have done this for cat food and dog treats.

My guess is this happened at the TSC store.


I’ve gotten moldy bales of Standlee hay from TSC before. Even the alfalfa pellets and Triple Crown safe starch I’ve gotten from there in a pinch are noticeably older and not as fresh as the same products I get from my usual source.

I feel awful for anyone who has to rely on TSC as their sole feed or hay source. I also don’t even want to know about what happens to the poor chickens there. I always feel sad when I see them.

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Agreed. I certainly wouldn’t ditch a known and loved product based on one moldy bag from TSC.

TSC is not a feed store…it’s a big box store for lots of things. Hit or miss, but they are close to me, so I go there first.


I have also bought moldy feed from TSC — buggy feed too.

At one point, the nearest TSC to me, in the next county, was not being well run. They had a bag of outdated rice bran sitting on their shelf for next to two years- I know because I made it a point to look at that bag every time I went in that store for something that wasn’t food.

I reported it to TSC corporate and nothing got done. I reported it to the rice bran company and the bag did disappear but it only disappeared to the stock room. I know this because this particular TSC let customers go in the back to look at their hay :anguished:

TSC has a terrible reputation here, too. There are only two feed stores we buy from.

This early in the fall, I would bet that feed bag was near the bottom of that stack most of the humid summer. The reputable feed stores put the older bags on top when they get a new shipment, but workers are lazy, so unless you teach them to do that, they’ll just keep stacking the feed up on the old bags until they almost run out. I trust two of the feed stores to do it right, but if I had to buy from TSC in a pinch, I would check the dates on the bags. With self serve, no one cares how long that bottom bag has been there and no one thinks to rotate the bags up until someone makes them. By then. it’s probably moldy.

Sadly feed manufacturers do not have a universal method for date stamping their products.

I have actually sat on a bag of something in the store and called the 800 number on a bag and asked them to interpret, if it’s not a clear read —- and I do not have one bit of an issue doing that. If it’s on a weekend and nobody answers the 800 number, I won’t buy the product, but I will call that number on Monday because I want an answer.

I still buy Timothy pellets as the carrier for my senior horses supplements (that I buy on line because nobody carries them) and I still check not only the date on the bag but how much dust it might have collected.

Hay pellets will stay forever if they are in a sealed bag as long as the bag doesn’t have a hole in it. When the dates on the bags are very recent and I don’t see any holes, I buy in bulk and store them in the spare bedroom, where it is climate controlled.

Far as lazy employees — don’t get me started. I have railed on the guys at the TSC I speak about because they are all in the stockroom texting and doing who knows what. The gals at the checkout have had to stop and help me get heavy purchases to the car. I hate being old and I can’t do a lot of heavy lifting for myself anymore, but those lazy boys in the back room need to be doing their jobs so the girls up front aren’t pulling their insides out.

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This bag of feed was milled less than a month before OP bought it and found mold. So, the problem is not excessive age but rather bad handling/environmental exposure by TSC, as many people have noted.

I’ve just started buying feed and noticed the dusty look of some of the stock at the local TSC, but was reassured by the store manager (one of them) that they sold feed in a timely manner and rotated their stock. Ha! I didn’t buy there and now know my gut feeling was right.


Agreed, it’s a TSC issue. I won’t be going back there again.

I feel like buying feed at tractor supply is like buying veggies at the gas station. Sure, they carry them, and sometimes you can find decent produce there, but it’s definitely a crap shoot!


I’ve read so many posts here on COTH about TSC and grain. They have so many stores their warehouses probaby don’t view bags of horse feed any differently than a case of canned catfood.

When I moved to a new barn a year ago the BO was feeding Purina. I feed my horse Blue Seal Sentinel LS. I spent a lot of time on Purina’s website and decided I won’t buy their products. Their discussion of fixed formulas is concerning. Purina says horses don’t care about ingredients, they care about nutrition. Purina says they guarantee the nutritional content. You shouldn’t buy formulas when the manufacturer varies ingredients because of the cost, they state. Purina says the ingredients in their products may vary because they test them to determine if they have the correct nutritional profile. I’m not sure how that is distinct from using cost as the basis for changes.

I’m still sticking with Blue Seal. They have been in New England for over 150 years. Everything is manufacured in Vermont. Kent manufactures the same products as you head south. I talked with the manager of the company store 10 minutes from here. Among other things, Bue Seal plans their production so that they will not manufacture horse feed after a product for a different animal that has any ingredients that could be toxic to horses. The ingredients are printed on the bag and their website. If they change the recipe they wait until the new bags arrive before they sell it.

As others have said, report it to Triple Crown. If it is due to issues before TS, they need to know. If it is due to issues at TS, they need to know.

Tractor Supply is not so good on storage and handling. The cold chain checks for the meds/vaccines are non-existent, according to two employees at two different stores in this area. It makes me wonder how many animals are, effectively, un-vaccinated bc the cases sit on a hot dock or in the back room for hours (or days) :frowning:


This is… interesting, to say the least. I am in Oregon, Willamette Valley, we have a TSC that opened up about a year ago or so. I have heard these stories on COTH before, so I went in with a healthy dose of skepticism. So far… knock wood… I have had zero issues with the feed. I buy TC Sr, and a local to Oregon product called Haystack. I have also used their DuMor brand pellets and cubes.
The TC always seems fresh - I will say it flies off the shelf as fast as they stock it. I am hopeful that whatever the chain of delivery is at my store, it appears to be keeping product “safe”, and I hope it stays that way.

And I’m sticking with Poulin, which is also a family company based in Vermont.

I never buy any kind of feed from TSC because A.) their fastest-moving brands are Purina and DuMor, which I’d never use, and B.) the staff strikes me as both unhappy and untrained. (Their plants die, their chicks look sickly and their tanks are a mess; nobody can answer a question about a product, and half the time they have no idea what the stuff on the shelves is even for.)

I’ve never fed Triple Crown, so I know nothing about them, but if I got spoiled feed from TSC I’d blame TSC first, just because mishandling the merchandise is exactly the kind of thing they do best.

So, the 1 in front of Sept is the last number of the year (i.e.2021)?

Why would we want to know when the bag was printed - for the consumer to know the ingredient list is current? That was all I could think of…

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We have three feed stores within a two mile radius where I live - TSC, Runnings, and CountryMax. The TSC here is like most described on this thread - poor product rotation, issues with feed quality, and employees who either don’t know any better or just don’t care.

I think we’ve ended up with sort of a vicious cycle because of that. TSC’s horrible reputation means that the vast majority of people around here get their feed from one of the other two stores. So the TSC stock just ends up sitting and the problem continues.

I suspect that’s more of a supply chain detail. They would want the feed mill to discard ‘old’ bags if something changes, and it’s easier to tell them to look at the date on the bag than to describe the image or specify what text is on the bag they should be using. That’s my guess.

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Makes sense.