General Feed FAQs Answers to common questions about animal feed


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Feed Freshness

Nutrena feed bags are marked on the tag with a code that indicates what day that bag of feed was produced on.

On the tag, look for "Lot:" followed by a series of numbers and/or letters. The first two digits (may be letters or numbers) indicate which plant made that product, and then there are 4 digits strung together - the first digit indicates the year, so anything made in 2019 would have a 9, anything after the 1st of 2020 has a 0. Then the next three numbers are called the "Julian Date Code" - these number the days of the year. So, Jan 1 is 001, Jan 2 is 002, and so on until December 31 is 365.

Example: WB0032 or 590032. These Lot codes would indicate product made in 2020, on the 32nd day of the year, or February 1st.

The first day of each month corresponds with the following Julian Date code:

  • 001 = Jan 1st
  • 032 = Feb 1st
  • 060 = March 1st
  • 091 = April 1st
  • 121 = May 1st
  • 152 = June 1st
  • 182 = July 1st
  • 213 = Aug 1st
  • 244 = Sept 1st
  • 274 = Oct 1st
  • 305 = Nov 1st
  • 335 = Dec 1st

The shelf life of feeds can vary greatly, based on the type of feed and the conditions it is stored in.

Textured (or "sweet") feeds typically have the shortest shelf life, as the higher moisture content makes them more prone to mold issues.  Pelleted feeds have a longer shelf life, and extruded feeds have the longest shelf life.

The biggest factor, though, is storage conditions. When stored in dry, cool conditions, from the date of manufacture through storage at a dealership and at farm, all the way to feeding, nutrient levels in animal feeds can be good for up to 6 months, although palatability may fall off some during that time. 

However, changes in heat or humidity can take shelf life down to just a few weeks.  It is generally recommended to keep purchases of feed smaller and more frequent to help ensure optimal freshness:

  • Use pelleted feeds within 60 days during summer months and 90 days during winter months.
  • Use textured feeds within 45 days during summer months and 60 days during winter months.

It is also important to always inspect feed prior to use for bugs, mold, or other evidence of damage.

Never offer moldy hay or feed to animals. Store feed properly to prevent exposure to moisture or contamination by insects or other pests.

If you suspect your feed is spoiled when you purchase it, you can return it to your retailer within 30 days of purchase for a full refund. 

About Nutrena Products

We do periodically provide special offers to consumers via e-mail. To join our list, sign up here. Offers may include national promotion offers, or regional offers on behalf of local retailers. We will not share your names with anyone else.

Samples are not available, however you can work with your local retailer to try a bag of the product you are interested in.

While specific formulations on products may or may not involve peanut or other allergenic products, we cannot guarantee that trucks carrying ingredients will not have residue from previous loads that may have contained the ingredient in question. It is best to use caution with the allergic individual.

Poly bags are more durable and water resistant than paper bags, which reduces damage to feed and wasted product through broken bags. Poly bags also keep feed fresh for longer periods of time.

Numerous animal owners have found creative uses for the bags after the feed is gone, including creating tarps, ATV seat covers, re-usable tote bags, and various other storage containers.  Re-using the bags can be a very effective method of recycling!

The plastic used in Nutrena feed bags is polypropylene (PP), which is a class 5 resin. Polypropylene bags are very occasionally accepted at recycling facilities. However, since we are unable to guarantee their acceptance, we do not print the symbol on the packaging, so as not to mislead anyone.


The Nature Smart line of poultry products is USDA Certified Organic.  At this time, those are our only organic products.

Yes.  Some of our products may contain genetically modified ingredients.  It’s important to remember that all grain is technically genetically-modified, as simple plant breeding is a form of genetic modification.

Agricultural biotechnology (including genetically engineering grain in a laboratory to enhance desired traits) is thoroughly researched, regulated, and safe to feed your animal.  GMO ingredients are prevalent in the feed supply chain.  Because grain for feed is purchased in bulk from large storage facilities, it is not possible to tell which corn has been genetically engineered.  It is possible to specifically purchase “non-GMO” grains, but this comes at a premium price.  Producing feed with non-GMO grains would be cost prohibitive.

The US Department of Agriculture has facts about Agriculture Biotechnology on their website:

Cargill, the maker of Nutrena brand products, manufactures its U.S. products entirely within the United States but those products do, in some instances, contain ingredients imported from outside the United States.  In those instances, we work closely with our suppliers on controls for promoting high levels of quality and safety in the sourcing of ingredients.

At Cargill, food safety is a top priority.  As there continue to be news reports related to contaminated ingredients we want to assure you that we are evaluating and assessing each new concern.  Our approach to these concerns has been to recognize that issues related to intentional and unintentional product contamination are not exclusively unique to any single country or any single product type.  We emphasize the use of a rigorous qualification process for all of our suppliers in all countries where we source raw materials to ensure the proper controls and quality and food safety procedures are in place for any of the materials that come in contact with our product.  We assure you that Cargill meets all regulatory requirements for its production of animal feed in the United States.  Accordingly, we do not expect any of the raw materials that we use in our animal feed products to be of concern.

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