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We Are Flying Solo

November 1, 2014

How A Dead Mouse In My Feed Bag Made Me A More Loyal Customer (Pt. I)

Finally!!  The (new) final segment in our nutrition mini-series.  AKA:  What every horse owner should know about milled feed!

Scene 1:  Feed Shed

Eventer79 doles out dinnertime rations of Triple Crown (TC) Complete from her Precision Engineered Storage Receptacles in Specialized Delivery Carriers.  As a full scoop slides into Encore’s mixing bowl, all action freezes upon this sight:
He squeaketh no more...
Initial gut response sounds like… 

OMGWTF, is that a…wow, EW, but oddly fascinating (biologists do not have an off-switch), must examine closer.  Damn, you were one unlucky little bastard.  

Brain kicks in…

Uh.  Now what?  

More helpful part of brain kicks in…

Wait.  Ok.  Pull tags from all bags poured into that container (I keep them till it’s fed out).  The several TC reps I have met (they sponsor our 3DE’s) have been very informed & customer oriented.  I should notify TC immediately & they probably have a process.  The horses have grass & alfalfa pellets, they won’t starve in a day or two (this was in July). 
We might...
Scene 2:  The Epic Email Exchange Of Grain Education Awesomeness (edited for brevity)

eventer79 (21 July, 7:30 pm): Tonight, I scooped out my TC Complete to find a very smashed dead mouse & a variety of other strange bits including pieces of corn, which I had found in a couple previous bags as well.  I will have to dispose of all the feed I have on hand.  The contaminated bags were from lots N4184 (4 sequential bags) & N4167 (1 bag).  Thank you.

TC LogoTC Rep (who quickly revealed much fabulousness; 22 July, 12:29 pm): Thanks so much for the detailed information; I am turning this in to QC.  Please provide me with your mailing address & I will send you 6 coupons for free bags, 5 to replace your affected feed & 1 for your inconvenience.

Here is a good article that explains how you may have seen some of the corn, etc., in your feed.  I again apologize for the inconvenience, please let me know if there is anything else I can provide.  Thanks!

Always important numbers
eventer79 (22 July, 1:35 pm)Pic attached...just because.  I know it is IMPOSSIBLE for every bag to be perfect & expecting a feed mill to be free of mice is akin to expecting to fly when you jump off a roof.  All I ask is for a company to keep up best QA/QC & take care of their customers, which is what keeps us coming back!  Thanks again for your quick response and assistance, & I'll be watching the mailbox.

TC Rep (22 July, 1:44 pm)Thanks so much for this.. and yucko!  We do appreciate that you are practical & understanding about it.  I don’t even want to know how many bugs I eat in food from human grade facilities, LOL.  Coupons are going out in tomorrow’s mail. Please let me know if there is anything else I can provide. Thanks!

eventer79 (22 July, 9:35 pm):  I did wonder if you could tell me if our area supplier recently switched processing facilities?  I was able to find a different lot at my feed store tonight (#N4190, early bags in the series, 004X).  The horses are eating the new batch, I just want to be certain that they are safe & I know what I am giving them!  Appreciate your assistance!

Field to mill...
TC Rep (23 July, 10:17 am)N indicates that the feed is produced in Cleveland, NC, so the mill has not changed.  The corn contamination can happen if a feed that does have corn is produced shortly before the Triple Crown Complete.  Also, mills use corn & oats to “flush” out the systems before making a new type; sometimes things can get hung up, as I am sure you can imagine all the different elevators, bins buckets, etc., that have corners & such.  Even the ‘top shelf' grains are expected to have some other grains mixed in after trucking, elevators, equipment to harvest & manufacture are shared.

That'd take a lot of mouse traps...
Our mills clean everything out frequently & the feeds are sequenced so they produce the most sensitive feeds first (grain free, molasses free, etc.) & then proceed to the ones most similar to each other to minimize accidental ingredient carryover.  The first 10-25 bags of each type produced are set back & sold as scratch feed as an extra precaution.  If carryover that would affect quality still occurs after all of these precautions, we guarantee all of our feeds & will replace anything that is incorrect.

I have turned all of your information & descriptions into QC at the mill so they can go back to the lot & see if there is anything further they can do.  They are top notch; many of them have livestock themselves & take their jobs in QC & production very seriously because they use what they produce.

To be continued…


  1. I just had a weird experience buying grain so this is a timely topic for me. I bought a few bags of (NOT TC) grain from our local store and they have what appears to be sawdust and plastic bits in them. I returned them and got new ones only to have the new ones recalled for having rumensin (which I luckily read about on the internet before feeding).So I'm obviously switching to another supplier.
    I love how seriously TC took your complaint and how quickly they responded!

  2. I remember hearing about the most dangerous jobs in the U.S was corn/grain walking which I think might also be illegal and that's how our food is made of people! Poor mouse, one time my 2nd trainer found a fawn in the hay :/

  3. icky mouse... sounds like the customer rep was totally legit tho, and took your concerns really seriously.

  4. yuck but totally understandable how it got in there!

  5. I love how the customer service rep explained their process of their QC!

  6. Boo, I don't know why my threaded comments aren't working, will have to look into that. In the meantime --

    T, that is terrible!! At least the store took them back, that is a step in the right direction. But yes, I was super-impressed & not only were they right on the ball, all of this occurred within 24 hours of my initial report! I'm going to go back & time - stamp them!

    LWilliams, I live in horror of bush-hogging a fawn. :/ Sad & EW.

    emma, they are a really great company, and stake their reputation on their nutrition science & customer service.

    TheresaA -- my thoughts exactly!! I had to put it in a baggie to show neighbour & farrier, LOL!

    Lydia, me too, and part II gets even better!! This is also why if I had TV channels I would probably get totally addicted to "How It's Made" & never sleep!

  7. At least the mouse died with a full belly? Sorry, couldn't resist. Lucky horses that their mom is very attentive, scary stuff! Interesting to read how the factory processes the food.

  8. I guEss it would be like dying in a vat of Krispy Kremes. I guess I'd be ok with that!

  9. Wow, good for them for a quick reply and taking care of you!