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Frequently Asked Questions

For over 100 years, Nutrena has been a leading producer of animal feed, committed to providing high-quality and innovative nutrition solutions for a variety of animals.


  • How can I tell how fresh my feed is?

    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

  • What is the typical shelf life for feed?

    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.

  • What should I do if my feed is moldy?

    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.

  • Does Nutrena offer any organic products?

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

  • Does Nutrena offer coupons or samples of 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.

  • Does your feed contain Genetically Modified Grains?

    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.

  • Do your feeds contain any ingredients from other countries?

    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.

  • I am concerned about your feed bags and the fact that they are made out of plastic. Why are they plastic, and what can I do with them?

    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.

Horse Feed

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  • Which feeds have the lowest levels of starch and sugar?

    Empower Topline Balance, SafeChoice Special Care, and SafeChoice Senior Molasses Free have the lowest levels of starch and sugar in the Nutrena product family, with Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSC) as low as 10%. Any of these products support the nutritional needs of horses with metabolic sensitivities such as Cushing’s, Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or Insulin Resistance (IR).

    SafeChoice All Life Stages and SafeChoice Senior are also options for horses who need controlled starch levels in their diet due to potential health conditions, but still need enough starch in their diet to maintain higher performance levels.

  • What are your highest & lowest calorie products for horses?

    Nutrena ProForce products are our highest calorie horse feeds. Empower Boost is also available as a high-calorie supplement designed to be fed along with a traditional horse feed. Meanwhile, Empower Topline Balance is Nutrena’s lowest calorie product.

  • Do you offer a ration balancer product for horses?

    Yes, Empower Topline Balance is a ration balancer product.

  • Do you offer a hay replacer or hay extender product?

    Yes; SafeChoice Senior, SafeChoice Senior Molasses Free, Triumph Senior and Triumph Complete are all complete horse feed options for hay replacers/extenders. These products contain enough roughage to replace the hay/pasture portion of the diet, when fed according to the directions. See respective product pages for feeding directions.

Poultry Feed

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  • What is the shelf life of your poultry feeds?

    When stored properly in dry, moderate temperature conditions, feed can be stored for up to 4 months, although we recommend usage within 60 days in hot, humid summer months and 90 days in cooler months. Always inspect feed prior to use for bugs, mold, or other evidence of damage.

  • Does Nutrena offer any poultry feeds that contain medications?

    Both the NatureWise and Country Feeds product lines offer a medicated Chick Starter Grower. Availability is regional, please check with your local Nutrena retailer for product availability.

  • Do your poultry feeds contain any added hormones?

    No, Nutrena poultry feeds do not contain any added hormones.

  • Do you offer any organic poultry feeds?

    We offer Nature Smart Organics Poultry Feed. Availability is regional, please check with your local Nutrena retailer for product availability.

Dog & Cat Food

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  • How do I switch my pet from his current diet to your product?

    We recommend a slow transition from your current product to our diets. While diets may appear similar from the label, they may contain very different sources of nutrients that your pet will need to adapt slowly to.

    It is recommended to transition diets over a 1 week period starting with ¾ of the daily amount of your previous diet and ¼ of the daily recommended amount of your selected new product. Change these amounts every 2 days by ¼ of the daily allotment until you fully convert to your new product completely on day 7.

    As with all foods, the recommended amounts listed on your new packaging should be adjusted based on your individual pet to maintain a desirable body condition.

  • How do you feed dogs with allergies or sensitivities?

    True allergies are actually rare. There are dogs that have skin or digestive sensitivities, which can cause gastric upsets, loose stools or skin irritations. For these dogs, if they are on one type of protein source like poultry, it is best to try a new protein like lamb meal and rice.

    If the sensitivities continue, a visit to the vet may be in order to determine the cause. If it is a true allergy, the pet will need to be on a special type of diet prescribed the vet.

  • How long should my puppy stay on puppy food?

    Puppy formulas are recommended for dogs up to 12 months of age because it contains nutrients like EPA and DHA and enhanced levels of vitamins and trace minerals, which are important for development. After 12 months, it is best to transition a dog to an adult formula.

  • What should I feed an overweight dog?

    One of the big misconceptions about feeding overweight dogs, is just to feed him less. What you really want to do is reduce the calorie intake and not the vitamins or minerals and some of the other essential nutrients.

    So when you have a dog that’s overweight, the first thing you want to do is switch them to lower calorie product that reduces calorie intake but leaves the other nutrients at a high level.

  • I see different things about “grains” for pets. Are grains bad?

    Grains are not “bad” for your pet. Some individual animals can have food allergies or sensitivity which may affect how they respond to specific grains. In the Loyall Life lineup of products, you will find selections of different grain sources that will help you select what is right for your companion.

    Grains deliver starch and specific fatty acids and fiber to the diet that is important in the overall nutrition package of the diet. It is important that products are “cooked” correctly to get the most out of them. You wouldn’t eat corn or rice without cooking it, but you have probably been served corn or rice that has been on the stove too long. You know that cooking can be too much…or too little.

    Our “Opti-Cook” process was developed to ensure that grains and other ingredients are cooked correctly to help provide a diet for your friend.

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