The Truths of Certified Feed
We often talk about our own personal food. You know that great tasting cuisine we are planning to take in on that memory making trip of a life time. We talk about what we are cooking, and how we are preparing it, what pots and pans you need to pack, and how to preserve it until you are ready to prepare it in the back country on those long hot summer days.
There never seems to be a lot of talk about feed for your stock. What are you going to feed that string of horses and mules that have worked so hard hauling in all the comforts of home, that load of great food for you to enjoy? The phrase “graze” seems to come up most often. But what happens if it’s late hunting season or that last ride in late fall and that green meadow you camped at in the spring has been over grazed, burned up from the long hot summer sun, and now the frost has killed what is left and there is no graze?
Feed is always a topic at the store and there are always misconceptions that come up. So, let’s talk about the truths about feed. Most of us ride on public land out west and if you ride public land you’ll need to feed your stock “certified” feed. Certified feed is weed seed free forage. It’s not just weed seed free it needs to be “certified”. Basically all pelletized feeds become weed seed free during the grinding and pelletizing process but most manufactures have not taken the extra step and had that feed certified. You can argue all day with the USFS enforcement officer, but it comes down to if that bag of feed is or is not certified.
Each bag of certified feed has its certification number on it twice, normally on the tear tag and a big round orange sticker placed on the front of the bag or printed on the bag itself.
So when do you need to feed Certified feed? When feeding on public land let it be Park Service, USFS, BLM, or State lands. On some private land the owners are now requiring weed seed free feed as well. Certified feeds are normally found in one of three forms: bale, cubes, and pellets. Certified baled hay is identified with a bell tag or twisted twine. Hay cubes and pellets come in bags ranging from 40 to 80 pounds. Pelleted feed can also be a grass mix example alfalfa and timothy mix or it may be a complete feed but regardless of make-up most pelletized feed is glued together with molasses; therefore making it a sweet feed and now you will need to study up on bear management food storage requirements to store your sweet feed.
Check the regulations for the areas you are planning on riding and or camping for accepted types of feed. For example Glacier National Park in NW Montana you must feed certified weed seed free forage, but hay is not accepted and grazing is not allowed. So, that means you must feed a certified hay cube or pelletized feed.
Have a safe trip get out and enjoy the back country for more information contact us!
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