Triple Crown Golden Flax - Gone bad?

Jessica Brown <j_k_brown@...>

I purchased and began feeding Triple Crown Golden Ground Flax about 2 months ago.  Once I opened the bag, I put it into a fairly airtight plastic container that gets opened twice a day for feeding.  I only have one horse, so we are not going through it terribly fast.  I noticed earlier in the week that when I opened the container, there was a kind of souring smell.  It wasn't overly obvious, but I could smell it.  When I lifted a portion of the flax to my noise though, it didn't have the smell.  

How quickly does the TC ground flax go bad?  How do you know when it is bad? 

Is it possible it is already bad based on these storage conditions?  Should I throw it out, even though less than a third of the container has been used?  If I need to throw this out, is there a better way for me to store it in the future, to ensure a longer life?

Thanks so much for any guidance you can provide.
Jessica B
GA, 2021

Gypsee's Case History: | Files
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LJ Friedman

-- return it   get a fresh one
LJ Friedman  Nov 2014 Vista,   Northern  San Diego, CA

Jesse( over the rainbow) and majestic ‘s Case History 
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Eleanor Kellon, VMD


How you store it is only part of the problem. How long ago it was bagged and how it was stored and transported before it got to you can be a  major factor. All processed flax is fragile. The 2 year shelf life is a best case scenario where it is unopened and storage conditions are perfect.

If it smells off I would assume it's rancid. I would call Triple Crown and ask if they will replace it. Also ask them to explain to you where their date code is and how to read it so you don't buy old product in the future.

Assuming you are keeping the flax in its bag and putting that in the container, there's nothing wrong with your storage.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

amy in VA

My local feed coop has been out of stock on this for weeks, saying it's just not available. Now they have it but it has nearly doubled in price! $50 for 25lbs. No thanks. What other sources of Omegas are there for horses?
Amy in Va

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Omega Horseshine is an option, as is buying whole flax seeds and grinding them yourself with a coffee grinder.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001


Hi, Jessica.
Gypsee is such a pretty mare. I once had a bag of TC ground flax that didn't go exactly rancid but began to smell very strongly of linseed oil. I contacted TC support, and they sent a coupon to replace it. I was told any change in smell was a sign to not continue to use it.

It is harder to keep ground flax fresh for a single horse. Once you have a fresh bag, you can store the bag tightly closed (I keep it in a closed bin) and remove only enough to fill a smaller tightly sealed container for a 7-10 days supply that you open daily. I've done this for years. 

Another option is to buy whole flax seed (feed grade is available in 50 lb bags at poultry supply feed outlets) and grind it fresh daily with a coffee grinder. I've found the whole seed stores well in a sealed bin in my tack room. For my own convenience, I put only enough for a week or two in a smaller sealed container to use daily.
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderato
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Rita Chavez

Hi Amy,

I've been buying the 2 lb bag of Organic ground flax seeds from my local Walmart store. I give him 1/2 cup twice a day and the bag lasts about 10 days. And the best part - it's only $4/bag! 

Rita C. and Stetson (2001 Tennessee Walking Horse/Gelding, diagnosed IR)
Aiken, South Carolina USA
June 2021


Just like with Pergolide, we need to expect the price of Flax to continue to rise along with shipping. Flax is a commodity, just like grain or hay. Last year there was a significant drought thoughout the flax growing states of the US and the provinces in Canada, which affected harvest amounts. Also, flax acreage fluctuates with market and growing conditions, less acreage was planted in flax overall in the US resulting in less product. Market conditions will dictate the availability and cost of flax. There are other products that are Omega 3 rich, but they all have drawbacks. Other seeds such as Chia are much more expensive, oils may or may not be acceptable to the horse( fish oil comes to mind) and Omega Horseshine is no longer pure flax, but has vitamins and minerals added, which might imbalance a carefully balanced diet. 

--I"m currently on subscription for Turtle Mountain Flax. I get 25#'s once a month for $68 including shipping. I have found the Turtle Mountain Flax to be not only fresh, but it's more of a ground flax than a flour which is what Triple Crown's flax form seems to be. It's advertised as cold milled, meaning the temperature of the seed is the same through storage of seed, milling and packaging. In other words, no heat to affect the Omega 3s.
This brings to mind a question. I've used a coffee grinder to grind coffee beans and the grounds are always warm. Does grinding flax seeds in a grinder signifcantly heat the flax seed, resulting in loss of Omega's?
For information on flax milling, here is Turtle Mountain's info page. FAQs — Turtle Mountain Flax

Dawn Wagstaff and Tipperary   

Saline, MI  2003

Tipperary Case History

Juniper Case history: .

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Just for the record, Omega Horseshine is fine and won't upset any diet.

Heat from a coffee grinder won't damage the omegas. They also survive baking.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Anthie Booras

I do something similar when it comes to storing my Triple Crown flax. I keep both the flax and my cool stance at home not at the barn because I don’t want them to get too warm since I know I don’t use either of them that fast. When I open a new bag I baggie it up in gallon size bags and then store those gallon size bags in the tall screwtop 80 pound vittles vault container. I take one of the gallon bags at a time each of the flax and cool stance to take to the barn to make grain bags with. On top of that I only opened that particular bag at the barn once a week when I make bags. Otherwise it’s sealed up.
- Anthie

Northern California
August 2015

Erin's case history:

Barb McM and Gilligan

I just started using Triple Crown Golden ground Flaxseed meal with Gilligan (25# for $48!!!).  I just contacted Triple Crown Inc to ask about freezing for storage and the reply I received from the rep was only about the 2 year shelf life.  I responded with concerns about reports of the flaxseed meal going bad and asked again about freezing it but have not received a reply.  I do freeze my own human consumption ground flax seeds, so I went ahead and made up two 5# ziploc bags of the Triple Crown, double-bagged into another ziploc and put in my freezer.  I can get both whole and ground flaxseeds from my local Mennonite bulk food storage for $1.50/pound so that is where I will get my refills.
Barb McM in PA 2022 

Bobbie Day

I have to keep quite a bit on hand as I balance for a couple people, I have faithfully used Horseshine and I have never had it go bad even in the warmer months. But right now it’s all stored in my garage which is quite chilly. I recently also purchased some from Turtle mountain and it has stored really well too, but then mine doesn’t last long. I think the key is to keep it out of the heat or it can go bad. Mine is kept in tubs with locking lids.

Bobbie and Maggie
Desi (over the rainbow bridge 7/21)
Utah, Nov 2018
NRC Plus 2020, NAT, C&IR March 2021
ECIR Group Primary Response

Barb McM and Gilligan

The rep from Triple Crown got back with me again and said she has never had issues with their Golden Flaxseed going bad.  I did not mention the name of our group, just that I am part of a Cushings support group. She said please contact her if you have had problems with the product. Here is her contact info (since I got mine at TSC I assume she is a Triple Crown rep serving Tractor Supply):  

Amy J Iafolla

Barb McM in PA 2022 

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

 With that e-mail she's a TCS rep, not TC.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

My apologies. She is TC.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

ferne fedeli

Just my 2 cents worth.  I've been using TC Naturals Golden Flax for many years and have never had a problem with it.  I have 3 equines on it (well, they use 1 cup a day between the 3, as 2 together add up to 1000 lbs and then we have a 1000 lb one).  Anyway, it takes me probably about 3 months to use up a bag and I keep it in a gama vault in the barn, which is never warmer than mid 50's this time of year or colder than upper-40's...

Ferne Fedeli  Magic & Jack   2007

Point Arena, Mendocino County, California
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