CHS Inc. Recalls Feed Due to Excessive Copper Content

CHS Inc. announced Nov. 13 it has implemented a voluntary recall of 50-pound packages of its Kountry Buffet 14% Text and Provider 15% Pellet—both for mature cattle, horses, goats, and sheep—due to excessive copper levels.

The company stated that no illnesses or deaths had been reported as of Nov. 13. Consumption of the affected product could cause potential health risks, including death, in sheep. Signs of copper toxicity in sheep include lethargy, anemic appearance, excessive teeth grinding, extreme thirst, pale membranes, and bloody urine.

The recalled products were manufactured in September 2015 and October 2015 at CHS Inc.'s Harrisburg, Oregon, feed mill and distributed to 42 customers in Oregon and Washington. Kountry Buffet 14% Text features a salmon-colored label attached to a brown bag. Provider 15% Pellet features a yellow label attached to a brown bag. Affected lot numbers for either product can be found at the bottom of the label and are as follows:

Kountry Buffet 14% Text Lot # Provider 15% Pellet Lot #
85092415-M702660 85101415-M732580
85100615-M720130 85101515-M734810


The potential presence of high copper levels was detected by routine sample tests of the product conducted by a third-party lab. After notifying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in early November, the company began to proactively contact affected dealers and end consumers to inform each of the voluntary recall of all unconsumed product in the listed lot numbers.

Consumers who purchased this product and have remaining quantities should immediately discontinue use and are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions can contact the company at 800/398-0327 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT. Information also is available at

In horses, copper is a component of several enzymes involved in the synthesis and maintenance of elastic connective tissue, the mobilization of iron stores, and synthesis of the body pigment melanin, as well as being involved in bone collagen stabilization. The liver regulates copper metabolism by storing it or excreting it in the bile. Its absorption in the gut might be influenced by the levels of other minerals, such as zinc, iron, and molybdenum, making it somewhat difficult to estimate how much dietary copper is utilized.

Copper toxicity only occurs at relatively high levels in horses, in contrast to some other species—sheep in particular are very sensitive to it. The exact optimum levels of copper in the equine diet have not yet been established, however the National Research Council recommends a level of 10 ppm.

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