Getting a shipment of new baby chicks can be very exciting. But one of the things that many new chicken owners often times over look is how they’re going to store the chicken feed.
In this article, I’m going to go over the ins and outs on how to properly store chicken feed, both for long term and short term. The idea is to give you a few things to consider when it comes to storing chicken feed.
How To Store Chicken Feed
Keep It Dry
The most important thing about storing chicken feed is making sure that you’re able to keep it dry. Moisture is the enemy. That’s because once moisture is introduced, you can count on that chicken feed molding fairly quickly.
I recommend storing your chicken feed in a metal bin that has a lid just like these 10 gallon galvanized steel bins which hold up to a 50 lb bag of chicken feed.
Protect It From Rodents
Another important thing to consider is to protect your chicken feed from rodents. If you store chicken feed in paper or plastic bags, rats and mice will have easy access to the feed. You’ll need to make sure you store it in such a way that these pests will not be able to access it.
The same galvanized bins mentioned above do an excellent job at keeping rodents at bay.
Keep The Storage Bins Clean
Once you decide on a proper storage bin to keep the chicken feed in, you’ll want to make sure that you routinely clean them out before filling them again.
The reason you do this is because there are little pesky mites that like to make their home in the feed that’s left behind. If these mites are left behind and the bin is filled with new feed the mites can contaminate the new feed.
All that’s required is a quick vacuuming of the chicken feed bin with a shop vac. But if you decide to take a step farther and wash out the bin, be sure to a soap or detergent that is safe to use and make sure you wash all of the soap residue out when washing it.
Be sure to dry the storage bin completely before filling it back up with chicken feed. Otherwise introducing moisture can lead to mold.
How Much Chicken Feed Can You Safely Store?
The idea of going out and stocking up on chicken feed in order to reduce the number of times you have to go to the feed store is appealing. But keep in mind that chicken feed doesn’t last forever, even when stored properly.
Of course it all depends on how many chickens you have and how fast you go through the feed, but typically, don’t store more than 4 weeks worth of food. This is the rule I go by and it’s always seemed to work out for me. I’ve never had a mold or pest problem since I go through the feed fast enough.
Yet I’ve found that 4 weeks is enough time between trips to the store that it doesn’t feel like I’m going all that often.
How Long Does Chicken Feed Last In Storage?
When stored properly, sealed in a cool, dry environment, chicken feed will last up to 4 to 6 months. However, it’s not recommended that you try and store it that long.
In the winter months, you’ll find that chicken feed will last much longer and stay fresher than it does during the summer months when the heat and humidity can turn the feed much faster.
The Best Chicken Feed Bin
There’s a few options when it comes to storing chicken feed at your place. I’ve seen plastic bins that seal very nicely. However, they’re still plastic and could potentially be chewed through by a very determined pest.
That’s why I’ve always used galvanized chicken feed storage bins, like these Galvanized Steel Dry Storage Bins from Behrens.
Of course it depends on how many birds are in your flock and how much feed you plan on storing, but for those of us with a smaller sized flock, having a couple of these bins on hand to store feed in has been key.
Each bin holds 10 gallons, which equates to a 50 lb bag of feed. And with the locking lid, the feed will stay dry for as long as you have to store it. Plus, rodents and other pests will find it impossible to get to the feed inside.
You can check it out on Amazon and read more about them there. Just click the image below.
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