Feed issue

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kylara70, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. kylara70

    kylara70 In the Brooder

    May 13, 2010
    Okay, here is an interesting dilemna. I have a 100 # feed bag that I bought months ago. My chickens free range and are doing GREAT and do not eat that much feed. It is lasting me a LONG time. However, first I got moths, then I got beetles and then I got weird little tiny mite thingies (I don't know if they are beetle babies or what) all over the OUTISDE of the bag. UGH! I powdered the bag with Diatomaceous Earth today to see if it will kill the tiny things as well as sprinkled on some of the beetles.

    I am not squeamish about feeding the moths and beetles in the food to my chickens, just nervous. The feed is not wet or soured, just full of beetles and moths. Is there any reason to NOT feed this to them? Also, to prevent this from happening in the future should I pack the feed in air tight 5 GAL buckets until I am ready to use?

    This is organic chicken feed that I can only get in 100# bags for the good price.

    Also, will the DE kill all the bugs?

    Any help/suggestions would be appreciated!!!
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    The chickens eating the bugs is not a problem, so a few bugs would not concern me. But a heavy infestation means that there are lots of bugs eating the feed and doing their little bug pooping in the feed. I don't know how that would effect the quality and nutrition of the food, but it doesn't sound good to me. I would not feed infested feed.
    DE is more of a preventative, probably will not kill all the bugs.

    Imp- If you think the bugs came in the food, try freezing it. That usually kills the bug eggs and/or larvae that may be in the feed.

    I know that'll be tough with 100#s
  3. eggseroneous

    eggseroneous Songster

    Apr 1, 2010
    South-Western PA
    When I got a bag like that, I put it in our big chest freezer and only used a 5 gallon bucket at a time. The critters like the heat and hatch out. The little ones are grain mites. The other ones are probably weevils. The freezer kills 'em dead. [​IMG]
  4. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    It's not the bugs themselves so much but that because they are eating the food, they are reducing the nutritional content of the food. That's what I have been told, anyway...
  5. Kajunbanty

    Kajunbanty Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    I put all my feed in 5 gallon buckets with lids on them, it keeps bugs and moths out. Many fast food places get pickles in 5 gallon buckets with lids and are happy to give you the empty ones. You can also buy the buckets at Lowes or Home Depot and the lids at Wal-mart.
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I keep my feed in galvanized trash cans, and in those large plastic rubbermaid rectangular lidded bins. With 100# of it, you might have to scoop some out into another container to be able to lift your feed. Maybe you have some feed bags that you have saved?

    I like to dust the inside of my bins with a small amt. of DE- in the hopes that it will reduce bugs. [​IMG]

    With regard to the infested feed, if it were me I would not bring that into the house for any reason whatsoever! My parents years ago battled moths in the pantry. Oh my. It got so bad there for awhile.

    Organic feed? I wouldn't waste it. But "months" is a long time to keep feed, unless it is whole grains. Once those grains are ground, the freshness doesn't last long, and the mold is always a risk. I agree with the poster that suggested freezing it in easy-to manage portions (but next time- no bugs in the house for me!). Freezing would preserve the freshness too.

    I kept some chicken feed (layer pellets) in my garage the last time I had chickens for a few months and it got moldy. I was shocked! I thought I had been keeping it dry. It was in a plastic bin. Now I buy whole grains (and I am on my last bag of starter/grower crumbles that I mix in).

    Oh well, it sounds like you are doing ok. These are just ideas. Chickens eat bugs. You said it definitely isn't moldy.

  7. kylara70

    kylara70 In the Brooder

    May 13, 2010
    Thanks for all the ideas. To update, the DE did NOT kill the bugs. I did not bring the food in the house THANK GOODNESS!! I know about the moths, they are WICKED to get rid of. That is partly why I am nervous about having the stupid bugs (even outside!) I am really worried that somehow they will get in.

    The bugs DEFINITELY came in the feed. I have never had these moths before, the ONLY place I found them was in the feed bag one day. I keep it tightly closed and the moths were ONLY inside the bag. Then the beetles hatched INSIDE the bag, and they are the ones that got out. UGH!!! Now I itch all over.

    I will definitely do things differently next time, this time I am dusting the entire shed with a pyretherin based bug killer ASAP since the DE did not work. After that, I am going to get rid of the existing bag of feed and get more and handle it MUCH differently.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010

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