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How long will feed keep?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by grullablue, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. grullablue

    grullablue Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I just found a great home for my egg-eating chickens where they will be able to free range. I'm very happy with the outcome! But, not having planned on doing this originally, I have over 50 lbs of layer pellets now that are in a metal trash can (not in bags) and I'm wondering how long it will stay good.

    I would like to try again, and maybe get a few more chickens in the spring, but it looks like I may be starting with chicks to raise, unless I can find some older pullets locally.

    If I can't, is there a way to store these pellets that I will be able to use it when I have hens again? With winter here, will it keep in freezing temps? Will it be better that way, vs. bringing it inside?

    The metal trash can is new, and has a tight fitting lid, not rusted out, I recently bought it.... I'm just wondering if there's any way for me to be able to save this feed, or if I should just forget about it.

    I also have a lot of leftover grit, DE and oystershell, but I know that stuff will be ok.


  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I think the DE would last for a while. Not so sure on the feed but it's an interesting question. I would like to know also.
  3. rubyv67

    rubyv67 Songster

    Oct 17, 2008
    I read somewhere if you mix the DE with the feed, it extends the storability. [​IMG]
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    All that DE is gonna do for your feed is discourage insect infestation. The problem is, even WITHOUT getting buggy, the vitamin content of feed starts to decline significantly after like 3 months or so. I certainly wouldn't use anything older than 5-6 months myself and even then I would not feed it to young stock and preferably mix it with some more recent feed.

    Another issue is going to be the difficulty of avoiding mold, especially with it being loose in a trashcan. (Feed stores a lot better still in the bag). You don't want to feed anything with any suspicion of mold and I will bet you dollars to donuts that feed will have started to mold by next year.

    Honestly, I'd suggest finding someone else w/chickens to donate it to, like maybe the person who now has the chickens. Or by any chance does your local animal shelter take chickens, so that they'd maybe want it? Or, last resort, compost it, stirring in a whole bunch of carbonaceous material like shavings, old hay, straw, leaves, or whatever (and even so it may stench a bit at first)... will eventually make good compost.

    Good luck,

  5. chickensforever

    chickensforever In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    I agree with patandchickens: you will start losing nutrition value and run the risk of mold. You'll probably be better off getting new feed for your new hens.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I store my feed in 5 gal buckets with lids. It. keep for some months. Whenever I open the bucket it smells good. I use crumbles and they stay nice and dry and crumbly. I don't know if the nutrition declines but I have been feeding it to my birds and have not seen any adverse effect in them. They all look very healthy to me. I also give my birds treats of scratch, (oats, unhulled sunflower seeds, once in awhile bird seed, cracked corn etc.), in small quanities as these are treats. I give them my scraps from my kitchen. I also give them veggies, fruits, most everything that I can grow including all kinds of greens, tomatoes, squash, root crops, the list can go on. I do grow a lot of corn and watermelon especially. I feed them everything except potatoes or potato skins. I figure they will eat what they want. I do free range them. I have never had a problem with their egg production.
    I have a bucket opener because the lids are so hard to get off.

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