Is this food too old?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Deesquared, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Deesquared

    Deesquared Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 13, 2017
    Hi everyone,
    I am getting my first chicks on March 5th, and wanted to be ready for them, so we went to Tractor Supply and picked up a waterer and feeder for the brooder, along with a bag of chick starter.
    Now I've read that chicken food can go bad very quickly, and I'm worried that I bought the food too early.
    I am trying to find the 'sell by date' on the bag, but I'm not sure if I'm reading it right. It looks like it was milled in October 2016? So it's already 3 months old? Yuck.
    I did keep the receipt, so I hope I can take it back to exchange it.
    Here's a picture of the bag:
    What do you think?
    Thank you for your help!
  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2016
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG]

    Feed that is old will lose its nutritional value.I would definitely return it and just wait a week before your chicks come then buy a bag.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  3. Deesquared

    Deesquared Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 13, 2017
    Thank you MasterofClucker! I will do that. I hope they won't give me any grief. :)
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    IMO, feed is well on the way to being stale 42 days after the milling date. I use the information quoted by a poultry nutrition expert in the book written by Harvey Ussery:

    I wanted to copy a quote, but could not find the book.

    Any how, if you are getting your chicks from a feed store, simply buy your feed the day you pick your chicks up, or a day or two before you get them. If you are intending to ferment your feed, that will give you time to get that done. Fermenting is an option, certainly not a necessity, but something you might want to look into.
  5. Deesquared

    Deesquared Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 13, 2017
    Thank you for all the info LazyGardener! I will look into fermenting for sure!
  6. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I only buy enough feed that my chickens will consume within 4 months of date on bottom of bag. I have a 6 gallon galvanized can that holds about 25# of feed that stays in the storage area of my coop. I empty and wipe clean with a paper towel before refilling. Any feed left in bag stays in the coolest room in my house, not in the basement, closed up tight with a bag clip. GC
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2016
    I agree on using fresh feed. When you tell them you jumped the gun by a couple months, they should understand.

    BTW, while you are at it, if you purchased one of those inverted bell jar waterers, you may want to take that back too. They are nearly impossible to keep clean. Within a week, you will find a baby chick sitting on top of it, and baby chick droppings in the water ring below. The only reason I'd keep it is to make sure the birds had easy to find water the moment you put them in the brooder box.

    Good news is you still have plenty of time to find horizontal nipples and get them installed in a small container. Most baby chicks will figure those out in less than an hour (some within minutes) and once they do, they will have clean water all the time.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I'd return that bag, and buy the feed when you get the chicks. I store mine in the original bags in metal garbage cans, enough for two weeks at the most. Fresh is best!!! Depending on breed type, it will take about three pounds of feed to make one pound of weight gain for your chicks. That will help figure out how much feed to buy starting out. A small bag for three chicks, a big bag for ten or more. I think four month old feed is too old! Mary
  9. Deesquared

    Deesquared Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 13, 2017
    Thank you all so much for the replies!
    I took the food back today, along with the heat lamp and light bulbs. I'm going to rig up a Mama's Heating Pad instead!
    The little jar waterer was only a few bucks, so I'll keep it on hand, but I would like to try to use nipple waterers, as that is what I would like to put in the coop. I will likely make a small one for the brooder.
    My hubby is super handy, so he is going to put together a PVC pipe waterer for the coop, similar to a Chicken Fountain.

    I'm learning something new everyday on this board! Thank you all!

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