Long-term feed storage?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 10, 2011
We are preparing our home for any future catastrophe. We're prepared for the humans but I don't know exactly how to prepare to care for my three chickens. I called the local feed store and they told me that feed will only keep for 3-4 months. Is there some product out there that can be vacuum sealed and stored for emergencies?

Also, if I were to grow their food. What type of things should I plant?

Thank you for any advice you may have for me!
If you buy whole grains and seeds, and keep them cool and dry, they last longer. How much longer, I don't know. That will depend on your storage bins and if they are in a shed vs. insulated garage.

You can plant birdseed, and grow the millet/sunflower seeds in the mix. You don't have to harvest the millet- they will trample the stalks and eat off them (and so will the wild birds).
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If it's good and dry, it can be sealed in airtight barrels with oxygen absorbers and should keep at least a year.

The best thing though is to grow your own each year
I use 5-gallon plastic paint buckets from Lowe's. They hold approximately 25lb each. I would consider getting a food-grade pickle barrel if I could find one, but I only have 8 birds so two paint buckets does well for me.

ETA: I use the paint buckets because of the secure lids. I keep the buckets right next to the coop and never worry about insects, vermin or water getting into the containers.
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You should not plan on storing any feed that has been ground or processed. Only whole grains will store and keep their nutritive value. Seeds are mother nature's self-contained long term storage devices. But once the grain is ground it looses this ability and is prone to oxidation. Whole wheat will store for 30+ years. If you want to be prepared I would buy a few steel 55 gallon barrels with tight fitting lids and fill them. Each barrel will hold approx 360 pounds of wheat. PM me for more information.
Excellent topic! I am a prepper myself and an admin on a local preparedness forum. Thanks for breaching this question as I will be following this thread closely to share with others..

..omegorchards' suggestion of storing whole grains is a solid idea. I have a grain grinder and lots of whole corn, wheat, etc stored in mylar bags/ 5 gallon buckets for extra long, extra secure storage for the family and animals..

I had lived in Southern California for almost 20 years in the height of my business when we owned a company and my wife has always been a preparation bug. Save this, put this in the earth quake barrel, change out the water supply etc etc. Well a few years after we got tired of finding things molded bc air got to it and it spoiled we finally invested in a commercial size "SEAL-O-MEAL". Well 15 years later we still own it and still use it on a regularly basis. We cook giant size portions and put extra meals in it and freeze almost everything and date the outside of the bags. When we want a stew we go to the outside freezer and find the latest dated thing we want and drop it into a large pot of hot water and Wella, its done in 45 minutes ready cooked and delicious.

With that being said, we do that with the chicken scratch after we mix up a couple hundred pounds of scratch. If we put it all in a huge sealed barrel and some moisture gets in the barrel we find mold issues and once black mold is found the entire barrel is destroyed and not safe to let the chickens consume so that's where the "SEAL-O-MEAL" comes in. The idea is simply brilliant. We buy either the pre-made bags you can buy anywhere now or by the bags in rolls that are sealed on the sides and you cut them to any length you want and seal the 3rd side. Then you fill the bag 3/4 to the top with the chicken scratch and put it in the "SEAL-O-MEAL" machine and it sucks all the air out completely and then you seal the 4th end airless and moisture can not get in and we literally drop the each bag in the outside barrel that has a top with snap ring that goes around it to keep the weather and moisture out. Even it it does get condensation in 1 of the bags they are sealed individually. If 1 bag is not sealed and gets spoiled which happens sometime the entire barrel of food, scratch, DE, Boss (black oiled sun flower seeds), flack-seed, linseed's and other herbs I mix and feed to the girls doesn't get spoiled. It will not happen anyway bc we put a salt block in the bottom absorb any moisture that may develop or build up in the barrel. Now as I need it like filling my 5 gallon bucket when I run out I have an old coffee cup in the bucket and throw down scratch for the girls each day, when it's empty or almost empty I tear open a 25 lbs bag or 2 and fill the bucket back up for the 10 days it lasts for.

We have been doing this for some time now and anything that gets stored like favorite sweaters of my wife for winter she just bags it and seals it and it compresses the size of it and there is more room on the shelf for other stuff and her closets are so organized its disgusting LOL. Leave it to a women to do that, its to much for me to go to that extreme but she does. We go to Costco and we call it the $500.00 Club bc we can't get out of there for less than $500.00. We buy in bulk like chicken for example and when we get home we break up the big packets of meats she buys into 2 breasts 2 thighs and a drum and seal 1 dinners worth and does the same for the other meats and roasts when were ready for that kind of meal she takes out that bag and the oldest date in the freezer and let it defrost. Toilet paper in our camper she "SEAL-O-MEAL's" and puts them in the camper storage so its not damp for the next trip. Our camper bathroom supplies she "SEAL-O-MEAL's". We really use the the "SEAL-O-MEAL" a lot for so many things.
Ok, don't kill me for bringing this OLD thread up.

My girls are not thrilled with the New Country Organic feed, I think they would rather the crumbles :(
So, I ventured to look for long term storage threads.
I like this one !! And the food saver thing is a GREAT IDEA for not just chickens but for DD and I.

Anyone use a food sealer for feed?

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