old feed


Jan 25, 2018
South Carolina
hey everyone! i read a few days ago on here about old feed and not to feed it to chicks and chickens but i can't remember the specifics of what all it said. something about looking on the bottom of the bag for the date and all..could someone tell me the shelf life for chicken feed so i don't waste my time and money buying rancid feed? thanks so much in advance!
Different companies mark their products differently. But it will be the date it was milled. Purina puts it on the white tape strip on the bottom. Some print it on the bag.
This is a Purina product. the 8 is for the year, 2018, then the month and date.
feed bag (3 of 1).jpg
Others just list it the normal way of writing a date. I try to get it as fresh as possible, less than 2 months.
Basically you want it as fresh as possible. Preferably not more than a month or two after mill date. Some feed stores are good about moving product, some keep it on the shelves till it sells. Complain when you see that.
Most manufacturers use stabilized vitamins but they still break down over time, as do amino acids and fats.
I've not seen rancid feed at stores- yet.
The date is sometimes on the seal at the bottom of the bag, sometimes it is on the guaranteed analysis/ingredient tag and sometimes it is a Julian date.

The one thing I credit commercial egg farms and broiler operations on is the freshness of the feed. They all have their own mills and rarely feed anything over a day or two after being milled.
It is such a quick turnaround that if a mill goes down for a day, the chickens/turkeys are starving.
How many chickens do you have? I have 14 and 50 lbs lasts at least a month. When I had only 4, it lasted way too long, and I started buying smaller bags.
If all they have is feed 3 months old, I drive to the next store.
You can refrigerate some of the feed to keep it fresher longer.
In extremely hot weather, don't store the feed in metal containers(which some recommend for pests). Metal will sweat and mold the feed.
awesome! thanks for this info! we're getting 7 in the mail (hopefully they'll all survive). i guess i didn't think about how fast they'd eat it haha
Oh, baby chicks then. Don't buy 50 lbs. Baby chick feed comes in small bags.
Good luck, post pics when you get them!
Hi, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

You already got good answers... I will just add that HOW it's stored matters.

Recently I had to purchase from my LFS... so after I got I home I was dismayed to see a DEC mill date. But had to get another bag the following week since we haven't made it to the city yet (yep 50# a week right now)... and imagine my disgust when it had a NOV mill date! :barnie I mean my town is small and we are just coming out of winter, but come ON. But wait there's more... half way through the bag and see little dark pieces of feed. Low and behold it's mold FROM THE FACTORY.. like they new they had it but spread it thin enough throughout the feed so it would pass inspection or something. No clumped feed or damaged bag. :mad:

Long story short... I drove 90 miles each way JUST to buy feed 2 days ago. I also save at least $3/bag... and as they were loading it in, I noted the FEB mill date on the new feed. Now you see I drive a ways, and I go through a bunch... but we only go once a month (usually to see the in-law's but we've played hooky recently :oops:), anyways point is that my feed is almost always more than 6 weeks past mill date since my last bag will have been at my own house for 4 weeks..

More important than mill date... in my opinion... DON'T feed scratch or other low nutrient snacks excessively. This is ALMOST ALWAYS the source of issues that are feed related in MY experience. And while mill date IS important.. overall nutrition really is KEY. :old Make it the correct protein and calcium levels for the age and breed of the bird. Formulated rations have added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that scratch and tables scraps don't.
awesome! thanks for this info! we're getting 7 in the mail (hopefully they'll all survive). i guess i didn't think about how fast they'd eat it haha

Crush your feed a little extra... and get yourself some Poultry Nutri-drench or other good supplement to add along with electrolytes to your water to help combat shipping stress. :wee

I (personally) would still use the 50# bag for 7 chicks. :confused: But that's me.

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