Shelf (ok, garbage can) Life

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by grandmaof5, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    I have yet to get the coop finished (ok, DH hasn't started it yet) but I don't want all the expense to come at once, so I think I'll start buying some things I'll need. I'm thinking of storing feed in a metal garbage can ( any reason I shouldn't do that?) and maybe the DE as well. How long will these keep? How much should I store for 3/4 hens? I had hens many years ago, but we were closer to a feed store then and could run over whenever we needed.
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I keep my feeds in a metal garage can in the henhouse, I have over 30 hens and few roosters in there so #50 lb bags of feed only last acouple days before I have to replenish. Just keep it in #25 lb bags if you must for it being fresher. I have no problems with mold or mice getting in. De keeps that's not a problem.
  3. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    50 lbs would last my 4 about 8 weeks. I had a hanging feeder, would fill it halfway and refill when it was low, however I garden so the girls got a supplement of cucumber peels, grasshoppers, melon rinds, leftover rice etc daily. Maybe every 6 weeks if the garden wasn't in season.
  4. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    I keep mine in a metal trash can that has been in use for about 30 years. I keep a large rock on the lid to keep anything from getting in. I also might mention that I have the can elevated off the ground on bricks, just enough to keep it off the wet ground.
  5. CamillaRules

    CamillaRules Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 29, 2009
    I have 9 hens and store my 50# bag of feed and a 15#sack of scratch in a covered plastic garbage can next to the coop and haven't had a problem. Also we live right next to the town forest and no wild critters have bothered it either.
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Be aware that starter feed is fragile and every bag is marked with a best before date. Don't buy more than you can use before that date- you'd have to throw it out! [​IMG]
  7. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Most animal feeds are best used within 4months if not exposed to air. If not in an air tight container they are best used within 2months. It's best off in the bag (away from where critters can chew in to it) until you have hens to feed it to and then they should eat it fast enough. If you are going to store closed bags awhile do check the dates on the feed bags to make sure you are going to use it up by then. If you are feeding it right away then it's rarely an issue. They are usually fresh enough that you won't go past the date unless you aren't using the bags right away.
  8. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    My feeder holds 100 pounds of feed easily. So I fill it every 2 months or so. I think it is safe and reasonable to store feed in use for 2- 4 months, but no longer, even in the best conditions. Grain can get moldy, lose it's nutritional value, and oxidize under any conditions. So if you have very dry, moderate temperatures for storage...maybe 4 months. If you live in a wet or extreme temp climate (especially hot) ...I would attempt to use feed within 1-2 months.
  9. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I also use a metal trash can.
    We had it for the trash, but rarely used it (I take our trash straight to MIL's dumpster on the night before pickup). I also use plastic pet food containers in my house, but the Flock Raiser was being eaten so fast that it was a PITA to go in and out with it, so I dumped it in the trash can. I chain the lid down and padlock it, just to be on the safe side. Nothing bothers it that I can tell, but this way I know the lid will stay on!
    We are using 50# of Flock Raiser up in about 1 to 1.5 months, so I'm not worried about long-term storage.
    We still have BOSS and cat food in the pet food containers inside the house.
  10. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2009
    Chicken food is probably the last thing you want to buy before your birds arrive. The fresher the food the better. The quality of the food degrades with age and you don't want to risk feeding stuff that lacks vital nutrients. Depending what else they get to forage on, 4 hens will probably take 2 to 4 months to get though a 50 bag. So, buy one at a time to keep it as fresh as possible. I keep my chicken food in a metal trash can outside the coop. It keep the food dry and pesky rodents out. I simply slide the 50 pound bag in. That way I don't have any old stuff collecting at the bottom that might get insect or mold infested.
    I don't use DE, but since it is a mineral shelf life should be indefinite given that it is stored in a dry place.

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