Storing feed // how long will it last?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Toomuchpoopinthecoop, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Toomuchpoopinthecoop

    Toomuchpoopinthecoop New Egg

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    Hi to all. First post but have been enjoying this site for a while and it has helped tremendously as I built my coop and purchased my chickens. I have a little extra money right now and wanted to buy a bunch of layer feed in 50 # bags and store it. Could anyone tell me how long it should last without losing nutritional value if it is kept dry? I would think it would last a very long time but want to get some experienced opinions.

    Thanks much to all who respond. This chicken raising is much more fun than I would have thought !!!
     
  2. thebirdguy

    thebirdguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can keep it dry and in a cool spot safe from rodents etc you should be fine for a few months. My dad always kept it in big metal garbage cans and would buy 300 lbs at a time for around 30 birds. I personally would not buy more than you can use in 2-3 months. It's a lot better to buy a little more often and even pay a little bit more and be sure that you have good quality feed.

    Raising chickens is a lot of fun!! Addicting too...
     
  3. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We keep our feed in metal garbage cans, too. It's important to raise them up on pallets or something, so moisture won't condense inside (unless they're in a heated building).
     
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Once the weather breaks I have no problems keeping ground feed for four or five months here in Florida. But when the warm season starts I try to have anything that has been ground used up inside of about a month to a month and a half. Whole grains can last longer. I store my feed in metal trash cans up on bricks so that they don't touch the floor in a well ventilated area.
     
  5. ND

    ND Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a heavy lidded plastic trash can. I just keep one right now, it'll fit three bags of feed poured in. It's in a predator proof shop near the coop. Mice might be able to get in the building but haven't had any problems with the latched trash can. I use the same containers for the horse feed in my barn, NOT predator proof, and still haven't had any problems in many years. I don't keep months and months worth, just don't have the space. Depending on the feed, I can only store enough for 2 week to a month. But for the horses, that still equals 500-800 lbs in that time frame. Only about 150lbs for the chickens in that time frame. The ONLY problem I've ever had was in the summer, in a horse feed container that was about half full, but not being fed at that time. It sat for much longer than normal- months- and bugs/moths tainted it.
     
  6. Toomuchpoopinthecoop

    Toomuchpoopinthecoop New Egg

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    Thanks a lot guys. I am still hoping to store at least 6 months worth off the floor on a pallet. Don't know if I will try the garbage cans unless I see a rodent problem. I plan to put mice poision on the floor around it (no animals will be near it).

    Appreciate all of your input. If I run into problems trying this I will post them.
     
  7. ND

    ND Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Come spring or warmer weather, you'll likely have a bug problem. Even in 'sealed' bags.

    I won't buy ANY feed from one particular local (small) feed store. He doesn't sell his stock fast enough, and I've opened one too many bags from him that have been infested with bugs/moths and the feeds is dust. (well, mostly bug poop and dust!) I'd doubt any of his are kept for anywhere close to 6 months, but he just doesn't get the business to refresh his stock fast enough to prevent the problem. It's also a 'moisture' magnet, just pulling moisture from the air after some time.

    Other smaller feed stores, but with much higher business traffic don't have that problem.


    You can certainly try it out.. but be prepared for possible contamination and waste as the months wear on. Watch the birds for any feed quality related problems. 6 months is a long time to attempt to maintain freshness, contaminate free feed... in sacks or cans. The stuff I had to toss didn't last 3 months once temps stayed above freezing before it was found by bugs. Well, I LOOKED at it at about the 3 month mark... it was pretty much obliterated into a dusty mash. I'm not sure how long it took them to get into it and taint it prior to me opening it back up. I thought it was pretty 'safe' from that, since the lidded container was pretty darn tight. Ah well!

    Good luck!
     
  8. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    I just called purina. They said 1 month in summer and up to 6 months in winter.
     
  9. Toomuchpoopinthecoop

    Toomuchpoopinthecoop New Egg

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    Thanks for the input ND and Abhaya !!! I will go for more like 3 months for now.

    Just had 4 eggs and toast. [​IMG] My Buff Orpington just started laying about a week ago.
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:+1- Also, whole grains store longer than cracked feed (pellets, etc.).

    I agree with maybe getting 2-3 months' worth only, like thebirdguy said.
     

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