storing feed in the freezer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Auroradream26, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    I know feed degrades over time but if it was stored in the freezer, how long would it keep for? Just asking so we can buy in bulk. Thanks!
     
  2. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It would certainly keep much longer in the freezer, but the one thing I would consider is humidity. If it is rather humid where you live and assuming your feed comes in a paper feed bag versus a tightly sealed plastic bag (the woven plastic feed bags don't quality as tightly sealed) then it's possible that when you remove your feed from the freezer it could develop condensation in the bag and therefore grow mold on the feed. That all depends highly on how much feed you are intending to freeze and defrost at a time, your local humidity and how quickly you are able to use up the defrosted feed.

    It's very dry where I live, averaging 11% in high summer and up to 30% the rest of the year, so freezing bulk feed (if we had a freezer that size!) would work for us, but I would have my suspicions about someplace like the East Coast or especially the Deep South.
     
  3. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    Thanks for your input :) we actually live in central PA and it does get rather humid in the summer time. I think it was in march when we got our first chunk of feed (before the humidity really kicked in). We picked up 550 lbs and it was in the woven feed bags (milled the day before). What we did was we froze most of it, keeping about 50-75 lbs out at a time in an airtight storage container. Every time it would run out, we'd take more out of the freezer and refill it. So far we've had no problem with mold. We're just now down to about 200 lbs left and now our chickens aren't little chicks anymore and eat much more than before. We were thinking of picking up 1000 lbs to last until spring again. Do you think our method would continue to work with such a large amount without it going bad from time? Don't know if it matters but our freezers and container are kept out in the garage where there's no heat/AC. Thanks!
     
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you've already proven it works for you! That's the problem with theories...they really have no leg to stand on until proven right or wrong.

    As for freezing it for so long...it sounds like a year or less? You should be fine. Most foods freeze very well with little loss of nutrients, but I can't say about chx feed with any real authority. Do they also free range or do you feed any sort of fodder? If so, then they'd likely be getting higher quality nutritiom than formulated feed alone. Depends on whether you're going for "good enough" chickens or want "top notch". Not saying one is better than the other....like I said, it depends upon what you want and what is realistic for you to do.
     
  5. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    my flock free ranges all day and I ferment their feed for them. It's also organic and soy free lol. My fluff babies are spoiled rotten. I just don't want to waste money on buying the good stuff if it would lose its nutritional value in the freezer but sounds like it's all good to go :)
     
  6. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you post a photo of the nutrition label of your feed? Or do you know who makes the pre-mix (added vitamins and minerals) of your feed? If it's one with a lot of probiotics in it, it's probably made by Fertrell (the premix). You could call or email them and ask about loss of nutrients from freezing. Like I said, I doubt much is lost, but if you wanted to hear from the horse's mouth, there you go.

    In addition, the act of fermenting the feed increases some vitamin content, so nutrition is improved once again. As much of a fermentation fiend I am, I don't yet know much about what particular vitamins are increased with fermenting chicken feed.

    You must have one huge freezer to be able to store 1000lbs of feed!
     
  7. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    I have several freezers lol. Honestly, my feed doesn't come with a nutritional label (I know that sounds bad). Another member here on BYC that I happened to run into on the PA forum has a neighbor who started his own organic feed mill just last year actually. He was growing and producing organically for his own farm and when a few other people showed interest in it, he started his small mill. The price is unbeatable for organic and my flock has done absolutely incredible on it.
    I know with fermenting that probiotics are created and I know there are more vitamins added but like you, I can't remember what for the life of me lol. I know they love it though :)
     
  8. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
    Here's a picture of my flock. Half of it anyway. The rest were absolutely NOT coming out of the shade. Too hour lol
     
  9. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you've scored the dream of a feed source. Wish we had someone like that around here!

    My dream plan someday would be to mix up my own feed, like Joel Salatin or Harvey Ussery do. Buy grains in bulk and mix it up in small batches, enough to last 2-4 weeks at a time. The latter guy has a pretty good article out on the net about it if you're looking for some good armchair reading. He has several storage bins of grains and legumes and then mixes up his ratio of ingredients and adds in I believe a pre-mix (additional vitamins/minerals).

    Good looking flock you have there. Isn't this whole chicken thing a lot of fun?
     
  10. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    Thank you! I love every thing about having them :)

    I did get the unfortunate word today that the guy who mills our feed will no longer be doing soy free :( apparently, it's too hard to source the peas, not enough people buy it, and he has to clean out the mill in order to make it every time so it's not worth it to him. I guess we're going to have to start using the soy inclusive :( at least it's organic so no fear of GMOs is just a little dissapointing. If well. You can't get 50 lbs of organic feed for $15 a bag anywhere else though. I also found out today that they are making labels for it. They had a nutritionist come and analyze it.
     

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