A big part of keeping your backyard chickens happy and healthy is providing them high quality chicken feed, like those from Nutrena! But if you don’t store your feed properly, no matter what brand you buy, you can run into trouble. Learn from Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart a few key tips to keeping your feed fresh and your girls happy!
Dump feed in a metal trash can with a lid on it to keep out rodents
Save the tag from the feed bag
Keep feed in a dry, cool place
Buy a little less feed in the summer time, more trips to the feed store
The area where feed is stored can quickly turn into chaos if you’re not paying attention, especially with a flock that seems to grow daily (chicken math, anyone?).
Failure to store feed and equipment properly can be a headache for you and your flock.
Feed storage areas should have the following characteristics:
No direct access by birds (or other pets!) – While keeping sealed bins of feed inside the coop is convenient, other equipment that’s not currently being used can quickly pile up next to the feed – making them at risk for collecting droppings and even worse, becoming a home for a feed-loving pest. Store feed separate from your flock and if that’s not feasible, think of ways to contain it all. We like this idea. Securing your feed isn’t just to keep it from your flock or pests. Some types of poultry feed can pose a serious health risk to horses.
Dry and well ventilated – Feed must be protected from moisture. Feed bags should not be stacked directly on the floor as moisture may be absorbed in the bottom bags and the feed may mold in the bag. Any feed storage containers (bins, garbage cans, etc.) should be water and pest resistant. Also, you should completely empty and clean out the feed storage container on a regular basis. If you store feed in bags, make sure old feed is not allowed to accumulate by stacking new feed on top of the old bags.
Well lit – It is important that you can clearly see the condition of any feed you have stored. Once the feed has left a feed mill, it may be exposed to other conditions in storage, so it is wise to be able to see clearly what the feed looks like every time you feed your flock.
Clean – It is important to keep the feed room/storage area free of spilled feed, dust and potential sources of contamination.
Pest free – Feed tends to attract rodents, birds and insects. Spilled feed should be cleaned up. If pest control is required, make sure any pesticides or rodenticides cannot contaminate the feed and that animals cannot access the pest control material.