How well you store your livestock feed determines how safe it will be for consumption. It also may affect longevity and impact quality. Sometimes even the best feed deteriorates rapidly because of poor storage. Learning how to store your feed correctly is a skill any farmer or animal enthusiast should master. Below are simple but practical tips to ensure your animal feed is correctly stored.
Build a Storage Shelter
Livestock feed should never be exposed to direct sunlight. Ensure you store the food in an enclosed container or a shelter, like these from Shelter Logic, which will prevent direct sunlight from negatively impacting the feed’s quality. Build a well-shaded storage shelter and ensure it is adequately ventilated and has a cover to avoid rain and predators from getting inside. It’s essential to lift the feed by placing it on pallets or any other elevated place to prevent water from getting inside the storage shelter. Any water that should make its way into the shelter should be able to drain without affecting the feed in any way.
Use Metal Cans
Remember that the idea is to store your animal’s feed in an enclosed facility. Convert your metallic trash cans into ideal livestock feed containers. Just be sure that the containers have tightly secured lids, as this is the only way to keep mice and squirrels away.
Utilize Large Plastic Drums
Metal cans can be quite expensive and may not be viable for everyone. You can consider using plastic drums as an alternative for your livestock feed storage. Purchase the heavy-duty gallon plastic drums as these are more challenging for mice and squirrels to chew. Even when they do, it will take a while for the rodents to get to the feed, and by then, you would have found a permanent solution like the metallic bins or a permanent storage shelter.
Store Feed Indoors
This option only works if your house is tightly sealed. If you have a completed basement that is hardly in use and your home is tightly sealed so that no mice or squirrels can get in, consider storing the livestock feed indoors. For extra reinforcement, keep the feed in plastic containers before taking them to the basement.
Use a Silo
A silo is an old-school technique that many large farms with lots of animal feed have used for years. It is a practical storage option because it is more resistant to mice and other rodents. Many silos are appropriately sealed and will hardly allow any rodents to access them. They are typically larger than other storage options as well. These are great alternatives for feed storage if you are the kind of person that must stock up a lot of animal feed for future use.
Buy or Make your Feed Storage Bin
You can shop around for feed bins typically used to store horse feed. These are generally suitable for all types of feed. The metallic containers can be a DIY project and are practical if you do not want to purchase one.