Fresh feed is an important part of flock management. With proper storage, unopened feed can last up to 6 months. The following should be taken into consideration when planning to store feed for longer than 2 weeks:
- Location: Feed should be stored inside, off the ground, in a cool, dark, dry place, and kept away from direct sunlight.
- Container: Keeping your feed unopened in the original bag in an airtight, rodent/insect-proof container is recommended. Metal trashcans with tight-fitting or locking lids are best. Thick plastic containers can be used, but keep in mind that determined rodents can chew through the plastic over time.
- Temperature: Choose a location with a stable temperature, 60 degrees Fahrenheit, or less. High temperatures and fluctuating temperatures should be avoided.
- Humidity: Moisture is the #1 cause of moldy feed. Fungal growth is most likely to occur when humidity reaches 60-65%. Your feed should be kept in a well-ventilated area to prevent spikes in humidity.
- Cleanliness: Keep the area surrounding your feed clean and free from dirt and other sources of contamination.
- Ingredients: Some specialty feeds may have different requirements or needs. Check your feeds ingredient label for any special instructions. Some ingredients or high fat feeds may need to be used within 3 months due to oxidation, which can cause spoilage.