We all know how sensitive equine digestive systems are. It’s important that we only put quality feed into our horses, and that all begins with how we store the feed once it enters our barns. Take a look at these tips for storing horse feed to make sure that you’re doing things right when it comes to storing horse feed!
Create Heavy-Duty Rodent-Proof Bins
Rodents are naturally attracted to your feed room, so it’s important to take measures to protect your feed from them. Create heavy-duty rodent-proof feed bins which securely close to keep the feed protected from rodents, bugs, moisture, and dust. Metal or heavy-duty plastic trash cans with securely closing lids can work, though you may need a larger type of bin if you have a large barn.
Clearly Label Everything
Next, make sure that everything in your feed room is clearly labeled. From different types of feeds to supplements, knowing what is in each container and which horse receives it is important to equine safety.
Keep Supplements Tightly Closed
If you’re working with supplement buckets and tubs, make sure that each container is tightly closed after each use! It’s a good idea to store supplements up on a shelf or in a cupboard to help deter rodents.
Store Unopened Feed Bags on Pallets
When you are storing unopened feed bags, always store them up on a pallet. Feed bags should never sit on the ground, where they are at risk of absorbing too much moisture and may be exposed to grain mites.
Rotate the Feed
Whenever you receive a delivery of horse feed, make sure that you rotate the feed out with any remaining bags that you’re storing. Remove the older bags, store the newer bags on the bottom of the pile, and replace the older bags so that they are used soonest. This method helps to avoid storing expired feed or having feed go bad while in your care.
Check Expiration Dates
Always check the expiration date on any bag of feed that you are opening. Expired feed may be moldy, which can put a horse’s health at risk.
In addition to checking the expiration dates on the feed bags themselves, you should visually inspect the feed in the feed bins. It’s important to make sure that the barn lighting in your feed room is bright enough so that you can easily see into the feed bins and supplement containers. Good light allows you to spot moldy or spoiled feed and to dispose of it before it’s ever fed to horses.
When you make an effort to store feed properly, you are helping to ensure your horse’s safety while also ensuring that the feed you buy doesn’t expire or go bad while in your possession.