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 to make sure 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 make sure your feed is protected. Create heavy-duty rodent-proof feed bins which close securely. You will want bins that protect from rodents, bugs, moisture, and dust. Metal or heavy-duty plastic trash cans with tight closing lids can work, though you may need a larger type of bin if you have a large barn. – another tip is to make sure rodent sized holes are sealed off, preventing them from entering your feed room.
Clearly Label Everything
Next, make sure that everything in your feed room is clearly labeled. From different types of feed to supplements, knowing what is in each container and which horse receives it is important to equine safety, helps you stay organized and reduces the time it takes to feed.
Keep Supplements Tightly Closed
If you’re working with supplement buckets and tubs, make sure that each container is tightly closed after each use! This helps supplements or feed from going rancid and helps maintain high nutrient levels. It’s a good idea to store supplements 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 on a pallet. Feed bags should never sit on the ground. When on the ground 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 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 expired feed.
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. It’s important to make sure that 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 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.
Courtesy of Classic Equine Equipment