5 Cheap Livestock Feed Storage Options

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Keep your animal feed clean, dry, and safe from pests with these simple & affordable livestock feed storage options…

One aspect that you might not spend a lot of time thinking about when deciding to add livestock to your homestead is where to store their feed. While it can seem like an afterthought, it’s best to prepare your animal feed storage solutions in advance. Improperly stored feed may attract pests and insects, and could even spoil, which can cause sickness among your livestock. It’s important to choose the right livestock feed storage options right from the beginning, and you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind when choosing a solution.

Livestock Feed Storage Tips

No matter which storage option you choose, there are a few tips to keep in mind to help keep your feed fresh and protected.

Keep it Cool and Dry: Heat and moisture can cause your feed to spoil, so it’s important to store it in a cool, dry place. A garage or shed is a great option.

Protect it from Pests: Store your feed in a container that is sealed tight to keep pests out. You don’t want them getting into your feed and contaminating it.

Label it Clearly: Label your feed containers clearly so you know what is inside. This will help you keep track of how much feed you have and when you need to restock.

More Livestock Feed Storage Considerations

Other things you’ll want to consider when choosing a storage option for your livestock feed include:

The type of feed: The type of feed you are storing will dictate what kind of container you need. Pellets and crumble need a sealed container to keep them from getting stale, while grains may be stored in an open bin – as long as it’s not accessible to animals. You will also want to determine how many different types of feed you will need to store for each species of animal on your homestead. You will probably need a different container for each one.

The amount of feed: How much feed you need to store will also dictate the type of container you need. If you only need to store a small amount of feed for a few laying hens, a small can or tub may be all you need. But if you have a large herd or flock, you will need a bulk bin to hold all the feed. Determining how many animals you will be feeding will help you figure out how much feed you will need to store.

The space you have: The amount of space you have available will also play a role in what type of container you choose. If you have limited space, a bucket or tub may be the best option. But if you have a lot of space, a larger bulk bin may be the way to go.

Once you’ve addressed these considerations, you can look at the available storage options.

Livestock Feed Storage Options

There are a number of options available when it comes to storing livestock feed. As discussed above, the type of feed and the amount of space you have will dictate which option is best for you.

While you can purchase items like bulk bins or tubs specifically designed for storing livestock feed, these may not always be the best option if you’re on a tight budget.

Fortunately, there are usually plenty of cheaper options available to the thrifty and creative homesteader! Thinking outside the box (or bin) is key, and it’s likely you either have some storage options already available that you haven’t thought about, or can find these very cheaply nearby through Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or someone you know. Here are a few very affordable livestock feed storage options to consider:

Option #1: An Old Chest Freezer

If you have the space to keep an old chest freezer, this really is a great feed storage idea. It is an airtight container that will keep rodents out of your feed, but depending on the size it can be heavy if you ever need to move it.

This is a great way to repurpose an old chest freezer that was perhaps broken beyond repair for use as an actual freezer. Instead of going to the dump with such a large appliance, you can simply reuse it to hold animal feed. It’s a perfect win-win for both the environment (humans already throw away too much stuff) and for your vehicle/body/time since you won’t have to figure out a way to lug a clunky freezer to the dump.

Option #2: Metal Trash Can

Metal trash cans have been used for years as animal feed storage containers because it is completely metal and rodents have a harder time getting in. These are very sturdy storage containers but if left in the elements over time, they will rust and let in moisture.

So keep these types of feed storage containers in a weather-proof area to prevent rust. You’ll also want to figure out a way to keep the rodents and pests from moving the lid to get in from the top.

Option #3: Large Flip-Top Trash Bin

These trash bins are made of heavy plastic and can be found at almost any store. They come with wheels so if you ever need to move them it can be done easily. The flip top usually isn’t extremely tight so moisture and rodents might be able to access your feed if left outdoors in the elements.

Option #4: Food-Grade Plastic Buckets with Lids

If you are not storing a ton of food at one time, then a food-grade 5-gallon bucket with a sealable lid might be a great option for you. The bucket with the lid creates an airtight seal that is moisture and rodent-free. Over time, you will want to check to make sure your plastic is still in good condition so no rodents can chew through. These buckets are easy to move around but will need to be stored out of reach of larger animals as they can be knocked over.

Option #5: Large Food-Grade Plastic Drum

These drums are usually used to hold liquids (like juice) but there are many different versions out there. These plastic food-grade drums can come with different types of lids and are found in a variety of sizes. These are water-proof and the plastic is thick enough that most rodents can’t chew their way through it.  Depending on the size that you find, they can become heavy when they are filled with feed.

If you buy used ones either online or from someone in your community, make sure they are food-grade and didn’t hold something chemical/toxic that would be absorbed into the livestock feed…

Read more at ThePrairieHomestead.com


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