The best ways for storing grains and supplements
Keeping your horse’s feeds fresh and out of a mouse’s belly can be mostly easy! Storing your horse’s food should keep it all save, preventing mold, pests, bugs, and generally turning bad.
You need to find the best way to combat a few things when it comes to storing horse grains and supplements:
- Temperatures (high and low)
- Rodents and other critters
- The rate at which you use it
- Both high and low-temperature extremes can spoil your horse’s grains, high temps can lead to mold and mildew, and low temps can cause pellets to break. (Although generally speaking, pellets are less likely to spoil.)
- Moisture in the environment is a key factor in causing molds and mildews, and as we know about our moldy tack – it’s “contagious” and not so easy to get rid of. For some ways to check your feeds and grains for freshness, I have an article here for you.
- Rodents will always be attracted to the food they can quickly obtain – spilled bits on the floor, wooden and plastic containers, and open doors invite rodents and bugs in. Learn more about mice and rodent control here, and defend your feed room from critters.
These “vault” containers are great – the lids screw on for security and freshness! These are the 80lb variety.
- It may be tempting to get a year’s worth of grain when it goes on sale, but unless you can use it all in a month, it’s not worth it. There is a shelf life to grains and supplements, and fresh is better. It may seem like a hassle to go to the feed store more often, but your horses will thank you.
- It’s also important to learn what happens to nutrients when storing grain. Temperature, moisture, and age are the biggest contributing factors to spoiling grain. For example, vitamins A, D, and E are unstable over time, which is why fresh is better. Air, light, and excessive handling contribute to decreasing nutrient quality. Vitamins B and C are especially sensitive to light.
Metal bins are rodent-proof – especially if you fully close the lid… And the bag is upcycled to store bailing twine!
Tips for making your horse’s grain storage ideal:
- Your feed room needs to be a horse-free and a rodent-free zone. You will always have that one horse that knows how to escape and get into the bins. Behind a closed door is best.
- Wooden bins can create a mold problem if the grain is loose in the bins. When you run out of grain, you should ideally clean the bins and allow many hours for the wood to dry. Or, you can just put your opened bags into the bins and call it a day.
- Thin plastic bins are good until the critters figure out how to chew into them. I have found the super thick plastic bins to be awesome, they have a screw-on lid that’s amazing and keeps moisture out! These vault-like containers are pictured above and come in many sizes.
- Metal bins are ideal for grain storage. Please keep them on pallets above a dirt or concrete floor so moisture from the ground or concrete does not rust them. I simply place my bags into the metal bin and ensure the lid is snug.
Wood bins are OK – If you leave the food in a bag or another container in the wooden bin.
- What if you only have a certain type of wooden bin? (Which, I adore as they can separate owners, horses, types of grain, etc creating an organized room.) That’s fine! Just keep your grain in the bags inside the bins. Or, if there is room, you can use a metal can in the bin, but that seems a bit redundant. The point is to keep air and critters out, so using the bag your grain came in makes perfect sense, and the bin will keep the bugs and mice out. Using the bag within another bin is a great way to avoid cleaning out bins!
If you need some amazing Vittles Vaults like the ones I use (pictured above) you can order them here. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, there is no extra charge to you. Thank you for your support!
What works for your feed room?