Friday, November 8, 2013

Farm Girl Fridays ✫ #3 - Feed Storage

  It's one of the most important elements of horse care - feed.   By feed I mean grain, not hay or grass.  Most horses require feed when in work, and some do when they are not in work.  When you keep your horses at home you want to ensure you have a good secure, and clean and dry area to store your feed.

  Horse feed is extremely vulnerable.  At any given time there are always creatures trying to get a piece of the goods.  Mice, rats, raccoons, bugs, flies, and of course, loose horses (always the first place they go).  Not only do you want to protect your grain from intruders, you want to ensure it stays clean and the temperature is regulated accordingly.

 There are many options available when it comes to feed storage, all which have their benefits.  The most important thing with feed storage is having a SECURE area to store your feed in case your horses are Houdinis and decide to help themselves to a grain buffet.  This means a LOCKING door, a closing gate, a chain rope, or something equally as restricting.  No one wants to come to this;

oh ya, someone left the chain undone...

  Once your feed room is established and there are measures to secure the area, you want to find a good storage container for your feed.  The following are just some options and are my personal favourites;

 An old freezer:

  Pros:  Freezers are great.  They can hold multiple bags of grain or just dump all of one kind of grain into it.  They regulate the temperature, keep the grain varmint free, are at a nice height for dispensing and easy to open to close.  Easy to put the feed in, relatively easy to scoop out.

Cons: Extremely big and bulky.  Take up a tonne of room.  Limited space inside.  Hard to move and expensive if you can't find a throwaway one donated.  The lid is easily lifted by clever horses.  You have to hang yourself into the bottom to get to the last few scoops of grain. Hard to clean

Rubbermaid containers:

  Pros:  I have used these with success when I first started out.  They hold a bag of grain perfectly.  Keep grain clean and dry.  Affordable and easy to find, move, clean, and arrange.  Can take with you wherever!

 Cons:  Annoying to take the lid on and off.  Low to the ground so hard on the back and legs unless you build a shelf or counter.  Can only hold one bag at a time.

Ikea containers:

  Pros:  These are what I use and LOVE them.  They were under $10 each.  They hold exactly ONE bag at a time.  They have a removable lid to put grain in and a flap to open when you want to scoop the feed out.  They are lightweight and easy to move, fit into spaces nicely and can even be stacked.  Feed stays clean and dry.

 Cons:  Low to the ground, ideally need to be on a shelf or raised off the ground.  Only hold a bag at a time.  Smart horses can figure out how to "flip" the lid.

Garbage bins:

 Pros:  Garbage bins are another common and practical way to store feed.  They keep your grain clean and animal free.  Fairly affordable, do not use up a lot of space and easy to find.  Can usually hold 2 bags of grain.

 Cons:  I have found mold grows easier in garbage bins.  Long reaching to scoop when the grain reaches the bottom.  The lids can be annoying to put on and off, and the lid is annoying when it's off and you have no where to put it.

  Overall, my favourite feed storage system that I have had the most success with and found suits my needs the best is the IKEA Soretera bin.  These bins make my life so easy in the feed room, I just love them.  The most important thing to remember is the security of your feed room, and that your feed storage system meets your needs as a lowly back yard horse owner or the manager of large facility.

  What do you or your barn use for their feed storage?  I would love to hear what you like/dislike about it!


  1. At home we used plastic garbage cans. It wasn't too bad but our feed room was already very secure. At my current barn they use metal trash cans. The feed room is a little more exposed and nasty little creatures have a harder time with metal! Good post!

    It would be cool if they had refrigerator like storage that had a bottom that could raise as you got to the end of the grain. That would be super. :)

  2. I used metal trash cans when I had my horses at home, and I loved them. At my current barn, we have two freezers. The lids are heavy and a total bitch to lift on one, but thirty horses go through a lot of grain in a short amount of time, and the bigger storage space seems worth it.

  3. Our feed is kept in a custom made trough that fits in the gator and other than that I think it's in bags? I'm actually a pretty ignorant boarder when it comes to this area!

  4. At my old boarding barn we used the storage containers. It worked pretty well. My friend's barn uses an old freezer. It holds more grain, can lock, and keeps everything out.

  5. Back in the day I used a METAL trash can to store my feed. After the time a mouse chewed the plastic bottom, tunneled its way up, and then sprung into my face when I opened the plastic container, I will never use plastic again. Now we have chickens and I insisted on the metal! Chew that evil rodents!

    Hope you'll join us for NaNo, we still need 14 more writers and we think you'd be pawsome at it! :D

  6. It seems like metal trash cans are the consensus around here!

  7. At the show barn, we used plastic trashcans. If there was any concern about leakage or holes, we would use a foam sealant to fix it. I hated getting that last bit out of the bottom, so I would normally just dump it on top of the next can to be used. We normally had multiples of the sweet and doubles of the senior/alalfa/beet pulp.

    At my last barn, she used metal trash cans on rollers. The only problem with that was that they were really old and the bottoms got funky and rusty. I think that's more of a "shitty BO" than anything else, though.

    At the newest barn, they use regular flip-lid kitchen trashcans, but I think they've got a serious lack of space in the feed room combined with a variety of feeds.

  8. Pretty grain room!

    We all use a trash can of our picking for our feed :)

  9. Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly.

    barn storage

  10. What I needed was a storage facility that will made me feel that my stuff will be secure. What I got was a clean and well-run facility, that sense of security, also a friendly staff to make my comings and goings a pleasant experience.
    self storage Tingalpa


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