When discussing facilities, many don’t consider feed storage as part of that conversation – but it is one of the most important. In the pig business, you only have 4 – 4 ½ short months to make one as good as you possibly can. Feed is one of the largest components to getting it right – so don’t cut corners.
We will discuss feed and feeding more in depth in future posts, but here are a few quick tips on ensuring proper care of the feed you purchase.
- Select a feed store or mill where you will buy your feed. It is important that store carries your brand(s) of feed on a regular basis and/or is willing to order the products you need when you need them.
- Develop a working relationship with that store/mill to know that the product you are picking up is fresh and consistent every time.
- Do NOT pick up feed bags that have been damaged
- Understand how to read labels/codes or ASK someone so you know when the feed was made
- Feed should smell the same and have the same texture every time you open a bag.
- Bring your feed home and store it in such a manner that it is:
- NOT going to get wet
- Will NOT sit directly on the ground
- Mice, snakes and other rodents do NOT have access to the feed
- Remains covered at all times
You spend too much time and effort on your show pig project to not pay attention to details that matter. Storing your feed in a dry, safe place is an easy way to ensure your animals are receiving the nutrition they need to grow and develop the way you expect. Not knowing if your feed is fresh, allowing it to get wet or moldy, or letting mice hang out in feed bags at night won’t work for those who are committed to doing this project the right way.
At our barn, we have chosen to use 44-gallon Rubbermaid, outdoor garbage cans with lids and casters so we can easily roll them under the counter top and out of the way when they are not in use. We simply duct tape the label to the top of each lid so we know which feed is in which container. Any extra feed that does not go directly into the garbage cans is kept in an airtight, steel cargo container for safe keeping until it is ready to be used.
There are many ways to store feed and we always enjoy seeing the creative ways people choose to do so. Comment on this blog or on FB, show us how you keep your feed organized and we will send a Lackey Livestock cap to a random participant!