How to Store Horse Feed
The most expensive part of owning a horse is often feeding it, so of course you want to protect your investment. Animal feed can be touchy and needs to be stored properly to ensure your horse gets the nutrition it needs and you get your money’s worth. Here is everything you need to know about how to store your horse’s feed.
When it comes to hay storage, moisture is your enemy for more than one reason. Moist hay will mold over time, which can make horses sick, of course. But hay can also spontaneously combust with the right combination of moisture and lack of proper air circulation, as moist hay produces heat inside the bales. For that reason, storing hay properly is important not just for the quality and shelf life of your horse’s feed, but also for everyone’s safety. Here are a few things you need to know about proper hay storage.
- Store hay in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area.
- If possible, leave some space between bales for air circulation.
- If you find a bale that is getting hot inside, separate the flakes and spread it out to dry.
- The nutritional content of hay deteriorates the older it gets, so be sure to stack hay so that older bales can be used up first.
- Watch out for mice and other pests, which will live in the hay. A good pest control plan (traps, poison if kept inaccessible to other animals, even a cat) is important.
Storing Processed Feed
Storing animal feed is a different ballgame, even though it has some of the same enemies as hay, such as moisture and pests. As with hay, you’ll want to store your feed somewhere cool and dry, but this time it’s more for the shelf life of your feed than the safety of your animals and facility. Animal feed can last a while unopened, so a good storage system is important. Here are a few tips.
- Lay unopened feed bags flat and stack them so that older bags are accessible and can be used first.
- Keep feed dry and discard anything that gets wet, as it’ll spoil and mold.
- Stacking feed bags on pallets both makes them less vulnerable to water and pests, and also makes it easier to see if either is becoming a problem.
- Don’t open bags until you’re ready to use them. When you do open them, store them in a pest-proof container such as a galvanized metal trash can. Even heavy duty plastic trash cans can be chewed through by mice, rats, and squirrels.
- If you pour the feed into a container, keep the bag in case you need to refer back to the nutritional information or batch number.
Choosing the Right Feed for Your Horse
Another way to ensure you get your money’s worth is to make sure you’re choosing the right feed for your horse. Hay is more like what a horse would get in the wild, but can be more of a gamble, since you never know what it’s got in it. Pelleted feed offers guaranteed nutritional content for your peace of mind, plus it reduces waste and makes both storing and feeding it easier. For more information on pelleted feeds and how to store them, contact Sacate Pellet Mills today.