Friday, June 27, 2014

Feed Storage Challenges Solved

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We have another place we use for bulk storage when stockpiling for winter, but this is the place where we have "in use" feed. We hope to start mixing our own poultry feed again after getting some of the other work finished but for now appreciate the time savings of the prepared mixes.

If you keep a lot of animals, it can be challenging to store the feed neatly. I only have a certain amount of space I can give to "in use" feed. Even a small farm like ours can have a dozen different types of feed open.

In the two decades we have been here, we have tried all sorts bins and containers. They either could not hold an entire bag or were too flimsy and didn't last long. Trash cans are round, so they wasted space that could have been better used. (Think of squares vs circles positioned on a shelf. Circles take up the same amount of space as larger squares but hold less. This tip works in your family fridge and pantry too. I try to purchase and use square over round containers so my fridge space is wisely utilized.)

Then there were the labeling challenges. After filling one container, feed would be left over in the bag, so people woud put it in any container handy and not take the time to change the label. That made feeding and inventory keeping a hassle. I wanted to keep things in the original bag to eliminate labeling issues. 

Because we have flooded before, I wanted the bulk of the food off the floor.

So far, I love this!! It's working great for our situation! The first shelf comes to the middle of my rib cage. Bags at the second shelf rest at 5'7" which is my height. The space between them was measured to allow three stacked bags. I am going to make a chart with the picture of the feed bag and label it for each animal that receives it. This makes it easier for people who help out while we are on vacation.

I know there will come a day when I can't lift a bag of feed over my head, but hopefully it won't be any time soon. For now, lifting those 50 pound feed bags onto the overhead shelf is helping me "gird my loins with strength." It's far more rewarding and soul satisfying than a gym membership too!