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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Readers Question: Buying Feed in Bulk

We love your blog and would love to ask a question to any of your chicken farmers.

We have a small organic chicken farm (100 chickens) and currently get organic feed in bags from a local farm.   We would like to buy in bulk instead of bags.  The issue is how to pick up the feed and store it in our barn away from mice and rats.

We are looking to buy a trailer and possibly build some sort of box to transport the feed and attach a hopper to dispense the feed.  We wanted to know if any of you had any ideas/hints/advice.

Thank you,
Farmer Monica

If you have suggestions for Farmer Monica, leave a comment! 


Anonymous said...

Talk to your vendor first. They should be set up to handle bulk deliveries. what quantities are you talking about?

Mrs. Farmer said...

We buy hog feed in bulk (100 lb bags on a pallet)and chicken feed in bags. So far the rodent problem hasn't been too bad, but when it is, the answer is ....

*Drumroll Please*

Garbage Cans!

Plastic is fine, but if you can get your hands on metal ones, the lids are good and tight.

Mrs. Farmer

Mrs. Farmer said...

PS - Mr. Farmer suggests plastic food service barrels with locking lid bands. He found some on Craigslist for $15 each (cheaper than a garbage can) and they are designed for holding food items (the ones he got held 40 gallons of tomato paste!).

The only downside is that they don't have handles, so you'll need a manly man to help you load up the truck! :)

Mrs. Farmer


I know dog food isn't the same thing but the quantities I buy are the same. Costco had some great plastic containers with screw on lid. No way could anything get into those.

Anonymous said...

I only have a few hens now, so I use metal trash cans. However, when I had some hogs, I built a wooden bin with a hinged top that opened. I lined it with sheet metal (to rodent-proof it) and placed it under a window. My vendor was able to back a truck up to the window (open at that time, of course!) and direct his feed chute directly through the window. With the bin top open, the feed went straight into my bin. At that time, there was only a minimal charge for delivery (much less than the cost of buying a cart, trailer or truck). The added benefit was no lifting on my part (except to extract the daily rations to hand out to the hogs). I also added a latch to the top of the bin, closed by a snap, to keep varmints such as raccoons from opening and helping themselves to a buffet. Oh--design-wise--be sure to build your bin only as deep as the shortest person feeding your hens can reach into! (It can just as easily be designed long and shallow, as tall and narrow. Husbands seem to design tall and narrow for some reason, even when they don't do the feeding.) An additional precaution is to keep a barn cat (preferably altered, or you will have hundreds of barn cats). Females have tended to make better mousers on our farm. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Look on Craigslist for dead chest freezers.

Dave said...

All great ideas. I have used a dead chest freezer and it works great.

What about a barn cat? I have two and have not seen a mouse in years