Proper poultry feed storage is essential to ensuring top quality for your poultry feed. It helps protect them from the pests, critters and the mold that may damage the feed, ruin its nutritional integrity or infect it with dangerous toxins that could be potentially harmful to birds and humans.
Poor quality poultry feed will lead to a host of problems including poor growth, malnutrition, high rate of mortality as well as a host of health problems. All of these will have an impact on your poultry farm profitability. Here are some useful factors to keep in mind when it comes to poultry feed storage:-
Consider the Distance of the Silo from the Poultry House
The poultry storage facility should be kept as close to the poultry house as possible for practical reasons. Some poultry farms build the storage area for poultry feeds inside the poultry house. In many poultry farms, however, the feed silos are placed right next to the poultry house to provide for maximum convenience.
The Storage Facility
The poultry feed storage facility should meet certain minimum requirements. It should provide shelter from direct sunshine; must be cool and well ventilated; should be able to keep the feed dry and ensure low humidity; must protect the poultry feed from vermin such as mice and rats and insect pests; must keep the poultry feed off the ground to protect it from mold spoilage and ground condensation and finally, it should protect the poultry feed from drugs and chemicals.
The Storage Conditions
Poor storage conditions for your poultry feeds will reduce their shelf life and may lead to the loss of important nutrients like the anti-oxidants, some essential fatty acids along with vitamins. This will in turn hinder the growth of your poultry and lead to higher mortalities in your flock.
If poultry feed is stored in wet area, it will get moldy and stale and will pose a serious health risk for your birds. The worst are the molds that grow quickly on the poultry feed and produce mycotoxins. This mostly occurs during warm and humid weather. The use of moldy poultry feeds inevitably leads to illnesses, performance losses as well as possible mass mortality in your flock.
It is hard to estimate the shelf life of poultry feed in storage facilities, even under the best of conditions. The longevity will depend on the conditions in the storage as well as the composition of the poultry feed.
The local climate will also play a key role in determining the life-span of your poultry feed. This is especially so when it comes to the temperature and the relative humidity of the local area and the housing.
Even with an excellent food storage system, food should only be stored for a short duration of time. The ideal timeframe should be two months after the date of manufacture. By reducing the storage time, you can ensure a faster turnover thereby cutting down on the inventory costs while giving your flock fresh and high quality poultry feed.
When storing the poultry feed, you should be wary of the exposure to the sunshine. Radiation from the sun can degrade the quality of the feed through the effect of the greenhouse gases. Overheating may also negatively impact the nutritional content of the food leading to the breaking down and degradation of the proteins or the fats being rancid. Use housing material such as iron sheets that will reflect back most of the heat and radiation thus helping preserve a cool and dry environment inside the poultry feed storage area.
In very hot climates, it is advisable to use insulated bins for poultry feed storage so as to help keep cool and stable temperatures inside the poultry feed storage bin. Another advantage of insulated bins is that they can help reduce or entirely prevent condensation at night when the temperatures fall. Condensation creates humid conditions and is likely to lead to the growth of mold on top of the layers of poultry feed.