Livestock feed must be kept clean and dry to prevent spoilage and the growth of molds that could make the animals sick or even kill them. Feed storage bins have to keep out rats and mice and larger animals such as raccoons who might raid them looking for a free meal. And livestock feed storage bins have to be large enough to hold big sacks of feed,. You can buy expensive steel bins made for the purpose, but many resourceful animal owners make their own from readily available materials.
Homemade feed storage bins usually begin life with some other function. Anything that will keep out rats and moisture, that will hold a quantity of feed and have a lid that can be secured can serve as feed storage. Old chest freezers make excellent feed bins. Some people use large metal trash cans. Large wooden shipping crates can also serve as feed storage, if the wood is thick enough to discourage chewing by rats.
Elevate your storage bin off the ground slightly. This helps prevent moisture from rotting or rusting the bin. You can set the bin up on bricks, concrete blocks or even old pallets.
Find a way to secure the lid. This prevents raccoons, or a really smart horse, from lifting the lid and helping themselves to the feed inside. This also guards against accidents, such as a child playing in the barn deciding to crawl into the bin and becoming trapped. Freezers and wooden packing crates can be secured with locks, while bungee cords can secure the lid of a metal trash can.
Make wooden partitions to divide large containers such as a freezer or packing crate into sections. This will allow you to store more than one kind of feed in a single container.
Advertise online or in the local paper for old chest freezers. Specify that you’re interested in non-working models for use as feed bins. Check your local junkyard and used appliance stores as well. Junkyards charge for disposal of large appliances, so individuals and appliance stores that took old models in trade may be willing to give you an old freezer, or sell one for a very small fee.
Advertise for packing crates, or check with shipping companies or construction job sites. A store that sells items such as wood stoves or industrial compressors may also have wooden packing crates.
You can purchase metal trash cans at hardware stores.
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.