So just in case you don’t want to learn by making silly mistakes like we did, I thought I would share our foibles and what we did to correct it. I’m a big believer in learning through experience – whether it is a success or a failure, there is always opportunity to learn.
Many years ago I taught preschool in South Korea; in Gangnam Seoul for those who know the area and/or are interested. I remember how afraid my kids were to make mistakes. I always told them that mistakes are good things! “Mistakes help us learn” was a common phrase in my classroom. Now here I am having to remind myself of these words. I’m a perfectionist by nature so when I mess up, like I have more than once this year on our homesteading journey, I tend to beat myself up. A lot. But then I remember that preschool teacher in me that told my kids that messing up is okay. And Correne teacher was right… messing up is part of life. Take the hit and learn the lesson.
The fault is in not learning the lesson. So after screwing up storing our chicken feed I took note and made the necessary changes to avoid this happening again in the future.
Here’s what happened…
Me: “I think we should store the chicken feed in the house.”
The hubs: “Nah it will be okay in the garage as long as we close the bags up properly.”
Here are the bags of feed we get from our local co-op. See how the bag is closed up nicely at the top?
Side Note: We did a lot of research into both organic feed and making our own organic feed. We couldn’t believe the price difference!!! Even making your own feed was still 3-4 times more expensive than the non-GMO feed from the co-op. So for now we are settling for the non-GMO feed. This has partly to due with budget and partly to do with the fact that we are also feeding local wildlife (chipmunks and squirrels getting into the chicken coop). Eventually we hope to make our own organic feed, but for now we’re just getting our feet wet with being chicken owners in the first place!
So remember that conversation from above? The one where my husband and I disagreed about where to store our chicken feed? Well here’s how it turned out…
I really should have taken a picture of the MESS the chipmunks made. We have this old couch in the garage (couldn’t fit down the stairs into the basement so it just stayed in the garage… sigh) and it was covered in feed and so was the floor. We are pretty diligent about leaving the garage door shut but nature always finds a way and hungry chipmunks love chicken feed.
Now to go back to that conversation; I don’t think storing it in the house would have worked either. We have a 50+ year old house and we live in the country. All we would have done is gone from feeding chipmunks to feeding mice.
So what’s a girl to do with her chicken feed? You get 5 gallon buckets with snap lids that’s what! They are a pain in the butt to open for a human with two hands so it is impossible for any wildlife to get inside. They are also inexpensive and easy to find. Now we store our feed right inside the barn/coop and we don’t have a single problem. The food stays dry and away from the critters.
These buckets are available from any hardware store. Here in Ontario they can be found at Home Hardware, Home Depot, Walmart and Canadian Tire. Even better you can reuse old buckets you have lying around. I had a laundry detergent bucket that I washed out and had been using to collect weeds. So I washed it out again, found the lid and converted it into a chicken feed bucket instead.
So that is the tale of how we learned that inexpensive 5 gallon buckets were the best way to store our chicken feed. For a larger flock I imagine you’d need a different solution, but this is perfect for backyard chicken owners like us.
Now we wait for eggs…
Until next time,