The time for spring cleaning is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start working on your feed room now. A clean feed room is also a safer feed room, and if your barn’s in need of a good cleaning, this is the perfect place to start. These five tips can help you to gain some space and some organization in this important room.
Start By Throwing Out Old Feed
A good cleaning needs to start with throwing out any old or expired feed. Take some time to check all of your grain bags and sweep up any spilled feed from the floor. While you’re at it, check your supplements and medications, too. You can throw most supplements out in the trash, but should check with your vet on the way to properly dispose of old medications. If your town hosts a safe medication disposal day, this may be an option.
While you’re going through your cupboards, make sure that all medications are clearly labeled. If you aren’t certain of what a medication is, put it in the to-throw-out pile.
Focus on Organization
Now that you know what you’re throwing out versus keeping, it’s time to organize your feed room. Invest in some cupboards or cabinets that offer rodent-proof storage, and consider a few cabinets that can be locked for secure medication storage.
Scrub Out Buckets and Containers
Now is the time to do a deep cleaning of the grain buckets and grain scoops that you use daily. Take all of them outside or to the wash stall, use some Dawn dish detergent, and scrub them with warm water and a scrub brush. This is particularly important if you feed supplements that get stuck to the buckets – make it a point to do a deep cleaning monthly, if not more often.
Update Your Feed Chart
If you were sick and couldn’t make it to the barn to feed, could someone step in and take your place? Would your feed chart be helpful, confusing, or out of date? Evaluate your feed chart and make sure that it’s current and clear enough so that anyone could step in and feed the horses accurately during an emergency.
Prioritize Rodent Control
As you work your way through the room, look for signs that rodents have been getting into feed. Rodent droppings on the floor or chewed grain bags are evidence of this. If you find these signs, you’ll need to tighten up your feed security. Make sure that you’re storing feed in rodent-proof containers, like heavy-duty trash cans or metal or plastic tubs.
If rodents are getting into the extra stock of feed bags that are stacked in the room (those bags that are waiting to be put into your main grain bin once there’s room), you may need to change up this system. Investing in large plastic tubs can help to protect these spare bags. Other options include an old chest freezer or fridge laid on its back, or a metal toolbox intended for use in pickup trucks; these options provide lots of storage space, and can alternatively be used as your main grain bin.
Taking the time to clean your feed room can make your feed safer for your horses, and can keep the room efficient for you, too.