Keep Feed Fresh with Diatomaceous Earth
When you first started up your ranch, farm, or homestead, did you realize that keeping your animal feed fresh and clump free would be difficult? Believe it or not this is something that catches people off guard and can cause a damper on your day if you find your grains or feed have caked or clumped. Alas, through the years of farming, experts have found great ways to ensure that their animal feed stays fresh and we have some tricks to help your feed stay cake-free!
SOME FEED IS JUST MORE PRONE TO CAKING
There are many varieties of feed out there for different types of animals, nutrient needs, etc. Although across animal feed there are some ingredients that are more prone to caking than others. Knowing which ingredients could cause this trouble is essential to choosing the right feed for your needs. Both molasses and beet pulp, along with how the feed is manufactured, can lead to caking and clumping.
If it is not a specific ingredient or animal feed additive, it could be how the feed is made. Often clumping is a result from a high-tech device that processes the feed or creates the formulation at the plant. Also, if you buy a bag from the animal feed store, if its towards the bottom just think of all the weight that has been sitting atop the bag, it is certainly enough to compress the feed a bit more than usual.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT CAKING?
Just because you have caked animal feed, it doesn’t mean all is lost! There are, again, a few reasons why caking can occur, so here are some things to be mindful of and tips to keep your feed cake-free.
- Climate Control: Temperature can greatly affect grains and feed. Ensure that your storage area is in a non-humid, temperature-controlled area if possible. This removes a large variable that can greatly impact how things stay fresh over time.
- Use a Waterproof Container: This somewhat ties in with climate control but a huge reason for caking comes from excess moisture so by having a waterproof container you prevent moisture from encountering the feed, helping it to stay fresh.
- Use Diatomaceous Earth: Not just any diatomaceous earth, but food grade D.E. We recommend using an OMRI Listed® brand, such as Safer®. This diatomaceous earth is made from freshwaters in the US and that this can compliantly be applied for organic use. Add D.E into the feed to absorb excess water, while leaving the nutrient level as is in the feed. This should not exceed 2% of the animal’s diet when used as directed.
- Clean your Container: Between feed rotations take some time to thoroughly rinse out and clean the container or feeding trough. This can help prevent build up at the bottom and ensure you are not feeding old feed to your animals.
No matter what issue you may run into, here at Zareba® we can help. Check out our other articles for more helpful tips of the trade and check us out on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with us! You can also sign up for the Zareba® E-Newsletter to receive new product announcements and exclusive offers to help out with things around the farm!