Keeping feed areas clean in the barn can be a tough job. And I’ve found it’s even tougher in an old barn where things are not sealed tight.
My husband did an amazing job cleaning out and essentially re-constructing a grainery in our barn to make it into a feed room. However, it’s still open to unwanted creatures just due to the nature of our barn. (It’s a dirt/gravel floor with no real foundation). So, really, in my experience, it’s like a lot of other barns.
Here are a few things we do to keep our feed rooms as clean and mess-free as possible.
1. ALL feed in sealed bins or containers. We use a variety of containers to store feed– cat food is in a bucket, and whatever doesn’t fit stays in the bag inside of a cedar chest. All supplements are in buckets that can be closed, and any scoops that don’t otherwise have a home are kept in a storage drawer. The chicken barn has its own feed area and we just added more bins with lids to store the extra feed.
We also recently upgraded our horse feed containers because our current metal cans had holes, which allowed mice in. Things I don’t enjoy: Taking a lid off, scoop in the other hand ready to go, only to be greeted with a mouse staring at me. Here’s what we bought for both the horse and chicken feed: 32 Gallon Garbage Can with Lid (Yes, technically they are garbage cans…)
2. Shelving. Getting things up off the floor not only keeps dust and hair from gathering, but it also makes life more organized, and in turn, feeding time much easier. All of our shelves are hand me downs that are being repurposed. So not to worry if you don’t want to go out and spend money on expensive shelving (like us!!)—check and see what people are giving away or selling for cheap.
3. Designating a “feed room” or “barn” broom. This one is so silly, yet so important. I remember specifically telling my husband I needed more brooms because I needed one for the back porch, the chicken coop, and the horse barn. Aren’t we all more likely to clean if the items we need are RIGHT there? The answer is yes. It can’t possibly be no.
4. Don’t let empty bags lay around. This is basically an invitation for pests to come hang out. And they will. You’ll know by either seeing them scurry away when you move a bag, or by the fun things they leave behind. I try to fold bags and stack them on a shelf or hang them on a rail. If they are no good to reuse, I just trash them. Or, literally use them AS trash bags.
5. Give things a little cleaning every now and then. I go the route of vinegar because it’s safe and natural, and you don’t have to worry about any dangerous residue being left behind. It helps control dust and remove build-up, and can go a long way mixed with a little water. I actually wrote a post about vinegar use in the barn a while back–check it out here.
What are some of the ways you keep feed areas clean in your barn?