University of Vermont

Healthy Farms - Healthy Agriculture

Feed Storage and Bunk Management sheep photo by Krista Cheney, link to home page

General Farm Biosecurity Practices—
Feed Storage and Bunk Management

  • Use optimal procedures for harvesting, handling, and storage of all crops.
  • Make sure that feed bunks and storage areas are inaccessible to rodents, birds, dogs, cats, and other wildlife.
  • feed photo by Louis Bedor IIIPhoto: Louis Bedor III

  • Check for and dispose of moldy or spoiled material in silos, bunks, and bins. Upright silos need to be emptied to thoroughly clean.
  • Bags of feed or feed ingredients should be stored off the floor (e.g. on pallets).
  • Opened bags should be placed in or emptied into barrels with tight lids.
  • Use steel feed bins rather than open-front commodity shed bays to reduce shrinkage (i.e., loss to wind, rodents, or birds) and prevent contamination.
  • Clean in and around storage areas between batches of feed.
  • Rotate inventory to limit the amount of pathogens in stored feeds.
  • Keep covers on barrels and bins; make sure water is not getting into storage areas.
  • Address any moisture problems periodically. Ensure that the storage environment is appropriate for feed.
  • Protect all feeding areas from animal carcasses and manure.
  • Follow optimal feed management practices.
  • Use smooth feeding bunks to minimize the surface area that could be colonized by pathogens.
  • Dispose of feed refusals if not eaten within 24 hours. Do not feed refusals from adult animals to youngstock. This is an important Johne's disease control measure.

water trough photo by Julie SmithPhoto: Julie Smith, DVM, Ph.D

Water quality and trough management
  • Clean water troughs, buckets, or cups daily or weekly. Replace with ones that are easier to clean if this is a bottleneck.
  • Disinfect waterers at least twice a year.
  • Protect all water sources from animal carcasses and manure.
  • Make sure a regular cleaning schedule of water troughs and tanks is being followed.

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Last modified October 06 2010 09:15 PM

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