View Full Version : Old freezer for grain storage?

Elly Mae II
Oct. 17, 2009, 07:45 PM
Has anyone ever used an old non functioning chest freezer to store feed? Someone told me it works to keep raccoons and opossums out. Would you have to put holes in it to keep it from being airtight and causing mold? Is there any reason this could be a bad idea? (There are no little kids for miles around that might get in it.)

Oct. 17, 2009, 07:55 PM
i have one and i love it. i dont have problems with mold, but i only get enough feed for 2 weeks at a time max. i have mine because i find its the only thing that will keep the goats out of feed since i dont have a feed room.

i keep mine in the bags because i have a few different types of feed. but i know people who dumped there feed right in the freezer and didnt have any problems with it.

Oct. 17, 2009, 07:58 PM
I use chest freezers!! They work great, neither one locks so no safety concerns and the grains keeps beautifully, very fresh...although I do go through a lot of grain so its not in there very long..... I highly recommend them...

Oct. 17, 2009, 08:42 PM
In case you want another option instead of doing the freezer thing, what I use to repel critters is a metal trash can and a bungee cord going thru the lid handle and hooked to each side handle. I've done this for many years, and I have yet to have an overnight visitor figure out how to open it. And I know they check nightly, because in the off chance I forget to hook up the bungee, they get into it.

Some people say metal cans will hold moisture, but in my area (super humid LA) it works better than any other container I've tried.

Oct. 17, 2009, 10:11 PM
I have a 1960's model chest freezer I use that I got off of Freecycle. However when I got it home, so much room was taken up by the motor and insulation that I had my handyman rip out the insides, leaving a metal shell that he lined with wood. We also took off the bottom latch so a child could not shut the door locking himself in. You just lift up, no unlatching. I go through all the feed in about 3 weeks with six horses and one donkey. I have never had any creature get into the bin.

If you don't need to store that much feed, then the garbage can system works well too.

Oct. 18, 2009, 12:17 AM
That's true, if you have a bunch of feed, cans are kind of a pain. Unless you need to keep different feeds separate.

Oct. 18, 2009, 12:22 AM
loved the old freezers at the farm I worked at.

For myself I plan to use garbage cans in my porch. No need for metal as the door locks :)

Oct. 18, 2009, 06:24 AM
If you are going to dump the grain in, chests work best if you have partitions put in so you have 3 or 4 separate places. Works well for different grains or to allow for using up the older first.

Minerva Louise
Oct. 18, 2009, 11:11 AM
If you are going to dump the grain in, chests work best if you have partitions put in so you have 3 or 4 separate places. Works well for different grains or to allow for using up the older first.

What do you make the partitions from? Wood, metal?

The feed room at the barn I board at gets a lot of direct sun in the afternoon, and the feed tends to spoil if the sun shines on the cans. It will mold on the sunny side of the can. We have to keep a horse trailer parked in a specific spot all summer to block the sun.

I wonder if the insulation in a chest freezer would keep the grain at a more even temperature? And, if the freezer was white, it might reflect more and not heat up so badly in the first place?

Oct. 18, 2009, 11:16 AM
I have a small chest freezer that holds 4 bags of grain, or about 2 wks worth. No mold issues, and I"m in Central AL, land of wet heat ;) BUT- the freezer sits in the back corner of the tack room, no sunlight. If it cooked all day, sure, I'd have issues.

Partitions can be made out of heavy plywood, just caulk them into place, let set, and done.

Oct. 18, 2009, 11:19 AM
I have a huge chest freezer that has partitions in it. The partition channels are made of 1 inch strips screwed into the sidewall of the freezer, then a piece of marine plywood was cut and painted with non toxic paint to slide in the channel. I separate the feed into three partitions and built the partitions with the types of feed and amount fed in mind.

I've used this system along with two metal trashcans (one for dogfood, the other for alfalfa pellets) for over ten years. Never a problem. Please remove the bottom latch no matter if there aren't kids around, you never know when a child "might" visit or wander in. Better safe than sorry.

Also about once a month a run a damp cloth around the seals and then use a tiny bit of veggie oil to coat the seal so it won't crack allowing moisture into the freezer.

Oct. 18, 2009, 01:59 PM
I used chest freezers for grain for many years. One of my boarders came up with the idea and found two of them for me. They worked well.

Oct. 18, 2009, 02:20 PM
We started using a huge chest freezer (no longer functioning) about 14 years ago and we are still using it. My husband had a sheet metal shop make a divider for it which he installed himself and it came with two small compartments in it. In the largest compartment I can store 7 50# bags of feed, in the next compartment I can store 5 50# bags of feed, and in the two small compartments, each holds about 40# which is where I put my supplements. I think we paid about $35 for the freezer originally and we have definitely gotten our money's worth out of it. I do vacuum out residue after we use up a batch of feed but I would never want to use anything else as long as I need to feed this many horses (12 to 15).

Oct. 18, 2009, 04:11 PM
I've been using old chest freezers in feed rooms for decades.

You don't put holes in them.

Before you first use it, give it a good wipe down with hot water with some household bleach in and leave the lid open for it to thoroughly dry out and then it will be absolutely fine. And going forward that's all you do to keep them clean and mould free. Ours only get done about 2 or 3 times a year.

I keep barley in them. In sacks. Also carrots and swede in separate chest freezers and just in net bags

Oct. 18, 2009, 05:11 PM
Thomas - what is Swede?

Oct. 18, 2009, 05:12 PM
We used one for quite a long time. We did not use dividers and loose feed, but rather put the open bags into it and when a bag emptied it was replaced. This eliminated the need for periodic cleaning (unless something got spilled in the compartment). In the event a cleaning was required it was easy to do using water and the existing drain valve.

Ours had the motor and crompressor removed so it was pretty light weight and easy to move and clean around (feed always gets spilled, it seems :) ).

We also tore off the gasket to ensure that no rug rats or yard apes were injured messing around where they ought not to be.

If you want to do loose feed and drain holes be sure you put a fine screen wire cover over the drain holes. It's a good idea to back that up with "hardware cloth." That will keep out bugs and rodents.


Oct. 18, 2009, 06:55 PM
Have always used them. Don't add holes or you just create an entry for bugs and lil critters.

Freecycle and the FREE section of Craig's List usually will yield as many dead ones as you need ;)

Oct. 18, 2009, 08:25 PM
Thomas - what is Swede?

I'm not Thomas, but it is a Rutabaga. There is also a root vegetable called a mangelwurzel that is grown as stock fodder- just some useless trivia :)

Oct. 18, 2009, 09:02 PM
One of my friends was at a rough board/co-op kind of barn with a freezer chest in the grain room. The horses' owners would measure out the grain for the next day and leave their feed buckets in the freezer. Opened grain bags went in next to the buckets if there was room. It was a convenient system. The person doing the morning feed and turnout could just grab the buckets without worrying about measuring grain and supplements, and no vermin got into the grain overnight.

Oct. 19, 2009, 06:43 AM
What do you make the partitions from? Wood, metal?

Here are my dividers: http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2450209160015305252MNfrVk

It is all removeable for easy cleaning with a shop-vac.

Oct. 19, 2009, 06:52 AM
A friend in north carolina had one -- not for grain (that went in the feed room ;)) but as a catch-all storage by the door for just about EVERYTHING. Kept the critters out (including kids and young horses) and was VERRRRY convenient. It was the kind that is wider than it is tall, with a lift-up lid.

Oct. 19, 2009, 11:37 AM
I have used them for 12 years, no mold yet and I keep a months worth of rolled oats in the big one. Loose, not in bags. I have a second smaller one that holds a bagged vit/min supplement and other supplements.

The reference to swedes reminds me of my old Pony Club manuals from the seventies...

Also, there is a poem a part of which is rattling around in my brain about a fat pony who was fed "swedes and mangolds, also beans"

I am now going to spend the rest of the day trying to remember the rest of the poem and who it is by (it's that funny Brit with the vaguely morbid poetry...hmm..maybe that doesn't really narrow the field). Please someone, put me out of my misery!

Oct. 19, 2009, 12:20 PM
I'm not Thomas, but it is a Rutabaga. There is also a root vegetable called a mangelwurzel that is grown as stock fodder- just some useless trivia :)

very good 10000000 points lol

i haved used old chest freezers as most yards do even diy ones one do asyou can attach a hasp and clasp and lock them up with a padlock if nessecary

Oct. 19, 2009, 06:31 PM
we have 2 in our feed room...love them! no dividers, just keep the feed in bags! we can keep 5-6 bags in use at all times in one and all the extra bags in the other! love the freezers!

Oct. 19, 2009, 07:19 PM
I - along with many of my friends - have been storing feed in old chest freezers for years.
No partitions...that sounds like too much work!
I just keep the bags in it...horse feed, rabbit feed, cat food
No mold....I'm in Ontario and we get quite a variety of weather during the year.
No critters....coons can open any style garbage can there is, even with multiple bungee cords as tight as they can get.

Oct. 19, 2009, 09:12 PM
We had one chest freezer when I was a kid, worked perfectly for many many years as a feed bin!!!

Since I got married and moved to a bigger farm and had many more horses, we use two old refrigerators, laid down on their back so the lids open up. One compartment (freezer) is for supplements, and larger compartment (fridge) is for feed. they are in an L shape in the feed room, very convenient. the second fridge holds unopened bags, and the freezer compartment holds next-feeding buckets already set up.

So don't rule out an old refrigerator/freezer! Again, remove all locks and latches. And shelving and such. Oh yeah, and duct tape over any holes inside, several layers. We wipe ours out and vacuum every few months.

Not the prettiest feed bin in the world, but...

Elly Mae II
Dec. 15, 2009, 07:53 PM
I wanted to tell you guys that recommended I try this that I am so glad I listened! When it was first offered to me I wasn't sure I wanted the big unsightly thing. But it is so nice to open and and not have any spider webs in there. And no critters are able to get in. Plus makes it easier to buy extra when on sale because there is someplace to put it.
It had some big rusty spots on the top so I took some wood grain contact paper and put on it. Blends right in with the barn wall. I don't know how well the paper will stick on there. If it doesn't I may get some of that woodgrain peel and stick vinyl flooring because it really loooks good covered like that.

Thanks for the input!

Ride An Arabian
Dec. 16, 2009, 12:42 AM
Oh cool! I have a chest freezer that I was going to take to the dump but now I can use it for my feed.