Mouse-proof grain storage: Just file it!
July 11, 2011
I spent weeks trying to find affordable individual grain storage solutions for our stable feed room, which suffered from several problems.
- We were plagued with spilled grain and other supplements luring mice, which in turn left their disgusting poop “signatures”.
- Our horse owners loved, almost more than anything else, I think, to tinker with their horse’s grain ration, and constantly changed plans, resulting in confusion.
- Various buckets of supplements lined our feed room shelves, labeled with faded felt-tip ink horse names, and cryptic feed instructions decorated a dry-erase board above the shelves. It was hard for me to figure out, and find, who got what at feeding time, let alone other people. My gut said horses were not actually getting what was intended.
I knew other stables did this, and I wanted everybody to start providing their own pre-
We bought five used, four-high, solid backed filing cabinets for $25 each at our university surplus store, mouse-proofed them by putting metal hardware cloth under the open bottoms (about $100), and drilled and screwed the backs of the cabinets into the wall so they didn’t tip over. (We taped over the key locks, but you can also get a locksmith to sell you new filing cabinet keys if you provide the serial number on the lock.)
For $225, less than the cost of ONE commercially available storage unit I saw, we suddenly had mouse-proof grain storage for 17 horses, plus a few extra drawers for the first aid kit and miscellany. We asked everyone to begin providing their own grain and supplements in labeled, zipper-close plastic bags.
Our affordable horse grain storage solution is working beautifully. Several people have stopped me to say they like the idea; the feed room remains spill-free, mouse-poop free; horse owners can endlessly tinker with concentrates; feeding grain is now a snap. Oh, and budgetary side note: Our boarder grain bill? No longer a concern.
Try also: Hay burners - what it costs to feed a horse