Pel­lets’ use-by dates

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QWe’ve only re­cently no­ticed the ‘use-by’ dates on our bags of layer’s pel­lets. Surely, un­like meat for hu­man con­sump­tion, it can’t go off and be­come dan­ger­ous to eat so what is the point of these dates?

AJeremy Hob­son says: Com­pound poul­try feeds are care­fully for­mu­lated and con­tain ben­e­fi­cial ad­di­tives such as vi­ta­mins (and in some cases – chick crumbs, for example – may also have had med­i­ca­tion added to pre­vent prob­lems with coc­cid­io­sis). They do, there­fore, have a shelf-life. If, as you should, you keep your chicken feed in a ver­min-proof lid­ded con­tainer in a cool dry place, never be tempted into emp­ty­ing a new bag of pel­lets or mash onto some that still re­mains in the bot­tom. Fin­ish one lot com­pletely be­fore open­ing the other. If you’ve only a few chick­ens, whilst a 20kg bag might be cheaper to buy, it will al­most cer­tainly last well be­yond its use-by date so it’s far bet­ter to buy those of say, 5kg in weight in or­der to en­sure that the con­tents are fed be­fore they be­come stale.

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