CALS ACUC Policy: Feed Storage Principles

PURPOSE: This policy is intended to give guidance to facility managers, researchers and CALS ACUC members when evaluating the storage of feeds used in research and herd/colony management. It is recognized that tracking inventory and minimizing storage time are important components of best practice management. Certain feed ingredients are not included in the scope of this document.

Feeds excluded from these guidelines:

  • Crops harvested and byproducts purchased for livestock feed.
  • Pure vitamins for research. Researchers evaluate the stability of their vitamins for inclusion in experimental diets.
  • Experimental diets. The principal investigator of staff must provide facility managers with expiration dates on these diets.

POLICY: The following stakeholder responsibilities are to be followed:

Facility managers/staff: Oversee the storage of the feeds ensuring that they are stored in an appropriate manner. This would include being stored off the ground, 6-9 inches away from the walls, at suitable temperature and humidity and in an area with pest (rodents, insects, wild birds...) control or manner to exclude pests. Facility staff must be aware of expiration dates and institute procedures of documenting when feed bags/containers are opened. Also insure that secondary containers are filled in an all in all out manner or first in first out. Secondary containers will be cleaned on a regular documented schedule.

Researchers and staff:

Facilities or labs may develop site-specific food storage guidelines, under the direction of the facility faculty advisor, when required due to the unique nature of the species or research. These site-specific guidelines should be incorporated into the facility/lab SOP. Researchers will provide expiration dates on experimental diets and feedstuffs stored at animal housing facilities. If recommendations exceed guidelines, researchers will provide documentation.

Feed mill manager and staff:

Provide facility managers/researchers with information on the date of manufacture of feeds. This information should be either included on the bag or provided to facility/ researchers in document form. Feed mill procedures also are filled in an all out all in manner and that a regular documented schedule exists for cleaning secondary containers. Feed mill staff will follow manufacturer guidelines for when vitamin premixes or other specialized feed ingredients (e.g. medications) expire.

Non-experimental ingredients and diets


compounded dry feeds, eg. rodent chow, milk replacer, calf starter, fish pellets and chicken mash
6 months from manufacture date as marked on bag
storage life may be increased by refrigeration or freezing
fish food, dry flake

3 years unopened

12 months after opening or “use by” date on label

fish food, frozen

30 days after defrosting in refrigerator

12 months if frozen

refrigerated

frozen
Item Storage Life Storage Conditions
minerals indefinite low humidity, in a sealed container
individual vitamins two years or per manufacturer’s recommendations in a sealed container, protected from light
vitamin mixes 6 months from mix date in a sealed container, protected from light

* Vitamin C needs to be supplemented to primates, guinea pigs, certain fish, some bats and non-poultry birds. Vitamin C storage life can be very short and varies depending on the formulation.

Reference:
Coelho, Michael B. “Vitamin Stability in Premixes and Feeds: A Practical Approach.” Feedstuff: vol. 68(6). 1995.