Cleaning Pig Feed Bins

Before colder weather sets in take some time to inspect your pig feed bins and clean them out if necessary. The feed in most of these bins is continuously flowing and this helps to flush it out. If for some reason the bin isn’t being used or there is a dead space and the feed just sits there, the feed could absorb off odors and develop mold. Molds produce mycotoxins which can have an adverse effect on the pigs.

John Patience is a professor of applied swine nutrition at Iowa State University. He says in general, feed bins should be cleaned out every six-months or every year at the most. Your focus with bins that are in continual use should be on the boot, which is where the auger sits at the base of the bin.

"And that boot can get wet. Rainwater or condensation can get into the bin and there will be a certain amount of dead space in some of those boots where the feed sits there for a long period of time even though there’s feed flowing through it. It really depends on the design of that boot," says Patience. "Certainly, checking them a couple times a year to make sure they’re not leaking would be all that would be required."

If there’s moisture in the boot, figure out how it got there. Check things like caulking, bushings, seals, and tighten bolts. Then, start cleaning it out.

"Obviously physical removal of all the grungy feed would be the first step, clean that out, make sure it’s very very well cleaned," he says. "I would then dry it very well to make sure it is dry. You could bleach it if you wanted to kill the molds, but I think a good cleaning would be all that’s required."

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