How many feed bags do you have laying around? Do you just throw them away? I’ve always been one to save dog food bags. I don’t know why. Probably the same reason so many people save shopping bags that they never, ever reuse. At least not at the rate they save them. But after cleaning up the basement for the 9 millionth time, and seeing a ton of bags, I decided enough was enough.
Before we get too far into this, I have a great course on the basics of goat care. I call it Goat Crash Course: Goat 101. In this course, I explain things like types of shelter, types of feeds and hays, basic assessments and so much more! Check it out!
But how many bags do you really need? Well, according to my brain, I need all of them. It’s ridiculous. I cannot throw them away. No matter how hard I argue with myself about the fact that I don’t need to save every single one, I end up rolling it up and stowing it in another feed bag. So I started brainstorming, searching and the list below is how we reuse feed bags.
Why I save them
I feel like they are really good bags. They are made to hold 50# of food or more! That means they can hold all sorts of things. Plus, let’s be real here, you put anything sharp in a regular trash bag, even the heavy duty ones, and you are blowing a hole in it. Now, all that trash is all over the place. Not cool.
Another reason I am in favor of saving these bags is because I’ve already paid for them. Think about it, I bought the feed but I’m going to throw away a perfectly good bag because it’s empty? Absolutely not. Couple that and the fact that things are getting more and more expensive? I have all the reasons I need to hold on to and reuse feed bags.
Ways To Reuse Feed Bags
Trash Bags– Seriously, these make the most amazing trash bags! I don’t know where you live but trash bags by me are $15 for an 80ct box. When I am going and decluttering, I will reuse feed bags before I even touch my regular trash bags.
Tote Bags- Kathy over at Beyond The Chicken Coop has a great tutorial for making tote bags! These are seriously adorable and I will be making some! I love that I can make different sizes based on what I need. Plus, I know that if I can make the seams strong, they will be strong because again, they hold 50# of feed!
Hay Feeders- Danielle At DIY Danielle, talks about some of the pros and cons of doing it this way. I have found that it works well, until it doesn’t. I love the portability of this style bag, I can nail it to a tree or hang it in the goat barn. But it’s still only going to last so long.
Organizer- Yes, you read that right. We will use these bags to put all of the same type of stuff together. For example: We will store all of our nursery pots in a feed bag. Or if we are going the the back of the property to cut trees, we will put the bar oil, fuel, hatchet, etc in the bag. Now, we take them out immediately after so that we aren’t mixing chemicals if one should mysteriously open. BUT to get all those tools out to the area we are working now only takes one trip.
Planters- We have grown some amazing potatoes, carrots, and onions in these bags. But be sure to use the plastic ones for this! Patrick and Jessie at Southern Dreams Homestead has a great and in depth post about growing in containers that will help you here.
Tarps- Yea, I wasn’t sure about this one but the idea is definitely there! Sweet Meadow Sampler has a great tutorial on it. We will be trying it soon though.
Flooring– I personally would do this in the winter to make clean out in the spring easier. One of the biggest headaches we have come spring, has nothing to do with the garden. It’s cleaning out the barn and coop. Having these bags would not only insulate them from the ground, it would also help clean up all the pine shavings, poop, urine and more.
Compost- it is feasible that you could compost in these bags. The plastic would trap heat and allow break down faster. The thick paper bags are compositable themselves. In theory (I have not tried this yet) you could fill a bag and empty it in your compost pile. Or you could use the bag AS your compost pile. You can go more in depth about composting with The Homestead RD, Katie has some truly amazing posts about compost. In the post I linked above, she also uses feed bags as planters and can tell you how to do it.
Weed Suppression– We have used the paper feed bags to line the bottoms of our raised beds. It works about the same as using cardboard but it is FAR more readily available for us. I don’t know that I would use the plastic ones through.
Wood- We will put our small pieces of scrap wood in these bags to help keep the basement cleaned up. We have a ton of projects around here and I’m not going to throw away or burn a piece of good wood just because it’s a smidge too small. By putting it in the feed bags, we reduce clutter and reuse the bag.
Projects– Sometimes when we have multiple projects going on, it’s hard to keep everything separated. So I will put all the supplies for a project in a feed bag and then write on the front what it’s for. This has helped a ton when it comes to organization.
How do you reuse feed bags?
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