25 ways to use empty feed bags

How many feed bags do you have laying around? At any given time I probably have about a dozen. I get chicken feed from 2 different places so I have 3 different types of bags. I have burlap feed sacks from the scratch grains at the mill. The paper ones come from the layer feed they sell and I get the plastic feed bags from pretty much everything I buy at Tractor Supply. 

The chickens eat at least 3 bags full a week, so I always have a fresh supply of bags. Which brings me to the question: what should I do with all these empty feed bags?

Feed bags to reuse. 25 ideas.

I'll start with the obvious answers first. The paper ones can be recycled or burned. If I start to collect too many I'll keep them in the truck and toss them in the paper recycle bin when I see one. The burlap ones can be reused in a ton of ways! I've made cute feed sack pillows for the patio out of them. They are also good for covering outdoor furniture cushions that are getting old. Plus I can always find someone who will take them off my hands for crafts.

The plastic feed bags though, those are a little harder to use up. Luckily I've came up with quite a few crafty ways over the years. Here are my top 25 favorite uses for plastic feed sacks:

25 Uses for old feed bags

1) Staple to coop walls in winter to block drafts. Use empty feed bags inside the coop to keep the cold winter drafts out!
2) Cut and secure a piece of bag to the top of the nest box, then cut into thick strips to hang in front as a wind block.
3) Make Christmas stockings to hang on the coop.
4) Cut open and drape across wood pile to keep rain off.
5) Waterproof bag for campfire wood. Roll down, duct tape closed.
6 ) Cut open and spread under sleeping bag or tent.  
7) Waterproof bag for muddy clothes or baby messes.
8) Fold flat and store under car seat for shoes and other sandy or muddy items.
9) Make shopping totes.
10) Sew a coop cleaning apron out of them. 
11) Use as grow bags for potatoes.
12) Fold in half and kneel on to garden. 
13) Weed control. Use instead of landscape fabric between rows.
14) They're large enough to cover plants during an early frost.
15) Cut bag off about a foot from bottom. Place on floor of car and put plants in to bring plants home from the nursery.
16) Use to carry compost from the bin to the gardens.
17) Garbage bags in coop, barn and garage. They are especially sturdy for disposing of heavy or sharp items!
18) Fill with straw and duct tape shut for a dog cushion.
19) Cut open and put under litter box to catch any litter that gets kicked out.
20) Wrap across long side of hay bale and secure. Use as archery target. (also works with the wood flake shavings blocks) Or fill with plastic wrap and bags for target.
21) Let the kids use them as sleds in the snow.
22) Cut open and use to cover table when kids are crafting or using glue.
23) Cut open and use as drop cloths when painting walls.
24) Use when spray painting. Keeps item off grass, or keep over spray off the floor. 
25) Fill with sand and tie closed with bailing twine. Use as sand bags or weights.

2019 Update! Here's my newest use: my youngest is learning to drive, so we put a brick in the bottom of an empty feed bag then filled it with straw or grass clippings. The brick helps it stand on end, and the stuffing keeps it upright. We made several and used them to mark off parking spots to teach him to parallel park! Redneck ingenuity, right? lol He hit into them a few times, but they obviously didn't leave a mark on the truck. 

Piles of feed bags to reuse for crafts

That is a lot of ways to use old feed bags! Are there any uses I've missed? What do you do with empty feed sacks?

~L 

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19 comments:

  1. Those stockings are cute. Thanks for sharing at Family Joy Blog linkup.

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  2. I am so glad that I am not the only one who reuses feed bags! I even collect bags from other homesteaders to make reusable grocery bags and other projects! Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop!

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    1. I reuse everything here! Why buy new if you don't have to?
      ~L

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  3. You have some great ideas that I hadn't thought of! Thanks for this great list!

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  4. Now I know why I have stacks and stacks of these saved up! LOL

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  5. Great ideas! I especially like the sled idea : ) I don't have animals and I live in town, but my rice comes in the plastic feed bags, and it seems a pity to throw the bag away! Thanks for some cool ideas : )

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    1. Rice sacks would work! Back in the depression era flour came in large fabric sacks and women made kids clothes out of the sacks. When flour companies found out they started putting prints on the bag to make them prettier. We're just reusing like our ancestors did!

      ~L

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  6. Has anyone ever tried making sleeping mats for homeless with the bags?

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    1. Not that I know of but that is an amazing idea! I'm going to look into that right now. Thanks!

      Lisa

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  7. I line my nesting boxes and trays under roosts for easier clean up.

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    1. That is a great idea. I will try that!

      Lisa

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  8. Great Ideas!! I always throw them away. Need to start saving them. Totally going to make some Christmas Stockings this year for not only my chickens but my rabbits too!

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    1. Thanks! Definitely save them...I literally use old feed bags for everything, but especially for garbage bags in the coop, barn and garage! Good luck with the stockings!

      Lisa

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  9. I cut the bags open and lay them flat under my chicken roost. Once a week (or more often when needed), I simply roll them up, put them into another feed bag and I'm done. Takes me less than 5 minutes and my coop never stinks. When I built my coop, I put a plywood deck under the roost about 24 inches above the floor. It makes for easy clean up and it serves below as a brooding area. I enclosed it with chicken wire and that's where my "nursery" is! I would love to post a picture of my coop.

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    1. That is a great idea! We call that plywood deck a poop board! lol I love the feed bag idea though, that would make it super easy to clean up!

      Lisa

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  10. Thanks for the great ideas to winterize the coop.

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