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Elizabeth and Malcolm's Bluetit Pages
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Food Quality?

 
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starseven



Joined: 16 Sep 2011
Posts: 33
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:15 am    Post subject: Food Quality? Reply with quote

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has an opinion on whether birds can 'taste the difference'?

The majority of food I've used in my garden since moving here last summer has been the cheapest around, as I didn't want to waste money if no birds came, usually from either Wilkinson or Poundland! I usually put out fat balls, general mixed seed, sunflower hearts and black sunflower seeds. Only the sunflower hearts seem to be hugely popular.

I do get some visitors, but not as many as I'd like, and not as many as there are local residents feeding elsewhere. I'm trying to get the blue tits back, and one did come a few days ago - it poked its head into a seed feeder and flew off almost immediately - which is what got me thinking if my food simply isn't that tasty!

Does anyone find that certain brands are preferred over others or anything like that?

Thanks Smile
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Strixaluco



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 5464
Location: Mayford, Sy

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only branded make I buy are peanuts, then I can be sure they're "safe nuts", ie guaranteed aflotoxin free. Hearts are usually more popular than black sunflower seeds, and I buy these in bulk from a local animal feed supplier. The hearts feeders need refilling every couple of days, but the black sunflower lasts longer. I make my own fat blocks - and at the moment one of these lasts less than two days!


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Poster: Strixaluco, viewed 41 Time(s)

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Elizabeth
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starseven



Joined: 16 Sep 2011
Posts: 33
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have made sure to check for aflatoxin-free nuts in the past - but is there a risk that cheaper nuts may not actually be aflatoxin-free? That might be the reason they went untouched when I put them out... thanks for the info Smile
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Peter



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 772
Location: South-west England

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nuts don't really get eaten in my garden to all I use nowadays are sunflower hearts and nyger seed. The fat balls are not very popular either. I have been feeding the birds for years.
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minijoan



Joined: 06 Mar 2011
Posts: 297
Location: Northampton

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peanuts don't get eaten in my garden; I have just emptied a full feeder for the second time in a month so shan't bother to put it out again. I find sun flower hearts are taken the most, of course they are the most expensive to buy, but I buy them in bulk (25k sack) which works out cheaper. These are eaten mainly by the finches and tits;

I also put out fat balls which are devoured by starlings from the feeder and blackbirds and a lone thrush eat what has fallen to the floor.

I have stopped putting out my ground feeder as a ginger kitten from a neighbours house has caught three birds this week (2 collard doves and a blackbird). At the moment it is a battle who is going to win the war, me with my water spray or the devious cat.

Joan Rolling Eyes
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Peter



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 772
Location: South-west England

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't start me on cats...
I was about to start the RSPB bird watch survey but when I saw the neighbour's cat sitting on the top of the bird table, frankly I gave up! Sad
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dampflippers



Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 168
Location: South Tyneside England

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed almost instantly a difference in the "quality" of my birds when I moved to black sunflower seeds, but alot of mess and the blackbirds etc weren't catered for.
When we went away all the food got eaten including peanuts, but now if there are other things, these take ages to get eaten (but there's a bluetit on them now.
Then I changed to just sunflower hearts and everyone loved them, but I resented paying so much to feed wood pigeons, feral pigeons and collared doves!
So now I have peanuts, sunflower hearts and niger in feeders, and a no mess mix for tables and the ground. Into this I add dried mealworms and sultanas, or scatter the sultanas separately for the blackbirds who come and ask for them, or look accusingly at you in the kitchen!
I also buy or make fat balls. The caged fatball feeder is very popular with the gold crest!

When I make fatballs, I grind peanuts and or sunflower hearts to add to the mix.

Saying all this, I stopped feeding last year because a cat was always in the garden sitting in wait. I think the owners are keeping it in more during the winter- I hope that continues!
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