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We are asked this question alot so we thought we’d write a blog for you to answer those FAQs around Bird Food, Bird Seed, Fat Balls and everything else wild bird related!
So..what wild bird food is best? The answer is, it depends! It depends what birds you are feeding and what sort of mix you are looking for.
This is the most common type of bird food and there are so many great brands and mixes you can get started with. Two of the most common mixes are ‘Johnston and Jeff Selected Wild Bird Seed’ and ‘Peckish Complete Seed and Nut Mix’. Both of these blends have been designed to appeal to the widest variety of birds, making it a great choice for year round feeding. The Johnston & Jeff Selected Wild Bird Seed contains small seeds, cereals and vegetable oils to increase feeding values. And, it has a high proportion of sunflower seeds to ensure correct nutritional values.
The Peckish Complete Seed and Nut Mix is packed with 12 different ingredients to provide a high energy, no mess and no waste wild bird seed mix. Proven to attract the UK’s top 10 garden birds, this tasty feed has been enriched with natural Calvita Vitamin Mix to keep birds healthy year round.
There are also common Superior and Premium blends, which are more expensive, but as the names suggest, more premium and superior to the entry level seeds! The Johnston & Jeff Superior Mix is a special mix of essential high energy ingredients with added minerals, vitamins, trace elements and proteins for rebuilding strength and for high quality egg production. This blend is also key to skeletal and tissue growth in fledglings and building up the immune system. The superior seed contains aniseed, excellent for digestion and an attractant, helping the birds find their way to these essential foods
Peanuts are loved by garden birds, they are high in oils and fats and they provide plenty of energy all year round which makes them perfect for the winter months and throughout the breeding season. It is important to make sure peanuts are aflatoxin tested – aflatoxins can be extremely harmful to birds so here at Trusty Pet Supplies we take extra care to ensure that our peanuts are not only the best quality but completely safe.
To ensure your peanuts stay in the best condition for the longest period, please store in an airtight container and keep in a dry, cool place. The bags the peanuts are packed in will not alone protect the peanuts against humidity and damp, which could result in mould forming on the peanuts as due to the high fat content this product will be shipped in plastic bags, with 25kg sacks usually in the hessian outer bag.
Peanuts can be sourced from a number of different countries to ensure the best quality at the best price. This does mean that there may some variation in the colour (ranging from red to grey) which is completely normal and doesn’t affect the quality of the product.
Loose whole peanuts can be harmful to young birds as they can cause choking, so please ensure that you feed peanuts from a mesh nut feeder to avoid this.
Good quality fat balls are an excellent source of nutrients for wild birds. They are a high-energy source of healthy fats and calories, making them a particularly valuable bird feed option for wild birds in the winter months.
Fat balls are also great for the breeding and migration seasons when wild birds will need as much energy as they can get. However, there are a few things you may need to know when it comes to feeding fat balls to wild birds.
While fat balls can definitely be enjoyed by wild birds all year round, it’s important to be vigilant when putting out fat balls in the summer months, especially if the weather is particularly hot.
Fat balls can go off if left out for extended periods of time (especially if the weather is warm), so we’d recommend clearing away any uneaten feed and replacing it with fresh suet every week. Try to keep them in a sheltered location when offering them during the hotter months. One good top tip is to keep them in the freezer when the weather gets really hot.
Sunflower hearts are more expensive than black sunflower seeds but they have two advantages. First, the birds can feed more quickly because they do not have to remove the husk. Second, the lack of the husk means that there is no unsightly pile of husks left behind on the ground after the birds have had their fill.
Black sunflower seeds were introduced in the early 1990s and revolutionised bird feeding by providing a high energy food in a readily accessible form. Black sunflower seeds have thinner husks than the more traditional striped sunflower seeds and so are easier to split open.
Black sunflower seeds are a favourite of Greenfinches and tits, though they may be left behind if sunflower hearts are available nearby, due to them being easier to feed on.
There are also so many other types of wild bird food that you can provide. Nyjer or Niger seed is great for goldfinches due to it’s small seed size. Mealworms and Calciworms are also great for smaller birds such as robins, they can also be fed live or dried! Calciworms are a cheaper option than mealworms, so may be an easier starter into the realms of worms!
There are also specialist finch mixes for goldfinches or bullfinches, special robin mixes and even peanut granules which are peanuts that are deshelled and broken up into smaller pieces making it great for those smaller birds.
Whatever you choose to feed, it is important to remember that you provide fresh drinking water daily, clean the feeders regularly with soapy water and try and rotate the feeders around the garden, to discourage any wastage.
Shop our wild bird range here!
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