Seed

Some of the Birds attracted

Strengths of Seeds

Weaknesses of Seed

Wheat

Sparrows, Doves, Pigeons, Pheasant, other birds as a second choice

Most birds can eat wheat just choose not to if there is another choice, it is cheap, there is no husk, it is easy to feed through most types of feeders

Less palatable to smaller bird due to lower nutritional return, grows, consumers perceive as a cheap filler

Cut Wheat

Sparrows, Doves, Pigeons, Pheasant, easy for smaller bird

Cut so less likely to grow, smaller so easy to eat allowing more optimum foraging. Consumers do not recognise it as wheat

Can still grow, still not great for bird nutritionally with low oil content.

Flaked Wheat

Finches, Tits, Sparrows, Black birds, Thrush, Robins

Most birds will eat including fruit eating birds (Softbills), the cooking gelatinises the starch making it sweet and easy to digest, like popcorn. There is no husk.

It is more expensive than wheat, it is less weather proof, more dusty and does not feed through feeders as well

Black sunflowers

Tits, Sparrows and Finches

High oil content, some consumers see as a premium seed particularly in entry level mixes

Husk can make a mess so some customers avoid, a lot of birds cannot open husk to get to seed, time taken to dehull reduces amount consumed and exposes bird to increase predation

Sunflower Hearts

Almost all garden bird

No hull, no mess, no grow, customer love them, birds love them, up to 60% oil so high energy

Second choice for insect and fruit eating birds

Dari (red and white)

Sparrows, finches, reed buntings and collared doves

Customer often see Dari more positively than wheat and as a small exotic seed adding variety to the mix. Red Dari can also be used to add colour to a mix. More palatable and nutritious in cooked mixes and stops the Dari growing

Not dissimilar to wheat nutritionally or in regards to bird preference, grows easily if not cooked

Millet

Sparrows, dunnocks, finches, reed buntings and collared doves

Customer like millet as it looks a small easy to eat shiny seed. It is seen as an exotic seed adding variety to the mix and attracting a broader range of birds. Red Millet can add colour. More palatable and nutritious in cooked mixes.

Millet has a husk that birds remove by rolling across their tongue and beak, some birds avoid millet and it grows easily if not cooked, it has a low oil content

Whole Oats

Sparrows, Doves, Pigeons, Pheasant, other birds as a second choice

Higher in oil that wheat, cheaper, looks different to wheat and gives more variety in the mixes in regards the number of seeds

Very hard to dehull, few birds can do it and and birds struggle to eat it whole. Likely to be discarded and grow. Less preferable to birds than wheat

Peeled Oats

Almost all birds, but very popular with robins

High oil content, dehulled so easy to eat and less mess

Will always have around 10% still with husk and will grow

Pinhead Oat Meal

Almost all birds, but very popular with robins and good for young birds

Like Peeled Oats but chopped to can be eaten quick and by smaller birds

Expensive can be dusty

Flaked Peeled Oats

Almost all birds, but very popular with robins and softbills.

Cooked oats have a positive preception as a super food in humans and customers like them. Like Peeled Oats with high oil but cooked and flaked so will not grow will be more palatable. Protein will also be more soluble due to the rolling

Can be more dusty and confused with rolled wheat

Kibbled Maize

Sparrows, Doves, Pigeons, Pheasant, other birds as a second choice

Higher in energy than wheat with a higher starch level, adds colour to mixes, cost effective, will not grow

Can be pulled out by bird and discarded making a mess, low oil content, can be dusty

Flaked Maize

Blackbird, Thrush, Robins

Less dusty than kibbled maize as cooked, attractive in the mix, easy to digest

Cannot be fed through feeders, lower oil content

Flaked Maize Ruby

Blackbird, Thrush, Robins

Same as Flaked Maize, but higher in Protein and Sugar, so nutritionally superior and added a red colour to the mix

Cannot be fed through feeders

Peanuts

House sparrows, nuthatches, great spotted woodpeckers, coal tits and siskins

High oil content around 50% and well stablished as a good food for wild birds. Full of essential oils and protein

Young birds can choke so feed whole nuts through a mesh feeder April to August. Consumers are aware of the risk of Aflatoxin and that they need to buy for a reputable supplier

Kibbled Peanuts

House sparrows, nuthatches, great spotted woodpeckers, coal tits, siskins, robins, dunnocks and even wrens

Highly palatable to some of the most desirable bird, can be fed throughout the breeding and fledgling season April-August. Can be feed through most feeders. Less likely to have a risk of Aflatoxin as blanched (skins have been removed)

Expensive compared to sunflower hearts

Nyjer Seed

Goldfinches, Siskins, Greenfinches and Redpolls

High oil content, attracts some of the less common and more colourful, can be fed through a Nyjer Seed feeders that avoid larger birds feeding

Grows quickly

Meal Worms

Robins, Blue Tits, Dunnock, Pied Wagtails, Wrens, Blackbirds, Robin

A convenient way to feed insectivorous (insect eating) birds, which are some of the most popular and fun garden birds

Bit of a smell

Raisins / Sultanas

Black birds, Thrush, Robins

Favourite for fruit eating birds, high sugar content, seen as a premium ingredient by customers

Dust can stick to raisins making them look less attractive, also should not be feed to dogs in large amounts

Suet Pellet - Pink

All most all bird, from Wrens to Starlings

Excellent high energy winter food, adds colour to mixes and attract most birds, suitable for most types of feeders

The pellets can crumble if stored incorrectly

Oil - rapeseed

 

Adds gloss to the mixes and lots of Omega and energy

 

Vit & Min Supplement

 

Vitamins and Minerals are essential for birds general health, some of which they may struggle to get continuously in the wild

 
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