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what can I feed the birds from the cupboard?
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# 1
sparklygirl1
Old 09-01-2010, 11:23 PM
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Default what can I feed the birds from the cupboard?

I don't feed the birds usually but I am worried about them. What can I put out for them that they can eat safely? ie bread, crushed up cornflakes?! I know they might not eat anything as not usually there so they don't know where to look but I can only try! Thanks in advance and sorry if I'm talking rubbish, just wish I had some bird seed!
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# 2
nmm
Old 09-01-2010, 11:31 PM
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Thats really nice of you, the birds will be grateful You can feed them cereal and bread as you mentioned, cake, raisins, oats anything like that really, some more useful suggestions here
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# 3
exup
Old 10-01-2010, 12:33 AM
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if you have any bacon then cut up pieces of bacon rind then garden birds will go for that
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# 4
knithryn
Old 10-01-2010, 8:38 AM
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We use a block of lard and melt it, pour it over porrige oats, cut up apple, raisins, cheese and any random ends of bread.

Way back in the middle of summer I was lucky enough to get bags of mealworm crumble at 25 pence each so I must have bought about 30 bags. They sat in the shed. Now they are being used.
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# 5
foxgloves
Old 10-01-2010, 11:29 AM
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Bread doesn't have all that many nutrients in it for birds in the really cold weather when what they most need is sources of fat, but i still put it out along with other stuff because I always think it'll help to fill an empty tummy if nothing else. This week (before we got to the market & restocked on bird seed & peanuts, etc), we put out snipped up meat fat, leftover suet from Christmas, raisins, chopped up apples which had gone all wrinkly & porridge oats. Also important that they have some water, not just to drink, but because apparently they need to bathe in order to keep their feathers waterproof so they can fluff them up & keep warm. We melted the ice on our birdbath yesterday (10cms of snow in our garden) and I thought no bird in its right mind would want a bath in this freezing weather, but 2 little sparrows had jumped in within ten mins, so we are going to try & thaw it every day now.
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# 6
Marsh Samphire
Old 10-01-2010, 12:06 PM
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I heard someone on the radio the other day talking about putting a metal baking tray on bricks with tea lights/candles underneath.

Also see
http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpin...er/icefree.asp
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# 7
Winter Jasmine
Old 10-01-2010, 12:44 PM
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I know what you mean, I feel so sorry for the poor little things

If you've got a Netto near you they're doing packs of 6 fat balls for 49p - I just crumble them up on the floor and even the little sparrows will hop down for it (have tried hanging them up but the little birds only come around when it's really cold and they just go for where the wood pigeons and doves feed). I also put out raisins and mix bird seed with either meat fat or vegetable oil.

My Mum & Dad have cultivated a thriving community of birds in their garden (aka made a rod for their backs!) - the blackbirds knock on the kitchen window! My Mum bakes scones every morning to put out as it makes the raisins/sultanas go further (the birds there will easily eat a bag a day otherwise!

I've been putting out warm water for them each day - not sure if this is a good thing but can't think of a better solution (any advice gratefully received).
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# 8
nikki702
Old 10-01-2010, 1:25 PM
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I have a whole bag of skinners ruff and ready dog food ... my dog dont like it so do you think i could feed that to the birds?
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# 9
Winter Jasmine
Old 10-01-2010, 2:45 PM
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One thing I've heard is a definite no-no is rice, even if it's cooked as it can still swell inside their stomachs and cause serious problems - don't know if it's just an urban myth but I wouldn't want to risk it.

nikki702 - I'm not an expert by anymeans but it doesn't look to me like there's anything dodgy in the food - might as well give it a try unless anyone else knows better? I always feel a bit weird giving them animal fats but commercially available bird foods contain suet so I suppose it must be ok
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# 10
Optimisticpair
Old 10-01-2010, 6:58 PM
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Once you start feeding birds they soon get to know where to drop in but I hear it's best to keep on providing it because they will come back and use up precious energy flying into to your garden looking for it. If it's not there the bird has wasted energy and has to expend more flying to the next feeding station.

RSPB website is a good place to find out what scraps you could feed I think its only when there are chicks you need to worry about rice.
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# 11
Taadaa
Old 10-01-2010, 7:06 PM
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I shut my cats in the house yesterday and lobbed some nuts and seeds from the cupboard onto the lawn. We tend to get robins and blackbirds but I don't normally feed them and don't have any mealworm. Poor things have been nigh on getting run over for searching the only bit not covered in snow for food - the road!!
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# 12
Mamzie
Old 10-01-2010, 7:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsh Samphire View Post
I heard someone on the radio the other day talking about putting a metal baking tray on bricks with tea lights/candles underneath.

Also see
http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpin...er/icefree.asp
thats a fab idea, will try this tomorrow, thanks, xxx
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# 13
giantmutantbroccoli
Old 10-01-2010, 8:25 PM
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Pretty much anything that doesn't contain salt. Birds are very bad at getting rid of salt from their food and too much can kill them. It can be very easy to give them too much especially if the birds you're feeding are small. I'd be wary of giving them bacon fat or rind for that reason. If you have leftover salted or dry-roasted nuts you can wash the salt or seasoning off no problem.
If you have any off milk you can leave it to go lumpy/solid and then feed it them.
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# 14
toomuchmess
Old 10-01-2010, 9:18 PM
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has all the things to feed/not to feed here

http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpin...ood/index.aspx
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# 15
toomuchmess
Old 10-01-2010, 9:19 PM
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ignore this,just confused! thanks!

Last edited by toomuchmess; 10-01-2010 at 9:22 PM.
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# 16
moomin5
Old 11-01-2010, 5:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikki702 View Post
I have a whole bag of skinners ruff and ready dog food ... my dog dont like it so do you think i could feed that to the birds?
This is it HERE

Ingredients

Protein pellets containing beef meat meal,
wheat glucose syrup, cooked flaked maize,
extruded wholewheat biscuits, cooked flaked
peas, cooked wheatflakes, soya oil, vitamins
and minerals.
Best to soak it as dry food usually swells a lot, hot/warm water will soften it the quickest. When i helped out at the kennels they soaked the dry food in big tubs outside and the birds would come and help themselves. Perhaps be careful where and how much you put out so your not attracting rats/mice also.

Its probably better use to offer the bag to a local dog rescue, they often have collection points in supermarkets and pets at home.
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# 17
MrsTinks
Old 12-01-2010, 1:08 PM
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I've restarted my nan's tradition of making my own fatballs - well... fat cylinders really... You take an old food can and make a hole in the bottom (I used the corkscrew LOL). Then take a string and thread it through - fasten with a piece of cardboard or similar. I sealed the hole with some congealed lamb fat from the sunday roast added crunched leftover cereal from breakfast and I'll add to it as I go When done you can either cut open the bottom with tin opener and warm the tin a little and slide it out the top or just leave the top and bottom open and hang the whole tin
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# 18
Newbird
Old 13-01-2010, 3:52 PM
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Just bumping this to remind everyone. I'm sure keen gardeneers are bird fans too!

Some great ideas above, it really is a life saver in this weather.

It has been snowing non stop all day here. I've had 10 blackbirds in my small top garden today, they and especially Robins are very territorial, so some squabbling over the food will happen. Please make sure you put food out in more than one area, so the ones bullied off can still get some food.

Old apples cut in half are soon gone, but again spread the halves rather than putting all in one area.

Water is also important, I put several water bowls out too.
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# 19
The_Wall
Old 14-01-2010, 12:36 PM
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Any suggestions for naturally occuring food at this time of the year. We did use to put out food, but it encouraged the rats. And London rats are not nocturnal. I saw one trying to climb the tree to get to the fat balls we left out, and this was in the middle of the day

So far we have ivy, holly and virburnum all have which have berries during the winter.

Then there is a greengage and pear tree, which I assume harbour small creatures as recently I have seen the blue tits and even a greater spotted woodpecker pecking at something in the trees.

Any other plants that could be useful at this time of the year?
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# 20
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Old 14-01-2010, 4:11 PM
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Rats are cheeky and the colder it gets the more daring they will get - they can't help being rats, they've got to eat too!

Blackbirds love Pyracantha, birds will eat Hawthorn haws/berries too.

You can push sultanas into the tree bark and spread peanut butter onto it as well, for the Woodpeckers and Nuthatches - you may be lucky enough to get a Treecreeper, but I'm not sure how often these are seen in urban areas.

I always leave trimming back my ivy until the berries have finished in Feb/March to allow the birds to get them. The flowers are a very important food and nectar source in late Autumn for bees, my overgrown Ivy was buzzing with them this year.
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