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    • nmm
    • By nmm 9th Jan 10, 11:31 PM
    • 1,660 Posts
    • 7,837 Thanks
    nmm
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 10, 11:31 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 10, 11:31 PM
    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
    Cross Stitch Cafe Challenge Member No1 / WIP: JNM Safari Leopard
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  • exup
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 10, 12:33 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 10, 12:33 AM
    if you have any bacon then cut up pieces of bacon rind then garden birds will go for that
    Don't try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig
  • knithryn
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 10, 8:38 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 10, 8:38 AM
    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.
    • foxgloves
    • By foxgloves 10th Jan 10, 11:29 AM
    • 3,116 Posts
    • 12,841 Thanks
    foxgloves
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 10, 11:29 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 10, 11:29 AM
    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.
  • Marsh Samphire
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 10, 12:06 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 10, 12:06 PM
    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/helpingbirds/water/icefree.asp
    Marsh Samphire
    • Winter Jasmine
    • By Winter Jasmine 10th Jan 10, 12:44 PM
    • 778 Posts
    • 6,183 Thanks
    Winter Jasmine
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 10, 12:44 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 10, 12:44 PM
    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).
    "Don't sacrifice what you want most for what you want now"

    MFW: Mortgage Cleared!!! 14 1/2 years early
    • nikki702
    • By nikki702 10th Jan 10, 1:25 PM
    • 1,037 Posts
    • 1,498 Thanks
    nikki702
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 10, 1:25 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 10, 1:25 PM
    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.
    2014
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    • Winter Jasmine
    • By Winter Jasmine 10th Jan 10, 2:45 PM
    • 778 Posts
    • 6,183 Thanks
    Winter Jasmine
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 10, 2:45 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 10, 2:45 PM
    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
    "Don't sacrifice what you want most for what you want now"

    MFW: Mortgage Cleared!!! 14 1/2 years early
    • Optimisticpair
    • By Optimisticpair 10th Jan 10, 6:58 PM
    • 631 Posts
    • 1,854 Thanks
    Optimisticpair
    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.
    No longer half of Optimisticpair


    • Taadaa
    • By Taadaa 10th Jan 10, 7:06 PM
    • 2,004 Posts
    • 3,295 Thanks
    Taadaa
    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!!
    I have had many Light Bulb Moments. The trouble is someone keeps turning the bulb off

    1% over payments on cc 3.5/100 (March 2014)
    • Mamzie
    • By Mamzie 10th Jan 10, 7:14 PM
    • 2,474 Posts
    • 17,818 Thanks
    Mamzie
    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/helpingbirds/water/icefree.asp
    Originally posted by Marsh Samphire
    thats a fab idea, will try this tomorrow, thanks, xxx
    My light may be on, but that doesn't always mean I am looking at the PC - I am far more likely to be cuddling or feeding Tianna atm, so please don't think I am ignoring you if I don't reply quickly

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    • giantmutantbroccoli
    • By giantmutantbroccoli 10th Jan 10, 8:25 PM
    • 670 Posts
    • 1,349 Thanks
    giantmutantbroccoli
    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.
    Coffee +3 Dexterity +3 Willpower -1 Ability to Sleep

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  • toomuchmess
    has all the things to feed/not to feed here

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpingbirds/feeding/whatfood/index.aspx
  • toomuchmess
    ignore this,just confused! thanks!
    Last edited by toomuchmess; 10-01-2010 at 9:22 PM.
  • moomin5
    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.
    Originally posted by nikki702
    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.
    • MrsTinks
    • By MrsTinks 12th Jan 10, 1:08 PM
    • 14,155 Posts
    • 20,822 Thanks
    MrsTinks
    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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  • Newbird
    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.
    Bless Martin's Little Cotton Socks. I thank him for giving us MSE. Look what its grown into!

    MFW = ASAP #124
  • The_Wall
    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?
  • Newbird
    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.
    Bless Martin's Little Cotton Socks. I thank him for giving us MSE. Look what its grown into!

    MFW = ASAP #124
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