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Bird Feed

  • Premium bird houses from Holland
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  • Seeds, titmouse dumplings, bird pizzas and suet blocks from
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Bird feed / titmice dumplings

Life is difficult for animals when the weather gets worse in the winter. All birds that spend the winter here, rather than flying to warmer lands like migratory birds, have difficulty finding enough food to eat. So, it has become established practice for us humans to make life easier for our feathered friends Titmice dumplings and other types of feed significantly increase the survival rate of animals. Of course, bird feed is also used in homes throughout the year for feathered friends kept in cages or aviaries.

Different types of bird feed.

Many of us would like to help, but are often confused by the huge choice of food available in the shops and don’t want to do anything wrong. In fact, to a certain extent, there are major differences between the various pre-mixed products which soon leads to the question: How can I find the right bird feed in the winter? Fortunately, the whole affair is not rocket science, and your choice can be guided by various criteria. In general, bird feed can be divided into the following types:

  • grain feed and seeds (dry feed)
  • titmice dumplings
  • fat products with vegetable and / or animal fat
  • wild bird feed
  • dried insects

The dry bird feed category in itself offers the most varied combinations and individual options, from seed and grain to sunflower seeds or cereal flakes.

Bird feed for domestic aviculture

Don’t forget: In most cases, bird feed from a pet shop or store is suitable either for exotic birds kept at home or for winter feeding for wild birds. Only in rare cases is it possible to use one feed mixture for both groups of birds. This is because exotic birds often come from far off lands and require completely different nutrition. Their vitamin and nutrient requirements are different to those of wild native birds as they don’t fly, nest or brood out in the wild and are not exposed to the weather either

If you wish to feed exotic birds, it’s quite easy to do. One glance at the product description or diagrams on the packaging make it clear which birds will happily eat the feed. For example, parrot food, canary food, budgerigar food, exotic bird food and finch food can be purchased. Industrially processed exotic bird food contains everything that the birds could wish for. We don’t advise mixing the different types of feed yourself because, as an amateur, it’s difficult to know exactly what the birds require and in what amounts. This is not the case for wild bird feed for the winter.

Wild bird feed for winter fodder

How do you know which bird feed is right for wild birds? In most cases, this depends on the creature’s beak and also partly on its size, age and natural living conditions. Some birds are classed as granivores or grain eaters. With their strong beak they can eat hard seeds, hemp seed and sunflower seeds without any problem. Alternatively, chopped nuts form part of the food mixture. Sparrows, finches and buntings belong to this group of wild birds. Greenfinches, siskins, hawfinches, goldfinches and bullfinches have complex, sharp-cutting granivore beaks. Forest bird feed and canary food from pet shops are generally a good recommendation for grain feed combinations. Therefore, seeds and kernels are extremely important for many birds because they contain precious fats and acids. Thus, for example in the USA, an exceptional regulation has been passed legalising the use of hemp seed in bird food. As the (German) saying goes – “Without hemp, a bird won’t sing”. In addition, hemp seed is conducive to developing beautiful, strong feathers and helps to keep the bird healthy. Equally essential for the health of the birds are components such as gamma-linolenic acid or GLA.

The opposite of this are birds described as soft fodder eaters or insect eaters. As their name suggests, these birds are not able to cope with hard feed. Soft food such as insects and fine, easy to crush seeds are suitable for their beaks. This group mainly includes the types of bird that search for their food on the ground. A large portion of insect eaters belong to the migratory bird group, as insects are too difficult to find in nature during the winter months. Examples of non-migratory soft food eaters include blackbirds, wrens, robins, starlings and hedge sparrows. Skylarks, nightingales, waxwings, wagtails and meadow pipits are also included in this group of song birds, however they are timid and are unlikely to take advantage of bird feeding in the garden. The feed mixture for this type of song bird should contain wheat bran, poppy seeds, oats and fruit such as berries. The basis is suet, sometimes combined with edible oil.

It’s easier to find the right feed for birds known as omnivores. This type of bird will be happy with anything you offer them. The greater the choice the better, as then the birds will be nourished with precious nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Omnivore birds enjoy feeding rings, fat / seed combinations and (crumbled) suet blends. Even mixed bird feed or freely compiled feed has its advantages, however you need to know what is harmless for your feathered garden visitors. They should not be given bread or other pastries, or other human food as this can cause digestive disorders, or there is the risk that the birds could choke on large pieces of food. When making your purchase, it’s also important to bear the following point in mind: If possible, the bird feed should not contain any ragweed (common ragweed seeds), as this can lead to allergic reactions to pollen. Only a tiny portion per food mixture is tolerated by law.

Titmice dumplings – the classic among bird feed products

How did titmice dumplings get their name? The answer to this question, often asked by children, is really simple: In fact, titmice love all kinds of food. Generally known as fat balls, the product looks like a ball or dumpling and is hung up. This popular winter feed was specially designed to match the needs of blue tits, great tits, varied tits and many other tit species, but other birds (omnivores) can enjoy it too. The most common ingredients in tit dumplings include:

  • wheat flakes or oats
  • sunflower seeds
  • animal or vegetable fat (suet, coconut oil)
  • nuts
  • berries or other fruit
  • optional additional (dried) insects

In addition to the well-balanced feed mixture, which can be digested by many bird species, there is another advantage to this tried-and-tested product. The titmice dumplings save you having to set up containers and, to some extent, also mean that you don’t need a bird house. The dumplings can simply be hung up like a decoration. The branch of a tree or special devices such as titmice dumpling holders are suitable for this. Fat balls can be easily attached to the branches of bushes, the roof, hooks or similar suitable devices on the balcony or patio. The same goes for homemade titmice dumplings for which you need suitable nets for containing the contents. If the mesh of the net is too large, the food will fall out of it. Too narrow, and it will be difficult for the birds to reach the titmice feed.

One of the main advantages of titmice dumplings is the following: The fact that they are hung up makes them safe for birds. While eating, the birds sit directly on the feeding ball rather than in a bird house or on a support. The latter can make them the perfect target for cats and other predators, whereas they can sit safely on feeding balls, pick out enough food and quickly fly away.

Bird feeding made easy

Not only is it important to choose healthy bird feed suitable for the species of bird, but it’s also essential to give the food to them in the right way. If you leave the feed openly lying around, this may well attract feathered visitors to your garden, however the animal feed also runs the risk of becoming damp or rotting, drying out or soiling the ground. Therefore, you should at least use a tray or practical titmice ring if not hanging up titmice dumplings. An even better idea is to invest in a bird feeder. The advantages are clear: When eating, the birds are protected from the wind and weather and also from dangerous animals. If you give them the bird feed in a bird house, they automatically have more time to eat to their fill, whereas frightened, unprotected birds will only be able to grab a quick beak-full of feed before flying off or looking for a safe place to enjoy their meal.

If you would like to buy a bird house, a choice of various different designs is available. These differ in size, attachment type, materials and purpose. Usually, bird houses are made of wood, and have a roof and at least one opening for the feathered friends to fly in and out. Ideally, there should be enough space to accommodate several birds inside. In most cases, the bird house stands on a post in the garden, or it can be fixed to a tree or to the side of the house. In rarer cases, it can also be hung up. We warmly recommend designer bird houses made of materials other than wood, and featuring several storeys, and a built-in nesting box or with titmice dumpling hangers. If, on the other hand, you prefer to narrow it down to the necessary essentials, a titmice dumpling holder is to be recommended. A titmice dumpling holder offers one or more ways to hang up the fat balls. The only disadvantage of this is that the wild bird feed is exposed to the cold, rain, frost, snow and wind, and in serious cases can rot or become mouldy. Therefore, it’s important to find the right place to attach the fat balls. If attached under the protection of a tree or under the roof, the fat balls are not at the mercy of the weather, and the hungry creatures will also be able to enjoy the feeling of security while eating. It’s also possible to buy a bird bath, however this is more suitable for use in the summer rather than the winter.

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