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Bird seed

I am looking for recommendations for wild bird seed with no waste - we find so much has been dropped below the bird table, which could attract vermin.  If we had a saucer under the feeder then the wasted would just fill the saucer. I am assuming the waste is husks after the birds have eaten the seed, or perhaps the manufacturer has added filler to bulk up the weight.  It just seems so messy and a waste of our money. Where and what do you use or do you have the same problem?


  • Sometimes there are husks, like on black sunflower seeds, but cheaper seed mixes are generally bulked up with oats or barley that the birds don't like or bother to eat.
    There's never any waste from sunflower hearts. I fill a feeder with each and they only eat the seed mix after they've eaten all the sunflowers.
    I get them and a decent seedmix from Little Peckers, half the price online  compared with buying elsewhere and they deliver within a day or two.
    Not that waste is a problem here, as my ducks wait under the feeders and scavenge every crumb - there have been no mystery plants germinating either!
  • I have the same problem, lots of filler in the big bags I buy at Costco. The one pigeon, three partridges and jack rabbits will eat the filler but I am still cleaning up a lot of it every week.
    So last week I invited my two sister along to visit the wild bird store with me. They loved the place and I was also impressed but the seed prices were high. All kinds of bird seeds and I settled on a 40 pound bag of their special blend. It has both the large and small sunflowers in the shell, small sunflower seeds shelled, peanuts and a couple other seeds. Well that bag cost me $61. I have only been using it for my bird feeding along the river. I'll stick to the cheap stuff for my yard.
    The Wild Bird Store special mix

  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,174
    What kind of birds do you get? It makes a difference since some birds are messy eaters, like goldfinches, and some are really good at cleaning up, like wood pigeons. So many bird seed mixes have wheat in them though as a cheap filler and hardly anything eats it.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,946
    I use sunflower hearts for most of the feeders, and a couple of feeders contain ‘robin’ mix which contains stuff suitable for small softbilled birds like robins ... they’re a little more expensive than the mixes containing a lot of grain, but we get virtually no waste/mess below the feeders and (fingers crossed) they’re not attracting vermin. 

    We feed the birds all year round, buying several bags when the garden centre has a special offer on. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,985
    I only buy the sunflower hearts (Little Peckers) as most birds seem to like them but an awful lot gets wasted as we have a flock (charm?) of goldfinches who are very messy eaters as Wild Edges says. At the moment we have a large pile on the ground which keeps the pigeons and squirrels happy, but it does get vile after a time. I've tried all methods to keep the area clean but have now given up. Occasionally I chuck some MPC on top and churn it up, assuming it will rot down like compost eventually. 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,226
    My feeders are above the patio slabs so I can see how much mess is left. The only waste I see is from Niger seed husks which I sweep up, but my seed mix is cleared up by a variety of ground feeders. The mix is bought loose from a local farm animal feed shop and is a good mix with little waste, which is why I have to ground feed too usually sunflower hearts.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,074
    I wouldnt buy anything but this, everything in it, suet, meal worms sunflower hearts, although through this very cold weather I am adding a few more hearts. Never a bit of waste, there’s something for everyone all in one feeder.
    Added bonus, nothing sprouts.    I wouldn’t use sunflower seeds in shells, that is a waste, half the weight in shells on the ground. Messy.
    (Don’t know if they would deliver to you though GD)

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 2,684
    Glad you brought this subject up @Guernsey Donkey2 as I was going to start a similar thread myself. The bird feeders hang from the trees but I only have a choice of them being over my plants or over the grassy area. Had to keep them away from the plants as the seeds were germinating and choking them. So they are hanging over the grassy area. Underneath the Nyjer seeds I now have a little mountain of what would appear to be husks which are of no interest to the ground feeding birds. They feed the goldfinches and although there is a guard to catch anything they still fall to the ground. If I put something underneath on the ground to catch them it will stop the grass from growing I feel as though I am in a no win situation. Obviously can't stop feeding the birds.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,074
    Try the one I recommended Fran, no grow.
    i bought niger seeds as we had a lot of Gold Finches, do they eat them, no, they flick it on the ground and go for the sunflower seeds. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,226
    As they are black would it be possible to just brush them into the grass in winter and mow them up in summer @Fran IOM .🤔
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