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Best value bird food?

Hello 🌤️

I have recently started putting out food for the birds. At the moment it’s a plate on the ground with meal worms and a table mix from RSPB which I buy from Homebase.

However, it is becoming quite costly!

If I be honest I would like to focus on feeding the small birds (the robin being my favourite!) however, the plate is raised daily by wood pigeons, magpies and a crow.  Even a trio of starlings which appear aggressive.

I cannot buy bird food at the current rate I am doing! 

Can anyone recommended anywhere I can purchase good quality bird feed that’s good value? 

I have thought about getting a cage to place over the plate, and will hopefully buy some bird feeders but I need the budget for other garden-related items at the moment 😅

Thank you 🐦‍⬛
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Posts

  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,429
    Cheap bird food is a false economy as most of it is bulked out with rubbish that only pigeons and rodents eat. I buy no-wheat no-mess mixes if I can. Keep the big birds out and feed less but make it better quality if you want to save money and help the brds. If I had to save money I'd just feed sunflower hearts from a hanging feeder and restrict the amount I fill it up with. Most small garden birds will get value from that and the big birds can fight over the fallen scraps.
    If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs, you may not have grasped the seriousness of the situation.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,674
    Unfortunately, you can't pick and choose which birds come into your garden for food.  If you want to concentrate on the smaller birds, than hanging feeders with sunflower hearts, and niger seed will encourage the likes of Tits, sparrows and finches.  Robins and Blackbirds prefer to feed on the ground but will also accept a table. You can adapt with "cages" which only allow small bird access.
    There are several suppliers of decent bird foods - Garden wildlife Direct and Haiths are 2 which I have used.  You need to decide what feed is best at which time of year so that you don't waste money needlessly.
    Just be aware that whatever you do, there are birds looking to feed their young and you may have to accept the odd raid by the bigger birds.
  • @wild edges thank you for your reply!

    Yes, I meant good quality but wanted recommendations of suppliers etc.  For example somewhere I can buy in bulk etc 

    Thank you for your suggestion- I have some other small birds that visit will check if they eat sunflower hearts 👍
  • Unfortunately, you can't pick and choose which birds come into your garden for food.  If you want to concentrate on the smaller birds, than hanging feeders with sunflower hearts, and niger seed will encourage the likes of Tits, sparrows and finches.  Robins and Blackbirds prefer to feed on the ground but will also accept a table. You can adapt with "cages" which only allow small bird access.
    There are several suppliers of decent bird foods - Garden wildlife Direct and Haiths are 2 which I have used.  You need to decide what feed is best at which time of year so that you don't waste money needlessly.
    Just be aware that whatever you do, there are birds looking to feed their young and you may have to accept the odd raid by the bigger birds.
    Thank you for the info! 💐 and your recommendations of suppliers - will have a look.

    The bigger birds needing to feed young 👍 absolutely didn’t even think of this; was just getting stressed at the quantities they were eating!
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    I buy a 20kg sack of Peckish complete from Amazon, it's about £38. That goes in the ground feeders, and a couple of feeders I made just for the little birds. It lasts me 3-4 weeks, lol! I add a few oats to it, and sometimes mealworms.
    I only use sunflower hearts in the hanging feeders now, (20kg of those too), and they're in constant use from sparrows, goldfinches, the odd blue tit and great tit and green finch, and the robins are even having a go now - they're not very good at balancing on the perch though. 😄 When I swapped the feed - it was just sparrows who used them before - that's when the others started coming. 
    I love the bigger birds too, and they do a really good job of cleaning up the spilages, so don't discount them entirely. 
    I have 6 or 7 dishes out though, it saves a lot of squabbling.
    I love it when the birds bring their youngsters to the garden and teach them about food, how to dig for worms an' all that.
    Have you got a water bowl, bird bath, pond.. something for the birds to drink is really important, especially in summer. They do love a bath too. 😊

  • I long ago resorted to squirrel proof feeders and nothing but sunflower hearts so that the squirrels, magpies, crows and wood pigeons/doves can’t get at the feed. 
    I mainly get goldfinches, bullfinches, chaffinches, greenfinches, tits , robins and sparrows but occasionally woodpeckers.
    the pigeons hang around at ground level clearing up what the finches discard. A bit of a service really as it avoids the rats arriving ! 

  • I forgot to say that I buy 15 or 20 kilo sacks of sunflower hearts off Amazon every few months .. currently £1.67 per kilo. About as cheap as you can get in my experience.
  • Absolutely right about the bird-bath, @Slow-worm .  During the summer, in urban areas  birds don't seem to have much trouble finding food, but water to drink and bathe in is a different proposition.  All sorts flock (an apposite use of the verb, donchathink !) to our garden for a drink and a splashabout in the bird bath.  So much splashing about that we have to top it up every day.
    When there's always biscuits in the tin, where's the fun in biscuits ?
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,429
    I harp on about this a lot but farmland birds are suffering a lot more than garden birds at the moment and buying cheap bird food is likely to be causing more harm to bird populations than it helps by feeding garden birds.
    If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs, you may not have grasped the seriousness of the situation.
  • @Slow-worm wow, I only have the one plate 🫢 thank you for sharing your practices! 

    I definitely do want to think about bird baths etc.  so many things to buy 😑 I love watching the birds - this winter seemed to drag on and on and I seem to live in the garden these days ☺️
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