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Peanuts for birds

Sure i read somewhere a while ago that whilst peanuts are obviously good for birds, there can be problems if nuts are slightly "dodgy".

so , how long do we leave them in the feeder for iff their not being eaten ?.



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,544

    If they aren't being eaten, I think someone is trying to tell you something.......image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Whole peanuts are deadly for nestlings.  The parents take them back for the youngsters and they are too big for them to swallow.

    Caterpillars and other treats are far more tempting at the moment.  Mealworms will attract robins and blackbirds, which like to feed on the ground.

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 3,362

    Hi jackarmy,

    I just looked this up first in case I was talking rubbish but it is possible to buy peanuts already 'dodgy' as some of the lower grade ones have something called aflatoxin which apparently can build up in the birds body leading to death. 

    I would tip the peanuts out the feeder and see if they look okay. Sometimes they get manky at the bottom of the feeder but it's difficult to tell from the outside.




  • burhinusburhinus Posts: 58

    Victoria is spot on. Several years ago the Birdfoods Standards Association was formed. Now the Birdcare Standards Association.  They aim to sell quality bird food which is aflatoxin free.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,040

    If the peanuts are sticking together or looking a bit mouldy, throw them away and clean and rinse the feeders thoroughly.   It's fine to offer them in feeders as they can't get whole ones out that will then choke their babies.   Don't offer them as loose feed.  

    I keep all my peanut, fat ball, insect block and loose seed feeders topped up all year so that I have healthy adults prodcing healthy eggs and with the energy to forage for insects and larvae to feed their young who need juicy food for its moisture as much as its protein to grow well.  It works very well and I never have to spray for pests.

    However at certain periods of the year they forage in my garden, local fields and woods so consumption of my offerings slows down.  Even the best quality peanuts can get a bit mouldy if left long enough, particularly in wet conditions so it's just a case of regular checking and cleaning as necessary.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LavandeLavande Posts: 171

    The other day I bought a box with three feeding containers - one mixed, one peanuts and the other sunflowers. Yesterday I was about to open and hang up the individual feeders when I noticed that the date was May 2014. It's a reputable chain and this is a brand new branch and not very close so I'm a bit annoyed.  I'm wondering if it's a misprint because the nuts etc look very fresh but I'm not going to risk it and i don't think I'll go for the same thing if peanuts are a concern.  I also bought a tub of mealy worms specifically for the robins but my robins seem to be a bit elusive at the moment but the worms are dried and have a good sell by date so will be there for them when they need them.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,040

    They'll be fine and probably all gone by the end of May anyway.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 3,362

    I think I'd risk it but I think the shop should have sold it reduced...

  • LavandeLavande Posts: 171

    Certainly at the rate they are feeding they wouldn't last long and realistically they probably would be fine for a couple of months after the date has expired I suppose. But that really leaves me feeling obliged to put all three out together and I have other food out so on principle I'll probably take them back- all the other packets and tubs I bought are dated 2015.  Well I'll see how the week goes - I might not have time to stick to my principles.  Yes, if I'd spotted the date in the shop I would have mentioned the date - I wouldn't have bought them but they would have had to reduce them.

    I'm watching them feed as I type and they really are gutsy little things at the momentimage

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 3,362

    Yes- I've ran out of bird foodimage Hopefully it'll turn up tomorrow...

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