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Fat balls in plastic NO



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    Yes WO, I haven't tried Aldi mix but lots of mixed seed contains stuff the birds can't or don't eat. I don't buy mixes any more.

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,941

    Some nice ideas above - has reminded me to buy some suet & seed.

    A word of caution if you are making your own fat balls - the RSPB site advises that fats containing salt & other preservatives are potentially toxic to birds & should be avoided.  Any fats from cooking meat should be used with caution.

    Similarly, peanuts which are stale may contain aflatoxin. For this reason nuts should only be sourced from a reliable retailer and should be stored in a suitable way.

    I'm hoping the links will post here:

    That's it - lecture over - happy bird feeding everyone!! image

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,029

    Enjoyed the lecture Topbirdimage  An informative site with good ideas.  I had forgotten about grated cheese for instance and have seen a few wrens under the hedge this year.

    Welshonion and nut - I'll make sure I get better quality seed than Aldi'simage

    I always buy mixed nuts at Christmas (heaven knows why because it's only me who'll eat any) and the birds love the walnuts, brazils etc.  A very expensive way to feed them thoughimage

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,941

    It's your gold plated feeder & porcelain drinking bowl they love really Lesley! imageimage

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,029

    Especially the magpies Topbird and who said it's platedimage

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,362

    Isn't it dogs that like using the 'porcelain drinking bowl' Topbird....image

    I always use good seed or mixes. The big cheap packs are usually full of barley so they attract large flocks of pigeons.

    They always used to tell you to feed the fat off the bacon to birds, robins in particular love it. Has that advice now  changed? image 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,941

    FG - I think it is to do with the levels of salt & nitrates used as part of the bacon curing process - high level of salt are toxic to birds. Some sites say to avoid bacon altogether but here is what the RSPB say - quote:

    "You can put out fat from unsalted cuts of meat in large pieces for the birds. Birds, such as tits, can remove morsels from them. Make sure they are well anchored to prevent large birds flying away with the whole piece! This kind of food can attract magpies and gulls, and also neighbourhood cats. If this is likely to be a problem, it's best avoided.

    There is a lot of debate about the suitability of bacon rind, since much of it is salted during the curing process. As long as you can be sure the bacon is not salty, you can put it on your bird table. Since bacon can be too tough for many birds to tackle, chopping it finely will allow a wider variety of birds to eat it"

    I thought it was also interesting that the RSPB do not recommend using any fat that comes off cooked meat - quote

    "Fat from cooking is bad for birds. The problem with cooked fat from roasting tins and dishes is that the meat juices have blended with the fat and when allowed to set, this consistency makes it prone to smearing, not good for birds' feathers. It is a breeding ground for bacteria, so potentially bad for birds' health. Salt levels depend on what meat is used and if any salt is added during cooking.

    Lard and beef suet on their own are fine as they re-solidify after warming and as they are pure fat, it is not as suitable for bacteria to breed on."

    The RSPB site says you can feed cheese - but I find that confusing as cheese has high salt levels!

    I think I'll stick to fat balls, seeds & nuts - although they apparently like baked potatoes as well!! (With or without sour cream & chives Lesley image)

    Just hope I haven't poisoned too many birds over the years in my ignorance!


    PS I like Alan's point in his original posting about getting some TV coverage about the harm that can be done by the netting on fat balls - I found a dead blue tit with a broken leg caught in one several years ago - absolutely heartbreaking - always remove the net now or make my own.

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,029

    It's the caviar I'm worrying about nowimage I'm sure the leftovers will be too saltyimage

    Always willing to learn Topbird. Keep tips comingimage

    Fairy our dog would never do that.  She has a Wedgwood water bowl.  True.  We were given a casserole dish as a wedding present, broke the lid and it's been a dog bowl ever sinceimage

  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,540

    Bumped for everyone image

    Really informative and important x

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 15,132

    I use a container like the one Dove posted on the previous page. But before that I never had a bird with its feet caught. Better be safe than sorry though.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
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