Expensive birdseed really worth it?

summerstarDecember 24, 2010

Am thinking of getting back into bird feeding again. When I use to feed birds 12 or so years ago I remember using big box feed once and the birds seemed to toss most of it on the ground. Relocating here I've heard a radio commercial advertising a bird seed called Lyric Supreme. running $22.99 per 20# bag. I'd love to use it, but it's big $$$. Are there any big company feeds available that are somewhere in the middle and still are really good? Any advice would sure be appreciated.

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donald lucius

a lot depends on which birds you are wanting to feed. and if you have a farm and ranch store nearby. For example if you buy black oil sunflower seed from a grocery or hardware store you pay as mush as $10 dollars for a small bag of seed but at a feed store you might get a 50 lb bag for 12 to 15 dollars. If you don't mind feeding the doves and blackbirds and pigeons and squirrels you can get a bag of Chicken feed often called hen scratch or chicken scratch
about 7 or 8 dollars for a 50 lb bag at the farm store.
if you want to feed chickades and nuthatches woodpeckers the hanging type birds invest in a hanging upside down feeder that the perching birds can't hang on to eat. If you want to feed the little birds and keep out the bigger ones invest in a cage type feeder. some of the song birds prefer the fruit and nut seed mixes. which tend to be higher price. the tube feeders with short tiny perches often keep the pest birds from eating. Big R ranch and feed stores around here carry a good all around mixed bird seed for 12 or 13 dollars a bag of 50 lb. go back thru some of the older posts as there are lots of posts on your questions.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 6:24PM
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Here in Baltimore County the best feed we have found is at ACE Hardware. The birds love it and cleanup every bit of it. Others we have tried there seems to be so much waste. Steve S.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 1:09PM
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dklucius: Squirrels don't need our help as there are plenty of oak and hickory trees growing here. I want to feed most other wild birds. Your suggestion about feed stores triggered my memory about one nearby, so thanks for your input.

And for the other person who replied: I'll see about Ace Hardware's product. How does the label on the Ace Hardware bird feed read? Since you've had success with it, that's the one I'd want to try.

I'll check older posts for tips. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 2:15PM
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donald lucius

we don't get any tree squirrels here just a few ground squirrels that live in tunnels under a bush or shrub. they can climb a tree but most often are ground feeders. Eating seeds and grasses and the pits from fruit and they store lots of food in the tunnels for winter when you rarely see them. Too cold a climate for nuts and just some oak brush with little acorns. So they are not really too much of a pest. and they clean up the bird seed on the ground that the birds don't cleanup. I buy the chicken feed and put
some out on a big baking sheet and the doves and blackbirds and juncos and the flickers and lewis's woodpeckers love the cracked corn and the wheat berrys in the feed. The Little Wings bird mix i get at the feed store
has millet and corn and boss and put it in the tube feeders and hopper feeders. in summer i have the necter and jelly feeders for the oerioles and hummers. and a screen wire feeder with sunflower seeds and chopped nut and raisen ect. that the woodpeckers and chickadees and nuthatches love. Also put out suet or sorghum mix in cages that are a real treat for a lot of the birds. I keep pans on water out in warm weather and when it freezes have a heated bird bath that really draws the birds. I don't buy
the bird mix from the big box stores or some of the grocery or hardware stores that use Milo for a filler as it's the least liked of any seed i can get.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 5:21PM
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This is right up my alley as I buy alot of bird food! The small stores that cater to birds have high prices on their feed so I go to a seed store here near Denver that gets truckloads of small oiled sunflower seeds from Kansas- like said here about $12. for 25 lbs. I can buy any size bag I want so I get all 25lb bags which I can carry. Peanuts in the shell for the bluejays are somewhat less than $1.00 per lb. I also get safflower seeds to feed where I don't want squirrels. I buy suet at Home Depot at $1.19 for a small block-I buy 2 doz at a time- I have seen the same elsewhere for up to $2.50-highway robbery!!! I buy cheaper apples at the grocery and cut in half- anchor on tall nail on wood for robins. Yes the bird seed mixtures are often too full of fillers birds don't eat. My dear sister gave me one of those bird feeders that send the squirrels flying when they try to use it- it's great!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 4:16PM
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We have a Tractor Supply store near us, and I buy 40lb bags of Black Oil Sunflower Seed there for $16.99. That will last you quite a while. A huge variety of songbirds adore BOSS, and if you don't feed anything other than that and some peanut or woodpecker suet (99cents at Tractor Supply), you will get a wide variety of birds to feed. In addition to those 2 things, I do sometimes splurge on a FRUIT/NUT mix to put out a little at a time in a big saucer. The dried fruit in particular will attract some birds that you might not otherwise see at seed feeders, such as Bluebirds, Robins, Mockingbirds, Catbirds, Warblers, etc... Tractor Supply sells a nice fruit/nut mix which runs $8/7lbs or $20/15lbs. I also pick up a nice fruit/nut mix at Walmart sometimes. I don't fill my feeders with the expensive stuff though! With the BOSS, whatever the birds at the feeders drop, the birds who feed on the ground will eat. The one thing that I do always avoid buying in the seed mixes is millet/milo. I know that some birds love it, but it seems to draw in all of the undesirable birds here in my yard. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 7:47PM
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Thanks for all the tips. We're trying out the Ace Hardware brand someone here said was good. They had three 20# bags of their brand seed for $9.99. Yes! I said three for $10!
The sale is over on December 31.

Thanks to your replies I've made a list of what type of seed attracts which birds and that was valuable. The dollar cost was helpful too. We have a Tractor Supply fairly close so will check this out the next time we take a trip into town. Good and practical advice here! And Happy New Year!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 7:29AM
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