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Can you eat bird food?

Thursday, 29th March 2018

As the title suggests we do sometimes get asked, “Can you eat bird food?” We like to tell our customers that our high-quality bird seed is super-clean and safe for birds; however, even though some of the ingredients we use in our bird diets are human food grade, bird food is for the birds.
Some customers reply, “If the birds can eat our seed, why is it not good enough for humans?” The main difference between human grade seed and bird seed is the production facility and storage conditions. Human grade seed warehouses quite rightly have very strict hygiene standards and are usually monitored by the government. We’ve long since argued that bird food companies should enforce robust quality control, and indeed Haith’s set the bar very high in this department as we have an award-winning quality control programme that’s audited by a specialist veterinary expert (our QC work can be seen here)
 
White millet is one of the oldest known foods that are consumed by birds and humans but the grain must be hulled for human consumption. Most bird seed millet still has the husks intact and that’s fine because some birds get enrichment from cracking open the tiny shell to get to the millet inside. Take a moment to watch the rolling action birds such as Greenfinches use to crack open husks.
 
So can you eat bird food? In a way, yes, you can - but buy it from your local health food shop or supermarket as ours is for the birds.
 
Birds eat an astonishing variety of items when they are available and just like humans they love to eat things like sunflower seeds and millet. However, we owe it to our garden birds to offer super-clean and dust free seeds.

Sunflower Hearts
 
Here at Haith’s, we are proud to say that we have an audited quality control programme as can be seen from the following infographic:
 
Infographic
 
Most propriety bird diets in the United Kingdom are not subject to screening or health-monitoring analysis other than visual, naked eye and manual checks for apparent quality and consistency.

Haith's, however, under the supervision of professor John E Cooper FRCVS, FRCpath, has introduced a Quality Control (QC) programme for its diets, based on laboratory testing. This helps to ensure that Haith's products intended for wild birds do not pose significant health risks. 

The additional value and safety of Haith's diets - because they have been subject to a laboratory testing QC procedure – is part of our SUPERCLEAN™ seed preparation process.

It is well-recognised that diets that are inadequate or unsatisfactory in quantity or quality, or both, may cause a bird to develop a deficiency or metabolic disease and compromise its welfare. Food items that are dusty or contain sharp or abrasive material may damage a bird’s respiratory or alimentary tract. In addition, diets can be a source of potentially pathogenic organisms, especially bacteria, yeast and protozoa, and toxins originating from fungi (e.g. mycotoxins) and other sources.
 
We have an extensive range of bird seeds ranging from peanuts and sunflower seeds to our bestselling Huskfree Advance. All of which have been through our thorough cleaning process.

Peanuts

Huskfree advance
 
With our award-winning super-clean seed cleaning programme, we are aiming to raise the bar within the industry and help people to understand the importance of feeding clean seed.

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