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Home > Haith's Wildlife Blog > Storing wild bird food and its shelf life

Storing wild bird food and its shelf life

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019

As you attract more birds to your garden you may find that you have to purchase larger amounts of bird food and by buying in bulk you can save money.
Knowing where to store bird seed can ensure that your supplies keep fresh and tasty for the birds.

Storage bucket

 
Bird seed is not only attractive to a wide range of garden birds it is also appealing to rodents, insects and other pests - but this shouldn't put you off feeding the birds as it's relatively easy to prevent.
 
Seed that's not stored properly can get damp, or, too hot depending on the weather conditions. This can cause bird food to rot and mould or mildew can gather, which is undesirable. Properly stored seed is also easier to use as when stored correctly it can make refilling your feeders an efficient and easy task.
 
Ideally, it would be good to purchase enough birdseed just for a short period of time to ensure that you have no storage problems, but seed bought in bulk is less expensive per KG, and by storing it properly can save money.
 
Storage containers are available in various sizes and small containers are lighter and easier to move if you have many feeders to keep filling up. On the other hand, larger storage containers will hold a greater amount of seed.
 
If possible, choose a container that is made from a hard-wearing material that will not crack, chip or break over time. If purchasing a metal container, be sure that it is galvanised and will not rust. The sturdier the container, the more resistant it will be to potential rodent damage.
 
All of your containers should seal tightly to help prevent insect and predators from gaining access to the seed. Watertight lids are also useful to minimize any risk of mould.  If your containers are to be stored outside why not consider using ropes or weights to keep them tightly fastened against squirrels and other animals. It's better to keep bird seed cool and dry, and out of direct sunlight.
 
Place your container in a suitable location for refilling feeders - ideally in a garage, shed or patio storage solution. Also, try to place in a dry shaded area which will help your seed to stay fresher for longer.
 
If you use different types of bird seed, label your containers with their contents or, alternatively, use clear see-thru containers. This will help you to fill up your feeders quickly and easily and it can also be useful if someone is topping up your feeders on your behalf.

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