It is usual for any bird watcher to attract more birds in their backyard if he gives the birds all they need, especially food and water. However, as you attract more birds, it is normal for you to react in anticipation by buying vast quantities of bird seeds for you to feed all the birds while saving money from buying in bulk. The problem is having a tremendous amount of birdseed in your stock is that there is no assurance that it be consumed on time which means there is a chance that the seeds will be damaged and become old.
So, if this situation happens, what to do with old bird seed? If you begin to notice that the birds are not eating your bird food, there is an excellent chance that the seed is already out of character, damaged, and even old. In fact, old seeds may no longer be attractive to birds as it already lost their quality and nutritional value. But as a birder, what will you do to all unused and old bird seeds in your position? Let us find out below through this article.
What Will You Do with the Old Bird Seed?
The most obvious sign that the birdseed is already old is when the birds will no longer eat it. It is usual for the birds to visit your backyard, particularly your birdfeeder. Still, if you find a group of seeds that the birds no longer consume for a more extended period, there is an excellent chance that it is already damaged or old.
You can do three things with the old birdseed: locate, dispose of, compost. But the most important thing to do is separate the old and bad seeds from the rest, which are still consumable by the birds. The next step is for you to dispose of the old seed that is no longer used or use it as additional materials for your compost.
Locating the Old and Bad Seeds
In locating old seeds, you will need to carefully check to separate the bad ones from the good seeds. You need to carefully check for you to avoid including the good seeds that still can be eaten. Here’s how to do it:
- The first thing to do is to check the seeds with any forms of insects visually. When insects are already in the mixture of the seeds, then it is a sure sign that your seeds are aging and are no longer consumable with the birds. Inspect any signs of live or dead insects, larvae, and other forms of dirt. If you are putting the seeds in a container, make sure to check from the top until the bottom of the container.
- The next thing to do is to smell the seeds to check for any signs of molds and mildew. If it has, it will emit strong and sharp odors, which is an excellent indicator of the growth in the seeds. You will also notice odd colors, and discoloration indicates molds or fungus on the seeds.
- You can also filter the seeds from any signs of clumpiness and damping. If the seeds have been wet will show signs of clumpiness and will not be suitable as bird food. If there are seeds that are sprouting, it is also an indication of moisture which can degrade the quality of the seeds. You can also check for any unusual condensation inside that container which can damage and make the seeds old.
- Then, check on any signs of rodents infestation on the inside and outside of the container. If you see bites, chewing marks, spilled seeds, and tracks, you will need to improved seed storage to prevent the seeds from getting old and damaged.
Disposing of Old Bird Seed
Once you have separated the old seed from the fresh ones, the next thing to do is to throw the old seeds. These bird seeds that have been compromised and are no longer fit for bird consumption must be disposed of immediately. You can throw these seeds in a bag or container, which should be unreachable to birds and insects.
Then you can wash the old containers, disinfect them, and let them dry before using them again with fresh seeds. If you find out that the container is already damaged, it will be better for you to repair it or replace it with a new one. You can also move the location of your storage to hide and prevent insects from invading it again. As for the old bird seeds, makes sure to throw them in the trash bin for proper disposal properly.
Composting Old Bird Seed
Apart from throwing the old bird seeds, another way is to use the bird seeds for composting purposes. Yes, you can compost the birdseed, but if it does not get hot enough, you may get some germination. But, if you are an expert at composting, then that should not be a problem. Bird seeds are essentially protein and should be composted readily.
If it does not look what is going on with your compost, the issue is not enough nitrogen for your carbon. Meanwhile, too much moisture will also slow down desirable bacterial activity, which means slow composting. Like any other material, the birdseed will likely compost, although some research shows that it will require too much time to make the seeds to compost.
As a birder, it is essential to know what to do with the old bird seed. If you happen to have extra seeds stored for a long time, they will get old and lost their quality. If the birds are no longer eating the seeds once they feed them, it means that the seeds are already old or damaged. These seeds are no longer fit for bird consumption and should be discarded or used in composting.