Which brand food do you use?

Hi all,

I know that this really is subject to personal opinion and your own experiences, but I thought I'd ask anyway. What brand fat balls, Sunflower hearts and Suet pellets do you buy for your garden birds?

We only moved to a place with a garden and put up feeders for the first time ever three months ago, and so far we have made one purchase of food. We bought a tub of Dawn Chorus fat balls, and a bag of hearts and peanuts from a barrel where you fill up what you need, so I have no idea what brand they are. (We have given up on the peanuts now as they just do not get eaten.)

We tend to have four fat balls eaten in one week or just over, and the hearts often have to be disposed and they don't get eaten that quickly. (We have Goldfinches, Blue Tits and Starlings that eat them.)

Just looking for opinions on which brands tend to be favoured by you experienced people's avian visitors. (We are looking at filling our redundant peanut feeder with suet pellets to see how that works out.)

Thanks!

  • Hi Paul, Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the company which makes the bird food we put out, but we have found that suet pellets, suet blocks and sunflower hearts are loved by many birds in our back garden. And as with many things, some inexpensive types are happily eaten by the birds and some expensive types are less popular and the other way around. We buy from a local farm; they supply a couple of pet shops which they also own, where they sell a huge variety of bird food. Also, many birds love live meal worms, available online and from some pet shops. Also, it is important to supply water for the birds to drink and, ideally, to bathe in.

    Kind regards, 

    Ann

  • Hi Paul,    at our last house which had a very large garden we got through an enormous amount of bird food;   we found the premium grade sunflower hearts the most popular with less waste;  I never bought mixed seed containing wheat as half of it was wasted when birds chucked the wheat out !       I also bought berry suet pellets (for some reason the pink suet pellets were the most popular),    I found birds tend to prefer softer suet pellets so avoided suet pellets that are rock hard.      I used brands like Peckers, Bucktons,  Johnston & Jeff and also bought from this company         Although it cost a little more to buy premium hearts and mixed seeds without wheat I found there was less waste on the whole and saved me money in the long run;     I tried all sorts of brands some more popular than others so it was a bit of trial and error by seeing which food gets taken regularly and adjust the amount I put in a feeder to ensure the food stayed fresh and tended not top up a feeder until it was empty so I could wash the feeder out and then refill with a new batch.        I also made raw pastry for the winter months which like the fat balls the birds enjoy.     Plain flour, lard  (half fat to flour ratio - no salt ! )  mix flour and lard together so it resembles breadcrumbs,  throw in to the mix some suet pellets, a small amount of mild cheddar cheese and a few seeds or crushed peanuts if you wish and bind together with just enough water to bring the pastry together without it being sticky.   You can place it in a fat feeder or place pieces on the twigs/shrubs.     Good luck and hope the birds are flocking to your feeders.     

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Hi Ann & Hazel,

    I figured it would be a case of trial and error really. But you've given me some ideas of places to look at so thank you for that.
    We do have a water source for bathing and drinking so all good there ;)
    Thanks for the tip regarding softer suet pellets - I have taken note of that.
    I think we will try premium hearts when we buy our next lot and see if that makes a difference too.
    And thanks Hazel for the recipe too :)

    Thand again!
  • Hi


    a long time ago in a galaxy far far away Tony Soper wrote The Bird Table Book-

    I still make suet cakes with his recipe- old fat, dripping etc. mixed with wheat free bird food from the local pet food store and jammed in an old coconut half or stuffed in the holes of one of those woodpecker (?) feeders ( home made)

    S

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • Not seen that name for a while!
  • TS had a nasty accident a few years ago- slipped on the deck of a ship on one of his trips and broke both legs -

    Apparently recovered OK :) Nice guy !

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box