Making homemade bird seed is a great way to feed birds a nutritious and much needed wintertime meal. All while saving a lot of hard-earned cash in the process!
If you love feeding birds, you know how expensive it can be to buy good quality bird seed blend.
Although there are low cost bird seed options available, many contain large amounts of useless fillers.
Not only are the fillers low or void of nutritional value, they are usually avoided all-together by birds visiting the feeder.
It can result in quite a mess around the ground of bird feeders. And one that is not just unsightly, but also attracts unwanted creatures to the feeder such as possum, squirrels and mice.
How To Create A Great Low-Cost Homemade Bird Seed Blend
Luckily, it is quite easy to create inexpensive and nutritious homemade bird seed right at home.
The key is to simply include the healthy ingredients that birds both want and need in their diet. And it doesn’t have to be expensive.
In fact, nearly all of the basic ingredients listed below can often be found at bulk prices in local feed stores, or even on line.
Here is a look at the best way to create a great homemade bird seed mix, along with a few ingredients to avoid. Be sure to check out the simple “perfect-mix” homemade bird seed recipe at the end of the article as well.
A Few Ingredients To Avoid
When it comes to making homemade bird seed, there are a few “filler” ingredients that should be avoided. Topping the list are grain sorghum (milo) and related filler grains.
These are two ingredients found in many of the inexpensive bird seed blends on the market. They have little nutritional value, and usually end up on the ground below the feeders.
Ingredients To Include In Your Homemade Mix
Birds love sunflower seeds, whether hulled or still in the shell. And all good mixes certainly need to include them.
They are highly nutritious for the birds, and highly desired!
Black oil sunflowers seeds are the best choice for using in homemade bird seed mix. They have a high fat content (in excess of 25%), which are perfect for birds. Black oil sunflower seeds are also high in protein and fiber as well.
Striped sunflowers are a great choice to add to the mix as well. Although not as high as black oil seeds in nutritional value, they are a close second.
If you want to keep feeders clear of shells and debris around the base, you can purchase pre-shelled seeds. They are, of course, a bit more expensive to purchase shelled. Affiliate Product Link : Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
White millet is another great choice for homemade bird see. It is a great source of protein, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It is also quite rich in oil as well.
Not only do small birds devour it, millet is also wonderful for helping with their digestion too. Affiliate Link : White Millet 10 lbs.
Cracked Corn & Peanuts
Like white millet, cracked corn is high in protein and fiber and great for homemade bird seed. When it comes to corn, cracked corn is a better choice than whole corn, as it will attract small and large species of birds.
It makes the perfect balanced ingredient when blended with the high-oil content of sunflower seeds.
Peanuts are another excellent source of oil, fiber, and protein for birds. And just like sunflowers, they can be left in the shell or pre-shelled in the mix.
Dried Fruit / Raisins
Last but not least are dried fruits. They are the one ingredient most often left out of commercial mixes do to cost.
But even a bit added to your mix can be a huge benefit to your feeder.
Birds LOVE dried fruit! And adding it will attract a wider variety of birds, and give them a bit of extra nutrients for the cold winter months.
Dried raisins, cranberries, or nearly any type of dried fruit will quickly be devoured by hungry birds.
Homemade Bird Seed Blend Recipe
Using the basic ingredients above, you can create a great homemade bird seed blend with the simple ratio below. It is merely a guideline, and can be adjusted based on the birds coming to your feeder.
Basic Recipe For Homemade Bird Seed
- 1 Cup Of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
- 1 Cup of Chopped Plain Peanuts
- 1/2 Cup of Striped Sunflowers
- 1/2 Cup of Cracked Corn
- 1/8 Cup of Dried Fruit
For more on feeding birds in the winter, check out our article Winter Bird Feeding, How To Help Birds Survive The Winter
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