About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

How long bird seed lasts

I just returned home from Florida and filled the feeders with some seed we had left over from November and there are no customers. Does seed go bad?
Seed can dry out and become undesirable. In the warm months I wouldn't keep seed longer than a month. Just as a box of crackers kept in a hot garage will go stale (even if the bag isn't opened), birdseed also goes bad. And while we'll survive the occasional dry cracker, birds have high basal metabolic rates & use energy at high rates. They don't have time to waste on seed without a high oil content.

Also after seed is harvested, it’s brought to mills where it is processed and stored properly. Along with the seed come eggs of Indian meal moths that were laid in the field. Birds don't mind the extra protein, but if the eggs hatch they can cause a real mess.

Tips to keep your bird seed its best:
1) Fresh Seed - In warm weather or if you store your seed inside buy no more than 2-3 weeks supply of seed at a time. And never pour old seed on top on new. Moth eggs are inside seed and are just waiting for the right conditions to hatch.
2) Storage Conditions - Store seed in a cool, dry place, or a freezer to keep seed fresh and prevent moths from hatching. A good steel can also prevent critters from raiding the pantry.

Related Articles:
What is No-Mess Bird Seed? http://bit.ly/tRaefu
How long does bird seed stay fresh? http://bit.ly/rTLSqJ
Seed Storage Cans and WBU Seed Scoops http://bit.ly/uBaSwO
Sunflowers Up-close: The Strange Journey of an American Plant http://bit.ly/uFlz65

No comments: