Wild Bird CareAs a wild bird food supplier, you’d expect us to have nothing but positive things to say about garden feeding. However, while we fully encourage responsible feeding and conservation efforts, we would always stress the importance of minimising and preventing wild bird diseases, which are all too often bred and spread through garden feeding.
Our co-founder, Lesley, is a qualified veterinary surgeon with years of experience working for a large animal health organisation. She is particularly interested in the causes and distribution of diseases within animal populations, making her the best possible source of information when it comes to wild bird care and advice.
Human feeding efforts have caused bird populations to increase, particularly in gardens and other relatively small spaces. This has resulted in a reduction of air quality and the cleanliness of feeding surfaces. As a result, we have a duty to reduce the chances of disease spreading and ensure that conservation efforts are not undone. Here are some wild bird care measures that you can take in your own garden:
Regular CleaningWhen it comes to preventing disease, cleanliness is truly paramount. Feeding surfaces should be scraped of droppings and old food on a daily basis, and should be cleaned with quaternary ammonium disinfectant every 2 weeks. These efforts can also be complimented by the use of ‘non-waste foods’ such as our Tidy Garden Mix.
The above also applies to bird baths, which should be cleaned with disinfectant on a daily basis and washed thoroughly to prevent faecal contamination before refilling with clean water.
Proper Organization of Feeding AreasIf possible, feeding stations should be moved to new areas of the garden every two weeks, and should be separated to prevent large numbers of birds from feeding in the same location.
Storing Food CorrectlyWhen it comes to storing your wild bird food, a cool, dry environment such as a garage is usually best. You should also use vermin-proof metal containers to store your food, as plastic may become vulnerable to rodents. In terms of shelf-life, we would suggest keeping your seed mixes for a maximum of 3-4 months – keep this in mind when selecting your order amount.
Spot DiseasesBe on the lookout for birds who are exhibiting symptoms of disease, such as constantly puffed-up feathers, lesions, and scaly patches. You should also keep an eye on birds who linger for longer than others and appear lethargic, as this is often a sign that the bird is unwell.
If you have any concerns about the health of your garden birds, Lesley is more than happy to offer a wealth of advice on the subject of wild bird care. Head over to our blog for more information and updates, or if you have a specific question, send it to us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.