If you enjoy bird watching at home or just enjoy feeding them in your garden then you probably leave out food. If you do there are certain things you need to be aware of like can bird food go bad and how to spot when feed is rotten.

nuthatch bird on table

Why Leave Food Out?

Feeding birds can get you closer to wildlife at home. Food can be hard for birds to find and if you leave it out for them you can do a lot of good and help them survive. Food from a specialist like Kennedy wild bird food has been specially designed to help birds.

All of our feeds are specially designed to make sure that birds have all the nutrients, calories and proteins they need to do everything they need to do. Whether it’s staying warm, making a long journey or having the energy to look for more food. Some of the products we sell include:

Mixed Birdseed

Mealworms For Birds

Peanuts For Birds

Plain Wild Bird Seeds

Suet For Birds

Sunflower Seeds For Birds

There are lots of different ways you can choose to feed the birds. You just need to make sure that it is a place that the birds can easily get to but is still in the same place. Make sure it is elevated off the ground to protect the birds from ground predators like cats and foxes, but also if possible, try and place food somewhere safe and secluded like under a tree or against the wall. This is so birds of prey can’t swoop down and take birds while they feed.

You can choose to scatter food on a roof, a bird table or hang the food up in a bird feeder. However you choose to leave the food out for the bird make sure you don’t leave too much out as it can go bad if left out for a long time. If this happens you need to know how to spot when the bird food has gone bad.

Sunflower Seeds for birds

Can Bird Food Go Bad?

Bird food is just like any other and because of this, it can go bad if left out for too long. This usually happens when it rains and the bird food gets wet then dries out again however just like any food it can go bad when left out.

Bird food tends to get worse after it’s been left out for around 3 days. If you don’t want it to go bad then make sure you only ever leave out enough food for 3 days at the most, but if you can it’s better to leave out enough for one day and top it up when you need to.

Eating spoiled or rotten feed can be very bad for birds and not only will it fail to give them the nutrients they need, but it could also make them ill. If you don’t want this to happen then you need to be able to spot when bird food has gone bad.

When birdseed gets wet and goes bad it will start to form clumps. Birdseed does have some natural clumps and if they break away easily in your fingers then it’s nothing to be concerned about, but if the clumps are strong and don’t break up easily then the bird food has gone bad. When this happens you might need to clean the bird feeder it was in as the clumps can sometimes block holes and make it harder for birds to eat.

Another tell-tale sign the bird feed has gone bad is when there are obvious signs of rotting. This can be stuff like mould forming on the bird food or insects that have started to hang around the feeders or table more. Again, some insects are normal, but if there is a lot of them or you notice some insects have laid eggs in the birdseed then it is time to throw it out.

If you are feeding the birds seeds or grains then sometimes these can germinate over time, especially if they have gotten wet. You can tell when this is happening if you see shoots starting to form in your bird feeder. Other signs of this include the seeds swelling or splitting open and when this happens birds will not eat them.

great tit bird on feeder