TOP TIPS TO MAKE YOUR OWN BIRDSEED MIX | HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HOMEMADE BIRDSEED MIX
There’s nothing more delightful than watching the backyard birds enjoy the delicious seeds you leave out for them. But the last thing you want to do is feed them the wrong type of seeds as that can often be harmful to these beautiful creatures.
If you’re looking for the best way to make your own homemade birdseed mix, you’re in the right place! The store-bought seed mixes might attract unwanted guests. Also, store-bought seed mixes come at a relatively high cost. We’re spilling the secrets on how to make your own birdseed mix.
Fortunately, making healthy, inexpensive homemade birdseed at home is not that much of a chore. You just want to provide the nutritious foods most birds need in their diet, and it doesn’t have to be costly at ALL!
Ingredients You Should Put in Your Birdseed Mix
Whether hulled or unhulled, sunflower seeds are an absolute favorite for most birds. And they must be included in any good birdseed mix. They’re incredibly nutritious and desired by most birds.
The best sunflower seeds to use in a homemade birdseed mix are black oil sunflower seeds. They contain a high percentage of fat (about 25%), making them ideal for birds to consume. Plus, black oil sunflower seeds are high in protein and fiber.
Striped sunflower seeds are also a fantastic addition to the bird mix. Although they do not have the same nutritious content as black oil seeds and are not as meaty and fatty, they still add a lot of nutritious value to the mix. It’s great to buy pre-shelled seeds to keep your feeders free of shells and debris. But pre-shelled seeds often come with a higher cost than shelled ones, so keep that in mind.
Another great ingredient to add to your homemade seed mix is white millet. Protein, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus are abundant in white millet. It has a lot of oil in it as well. White millet is particularly attractive to birds. Finches of all kinds, especially goldfinches, are drawn to these small round seeds. It’s one of their absolute favorite dishes!
Ground-feeding birds like quails, doves, native American sparrows, juncos, towhees, and cardinals love white millet. Because ground-feeding birds favor white millet, it’s frequently sprinkled on the ground as a tasty meal. It’s also great for their digestion, so why not!
Cracked corn is high in protein and fiber, making it ideal for making homemade birdseed. Cracked corn is preferable to whole corn since it attracts both the small bird species and the large ones. Cracked corn, when combined with the high oil content in sunflower seeds, creates an ideal balanced mix.
For birds, peanuts are another great source of oil, protein, and fiber. You can leave them in the shell or pre-shelled in the mix, just like sunflower seeds. Peanuts aren’t the only type of nuts you can feed birds; feel free to feed them mixes that have tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews.
Why not add dried fruits, too? Because of their high cost, they are the one element that is frequently left out of commercial mixes. However, even a small amount put into your mix can be quite beneficial to your birds. Dried fruit is a favorite of birds. It will also attract a larger range of them and provide them with much-needed nutrients during colder months.
Dried fruits, like dried cranberries, cherries, sultanas, currants, and blueberries, will attract bluebirds, blackbirds, mockingbirds, catbirds, and waxwings. Almost any type of dried fruit, including raisins, will quickly be picked by the birds.
However, if you buy a regular box of sugar or chocolate-coated raisins from the store, don’t give them to your birds. You want these dried fruits to be in their natural state, particularly up the baking aisle where you can find the unsalted, plain raisins or other dried fruits.
Other ingredients you can add are flax seeds, corn meal, bread crumbs, melon seeds, and squash seeds.
Make bird baths fun with: The Best Water Wigglers for Bird Baths
Ingredients You Should Avoid in Your Birdseed Mix
When making your birds a healthy birdseed mix, you should avoid some filler ingredients that are not necessarily the best for them, such as grain sorghum (milo) and other similar filler grains.
Such ingredients can be found in a lot of the low-cost bird seed mixes on the market. They’re not very nutritious, and therefore, frequently end up left on the ground by the picky birds.
Store-bought seed mixes may contain red millet (although it’s preferred to use white proso instead), wheat, or other grain-based fillers. When making your own birdseed mix, stay away from those options and only use high-quality ingredients for your feeders.
DIY Birdseed Mix Recipe
Making a seed mix for your birds should NOT feel like a big chore. You just have to stick to one basic recipe, and you’re all set! You’ll need the following ingredients to make a simple birdseed mix:
- 1 cup of black oil sunflower seeds
- 1 cup of plain peanuts (chopped)
- ½ cup of cracked corn
- ½ cup of striped sunflower seeds
- ⅛ cup of dried fruits (optional)
- If you’ll be using a lot of sunflower or any other kind of bird food in your homemade mixes, stock up on supplies. Membership in big-box stores is fantastic to stock up and save money.
- Have fun with creating new shapes! Mix your own seed mix with water and unflavored gelatin, and then spread it out on a cookie sheet to refrigerate. Then, shape it into stars, wreaths, hearts, or whatever shapes you have on hand with cookie cutters.
- Always store your birdseed properly to keep it fresh and nutritious. The best way to store seed bulks is in a well-sealed, cool, dark place.
- Some seeds make more of a mess than others. Red millet, for example, is frequently tossed to the ground by songbirds, resulting in an even bigger mess around your feeders than usual. So, it’s best to avoid such types of seeds when making your own homemade birdseed.
- Keep an eye on the birds at your feeders and observe what they are consuming or tossing to the ground. Experiment with different seed mixes. To check whether you can attract a new species, try adding dried cranberries or softened raisins. You’ll eventually come up with a few good combos that your backyard birds will enjoy!
So, now that you know everything about making your own simple, inexpensive birdseed mix, what are you waiting for? Nothing’s holding you back from giving your backyard birds or even your pet bird the best food they could have! You can also try making them delightful bird suet without lard or giving them peanuts.