Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To feed and water the birds in this weather?

(43 Posts)
notMarlene Sat 19-Jan-13 10:17:39

Much as I like to have birds in the garden I don't encourage then - we have cats it would be like opening a feline snack bar.

Some filthy seagull dropped a piece of bread in my garden yesterday and the poor wee birds were all over it so I've put out some fat balls and water. AIBU?

cookielove Sat 19-Jan-13 10:19:12

YANBU - birds need a bit of help in weather like this!

Put bells on your cats collars, birds need feeding esp this time of year

cozietoesie Sat 19-Jan-13 10:34:26

Try and get the food high-ish - hanging in a tree or something. That way, they'll have enough warning of a cat approach to skedaddle.

AngelWreakinHavoc Sat 19-Jan-13 10:35:26

Birds really need help in this weather yanbu!

Tee2072 Sat 19-Jan-13 10:38:32

I feed the birds all year long. Why would it BU?

Samu2 Sat 19-Jan-13 10:40:08

We feed the birds, birds die really quickly in this weather. We have hundreds in our garden, but we have so many feeders it's untrue.

Dh has to bring them in at night to stop them attracting rats which is a pain in the arse! (The feeders, not the birds ;))

Definitely get hanging feeders.

gobbin Sat 19-Jan-13 10:45:14

We have three cats, three hanging feeders and a bird table. No issues so far. The hanging feeders are best as they are away from easy cat access and the birds can get away easily if nec.

Am about to do my hour for this year's Big Garden Watch! Enjoy your birds.

ResolutelyCheeky Sat 19-Jan-13 10:49:01

I made feeders out of a milk carton yesterday and put food next to house etc where the snow wasn't so deep (we had 8 inches) I got rid of a whole tinful of stale biscuits, half a loaf and some old cereal in no time at all.

This would have only been binned anyway so didn't cost me anything and maybe kept some birds alive.

No cats out in this weather anyway. They are far too clever. Yanbu

ResolutelyCheeky Sat 19-Jan-13 10:50:11

Thought bird watch was next week 27th?

TwllBach Sat 19-Jan-13 10:53:53

I've been thinking about the birds recently, but I have a very predatory cat. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I lured the birds in to her evil clutches <dramatic>

PolterGoose Argentina Sat 19-Jan-13 10:59:58

If you are going to feed them please commit to it and be prepared to keep topping up your feeders. One of the worst things you can do is start feeding which means the birds start to rely on you, especially in this weather, and then will start to travel to your feeders, if they arrive to nothing and there is no other food nearby, they may have expended all their energy and not have enough to seek out other food sad

And, please don't feed them bread or biscuits, because the food needs to be very energy packed, they really shouldn't be filled up on pap. Some fatballs and a peanut feeder is a good cheap way to start.

PolterGoose Argentina Sat 19-Jan-13 11:02:27

TwllBach, my cat is a ferocious hunter too, so the feeders are up high, luckily he is more interested in catching rats.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 19-Jan-13 11:04:36

My two cats are serial killers, to put bird food out would make them bait.
They bring enough wildlife in without me encouraging the poor little birds to an almost certain death.

cantspel Sat 19-Jan-13 11:12:38

I feed the birds all year round and i have a killer cat. i have a large garden so put the food in the centre of the lawn so the cat cant creep up on them and i have a hanging feeder for the smaller birds.

All food scraps go out along with bread soaked in the old cooking fats after i have made a roast.

I also put food out for the local squirrels and foxes as this weather makes it really hard for them to find food.

MrsZoidberg Sat 19-Jan-13 11:17:11

Samu2 - we have this problem with rats. What I've done is cut a hole in the bottom of a large plastic plant pot about the size of the bird feeder poles, I've then slotted this over the pole, open side down,and taped it into place - the little buggers then can't climb up the pole and get to the feeders - only works if the pole is far enough away from any bushes they can climb up.

I know it's working as the fat balls are still there in the morning. grin The fats balls are disappearing in the day though as I have two woodpeckers visiting regularly which is fantastic grin

TwllBach Sat 19-Jan-13 11:29:15

I inherited a bird bath from the previous tenants. I suppose I could drag it to the middle of the garden so there's nothing for the car to launch herself from grin

The school where I work has robins and all sorta of other birds - I've become quite a fan of watching them! What sort of cheap things can I put out? The less money the better...

hzgreen Sat 19-Jan-13 11:35:50

It's bad enough that I have two cats, one of which is an enthusiastic hunter, but next door have seven. I'd love to feed the birds but even with bells on the collars I don't think the birds sand a chance with those odds sad

ResolutelyCheeky Sat 19-Jan-13 11:44:37

Sorry, should have said that the bread and biscuits were soaked in fat and oats and bits of fruit to make them into fat balls. Couldn't afford the bird food on sale so made my own versions with waste food. Same ingredients more or less just no cost involved.
Just about to use rind off bacon too

TwllBach Sat 19-Jan-13 11:44:40

seven cats?

<faints>

Pixel Sat 19-Jan-13 17:32:27

Our feeders are up in a tree. Our evil killer cat does climb it but there is plenty of time for the birds to flee and it doesn't seem to put them off visiting. Mind you, I bought a new feeder this week as a lot had got broken and I was down to one, but they haven't touched it, just emptied out the old one. They seem to be very suspicious of anything new though you'd expect them to have seen similar feeders in other gardens (it's nothing special, just a lantern type thing from Wilkinsons).
I made porridge yesterday to warm my chickens up and they left some so I put it back out this morning for the pigeons etc, with the addition of some cheapo mixed fruit, thinking they'd go mad for it. It hasn't been touched but when my mum puts out left-over porridge in her garden the birds fight over it confused. What's wrong with my porridge? blush

Euphemia France Sat 19-Jan-13 17:34:27

Birds have different tastes according to region. We moved house last year and the same species of birds here have different tastes to where we lived before. grin

Pixel Sat 19-Jan-13 17:37:46

But she only lives along the road, I've just walked there through thick snow in less than 15 mins. They are probably the same birds. Perhaps they just filled up on porridge at my mum's and didn't want any more grin.

ParsleyTheLioness Sat 19-Jan-13 17:37:49

Lol at your porridge Pixel... I have fatballs out, and go out every morning with my kettle so I can make sure the water is water and not ice. I use a round take-away container, which makes it easier.

sooperdooper Sat 19-Jan-13 17:54:39

I've been putting bird feed out for ages but they totally ignore it sad

It's in a feeder high on a side wall, I tried putting raisins in mixed with the nuts & seed mix as I read that attracts them but still nothing, there's a fat ball hung under the feeder and it's going moudly it's been there so long ignored sad

I do want to feed the birds, what am I doing wrong?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now