~ January 29, 2017 ~




Wild Bird Seed



Looking back, I realized how fortunate I was when I started out with raising guineas on my farm. Their seed of choice was white millet. They were crazy for it and it was a useful training tool, widely used by guinea keepers. I used to be able to buy it in bulk, but the cost doubled nearly 10 years ago. Fortunately, it is still offered in many wild bird seed mixes that I buy today.

Even though it is generally recommended to give scratch to chickens for "energy" food, I continued on with the wild bird seed. The reality is, most of the corn out there available for bird food is probably GMO. That is an issue you will have to decide for yourself, whether to buy and use corn for your birds. It is included in a lot of wild bird seed mixes, but not as much as in a "scratch" nix. And, you can buy wild bird seed mixes that do not include corn. I will include information about corn here because I think it has been mis-characterized as "candy" just because it contains carbohydrates. In fact, a lot of other seeds contain carbs too! It has more than that to offer, and can be used successfully in moderation with a certain application in mind.

Other reasons why I like wildbird seed is because it is food wild birds enjoy. This makes it a more natural food for a bird's diet. The hard seed will generate internal heat by digestion. Couple it with with some ground up dried ginger root that will aid digestion and can make it even more effective in the winter. Carbohydrates in this application can be helpful as a short and hot energy burner at night while your flock sleeps. I have also mixed it with herbal infused oil for other benefits like to support the immune system. You can also add the seed to any herbal suet mix.

I have bolded those compounds that are the highest in each seed. I have listed here the more common seeds found in commercial mixes. However, there is a wide variety out there, so check the labels when you buy!

Corn
Nutrition: Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins,
Vitamins: Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, VitB-6

Black Oil Sunflower Seed
Nutrition: Protein, Fat, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Fiber

Wheat
Nutrition: Protein, Carbohydrates, Potassium, Fats
Vitamins: Magnesium, Calcium, Iron

White Millet
Nutrition: Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fats

Milo (Sorghum)
Nutrition: Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fats
Vitamins: Iron, Calcium

Here are some useful ways to use wild bird seed effectively for our poultry.

Raw - Add dried ground up ginger (1/2 cup dried ginger / quart of seed)

Winter Oil (an herbal oil to mix in seed during winter)

Herbal Suet (Add fat to the diet for energy)

Moonlight Mile Herb Farm 2017 Susan Burek