Storing seed the right way?
Come on now................
It's only bird food.
You are right, it is Food.
Like people food, your bird feed and seed needs proper care too.
Governments have regulations on seed and feed, but not as strict as on people food.
Because regulations are a bit lax, it is important to understand some proper ways to store seed and feed.
Prevent Bird Seed from Spoiling in Summer Warm weather can cause birdseed to deteriorate or spoil. Take the following precautions on storing seed and feed, to have healthy nutritious seed during the hot summer months.
. Hot weather causes seed with a high oil content to become rancid, Storing seed that are hulled and or cracked need cool air tight storage.
Birds can get sick if they eat spoiled food.
Sunflower and safflower have insulating hulls so they can stand warm temperatures better as long as they stay dry.
. Cracked corn is susceptible to mold and mildew in warm humid weather. Whole corn is better able to withstand summer weather. Either or, storing seed in a dry container will help prevent mold and germination.
. If seed is stored for a month or more in containers or bags, insect larvae may develop. This usually is the grain moth, which will eat the seed inside out as it develops.
. Seed that is rancid or moldy could present a health hazard to birds. These seeds are also poorer in vitamins and nutrients than fresh seed.
. Even if you are storing seed and feed, use up your winter supply of birdseed before warm weather.
. In warm weather buy no more than 2 weeks supply of seed at a time. Storing seed in a cool, dry place.
. If the seed containers are kept outside or in an area that is open to the outdoors, secure the top so that raccoons and squirrels cannot get in. Plastic trash cans are subject to squirrels chewing holes in them.
Bags of feed left in a shed or garage are fair game for mice and chipmunks to feast on walk all over and make little rodent messes.
For my brother it was a surprise to see Opossums trying to get at his containers of feed.
. Put out smaller quantities of seed in the feeders in the summer so seed doesn’t spoil in the feeder.
. Do not put more food on the ground or feeding tray than birds can consume in one day. It is better to keep seed in hanging feeders, especially in times of rain.
. Even if have your seed and feed in air tight containers and in a cool location, you may be unsure about the freshness of seed, it is best to throw away the seed and purchase fresh new seed.
Storing seed to prevent spoilage is only part of the battle.
Seeds are grown in the open spaces, harvested and brought to mills where it is processed and eventually packaged.
There are no real worries about storing feed. After all, it's only for birds and other animals.
Along with the harvest come insects.
Birds don't mind the extra protein, but pantry pests are a serious matter.
If you aren't putting seed and feed in containers, you can expect to see little moths flying around within a few weeks.
These moths are commonly called Wheat moths. They are indeed Indian meal moth.
The picture shows the adult stage of this pest and you will often find it in all three stages in bags of bird food.
Grain eating moths will find their way into your cereal, pancake mix and any other grain or nut related food item.
Now wondering about about bird seed is the least of your problems.
You start finding webs and larvae in your food.
TOSS IT OUT and place your food in air tight containers until you have the situation controlled.
Pantry pest strips may be in need to eradicate things completely.
Properly storing seed and feed will prevent this from the get go.
Grain weevils are most common in corn.
The best thing to do is to toss the whole bag of corn out for the birds now.
Cold storage for seed and feed will prevent insects from emerging, but I have better use for my refrigerator and freezer.
Extra suet cakes I do keep in the freezer.
They have an expiration date and can go bad even when sealed in its container.
Properly cared for seed and feed will extend the shelf life of your bird supplies and also prevent some costly headaches for you.
Keep seed in air tight containers in a cool dry location Is a smart choice for you and your birds.
Proper care of your seed and feed will keep you and your birds happy.
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