If you’re trying to attract birds to your backyard, it’s important to offer them a food source they enjoy. Unfortunately, many commercial bird seed mixes contain fillers that wild birds don’t like.
Grain sorghum (milo) and related filler grains are the biggest culprits. These seeds are low in nutritional value and tend to be kicked off the feeder by wild birds and thrown on the ground.
Millet is a good choice for wild birds because it appeals to many different species. It contains protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and minerals like iron and potassium.
It can be mixed with other grains and seeds in your bird feeders to give birds more variety. It is also a beneficial grain to add to suet discs made from melted fat and dry ingredients.
When feeding birds with millet, be sure to choose hulled varieties. Otherwise, the shells will make a mess when spilled on the ground or in the feeder.
Cracked corn is a common wild bird seed that is eaten by many ground-feeding birds including blue jays, cardinals, mourning doves and woodpeckers, deer, squirrels and chipmunks. It can be fed on its own or mixed with other seed.
It is a good scratch grain for laying hens and can be given as a treat once or twice a day. However, it should not make up more than 10% of a hen’s daily diet.
Cracked corn can also be used as a substitute for millet in a seed mix. It is less expensive than millet and provides a source of protein for backyard birds. It can be mixed with black oil sunflower seeds and white proso millet or a combination of other ingredients to attract the kind of birds you want.
Milo is a type of grass grain used in bird seed mixes and as feed for livestock. It comes in two varieties, white and red.
It is a good source of carbohydrates and protein. It also contains iron and calcium.
Some birds prefer it over other seeds, especially ground-feeding species that do not like to chew on seeds and eat their food slowly.
If you have a large number of birds in your backyard that eat milo, you may want to offer it at feeders in the right area and only in small amounts at a time. It can be a good source of calories for larger birds.
Fruits such as cranberries and raisins are an excellent addition to wild bird seed without corn. They provide a burst of sugar and vitamins that many birds prefer.
Sunflower seeds are another popular ingredient in bird seed blends, either hulled or still in the shell. These seeds are highly nutritious for birds and a must-have in all good mixes.
Wild bird seed without corn also usually includes peanuts, tree nuts and cracked corn. This provides a variety of nutrients for birds, including Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium and Zinc.
Peanuts are an excellent source of fat and protein, which is important for winter birds. They are a favorite of many seed-eating birds, including goldfinches and pine siskins.
They can also be a good source of iron. However, be aware that some types of peanuts are high in a natural toxin called aflatoxin.
The best way to avoid this is to buy roasted peanuts (or other seeds that have been roasted in shells), which are free of the toxin.
Nyjer seed is also a good choice for wild bird feed. It is a favorite of American goldfinches, lesser goldfinches, indigo buntings, and pine siskins. It is a good addition to mixed bird foods or used as a supplement in a tube feeder. It also attracts many other species of bird, such as greenfinches and house sparrows.