Recipe for a quick winter booster for wild birds
This mix has been loved by the birds and brought in clouds of them into my garden and they scoffed loads of it. It makes me very pleased to see them getting a good crop full of healthy and high energy winter food. Thrushes, blackbirds, sparrows, siskins, chaffinches, wagtails and all the tits were enjoying it. Even Nuthatches which here are quite fussy were on the ground tucking into it. The flocks of lovely long-tailed tits seemed to stay longer for it. I am glad the birds obviously enjoy it as well as it giving them their omega-3
Recipe winter booster for wild birds
I find it is easiest to make this by volume and use either a measuring jug but you can adapt to other measuring containers.
2 litres rolled oats
1/2 litre sunflower-seed kernels
1/2 litre Flax Farm cold-pressed linseed oil
Place all ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
To feed: scatter enough in usual feeding places to be consumed in one day. Try not to leave any out for nocturnal visiting rodents.
Good quality nutritious foods only for wild birds
It must be really hard for wild birds with such cold weather at this time of year with little natural food about so they have been really pleased with the food I am giving them. I always give the birds the best and most natural food I can get; I only give them food of the quality that I would eat. I won’t feed fat balls, I know they eat them but equally I know the the rubbish fats that go into human food and I am sure the fat balls are much worse – goodness only knows what goes into them.
Omega-3 is essential
Omega-3 and the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 is just as important for birds as it is for us. It is essential for every aspect of their health, their ability to breed and raise healthy young. Nature provides the right omega-3 to omega-6 ratio for them in wild seeds, insects and grubs.
Bird food deficient in omega-3
When we feed peanuts they are a great energy source but very high in saturated fat, some omega-6 but no omega-3. The other seed fed in volume to wild-birds is sunflower seed which they love and consume in huge quantities because it is tasty and one of the easiest sources of fat and calories they can quickly consume from bird-feeders. However sunflower-seeds are very high in omega-6, this is the fat that is behind a lot of the health issues of people in the western world. Sunflower seeds contain no omega-3, Some high quality bird seed mixes contain some golden linseed, which they will eat but its a tough little seed and they don’t eat a lot of it. So birds are getting too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3, This is bad news for their health and ability to reproduce – just as that imbalance of essential fatty acids can lead to infertility and childhood health problems in humans.
Benefit of linseed and omega-3
Keeping warm is essential for wild birds in this freezing weather. One of the much quoted benefits of linseed is that it “boosts the metabolism”. It encourages the body to burn off calories more freely which helps to keep the body warm. In India people turn to linseed as a winter food because it makes them feel warm from the inside. I personally have noticed my tolerance to cold has improved since I started eating linseed, Vets recommend linseed as omega-3 for cage birds such as parrots in order to balance the sunflower seeds they are fed.
Essential fatty acid and energy booster for chickens
I give this to my hens too. They need extra energy to cope with cold weather and omega-3 is really good for their condition. It also makes their eggs rich in omega-3. To really top up their cold weather feed intake I make sure they have pellets all day, then feed as much of the winter booster as they will eat in ten minutes, about an hour before I feed their mixed corn. This way they always eat plenty of both. The linseed oil gives the chickens really glossy lovely plumage.