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Old 12th December 2013, 10:44 AM   #11
Bridget
 
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I too had that problem, though not so much with sprouting rejected seeds, but more with pigeons who hoovered up what the smaller birds dropped, so the area around the pole was a moat in the winter and a series of hummocks in the summer (pigeons go around and around ad infinitum). I got a landscape gardener (redoing my front path) to lay a series of bricks around the pole to cover the spoilt area and it's working a treat.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 09:34 PM   #12
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Pigeons have been a problem for me too. I replanted the area around the feeders in the spring and a lot of seedlings were trampled by he pigeons.
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Old 14th July 2014, 05:48 PM   #13
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My seed feeder is pole mounted on a gravel area, and I have a 38cm saucer at the foot of the pole. However I still have a significant problem with seeds germinating when they are scattered by fussy feeders . Any recommendations on killing the seed by baking or boiling (and then drying) or any other method?

Last edited by mikes; 14th July 2014 at 05:53 PM. Reason: not finished
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Old 15th July 2014, 08:20 AM   #14
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Hi

Heat treating seed can reduce its ability to germinate, almost to zero if the appropriate temperature is reached, but the heating process also reduces the nutritional benefit of the seed to the birds and other wildlife that may feed on it.

Apparently the seed needs to be held at between 49 and 60 Celsius for up to five minutes to reduce germination significantly. Above 60 much more of the oil content is driven off, reducing the benefit of the seed to the birds. Given the risks associated with heating seed and the likelihood of it proving less attractive to the birds it's not something that I would recommend. I think using a mix such as Hi-Energy No Mess ( http://www.birdfood.co.uk/ctrl/node:...s#.U8Tj2UCGeZF ) is much more convenient!

I hope that's helpful.
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Old 16th July 2014, 09:08 PM   #15
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Thanks for that - I need to use up my existing stock of seed. This evening I topped up my feeder with seed that I microwaved for 90 seconds.
What is interesting is that young tits have been avidly feeding on seeds in the past few weeks whereas previously tits virtually ignored seeds in favour of peanuts.
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Old 21st July 2014, 09:45 AM   #16
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It's fascinating to see the way that the birds' preferences vary over the year. Please let us all know how the birds react to the heat-treated seed. It will be interesting to see whether it remains as popular or whether the birds return to the peanuts!
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Old 21st July 2014, 03:18 PM   #17
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Martin,
Even before your reply I had noted how remarkable it was that seed was going down at least twice as fast as peanuts. They aren't in the least deterred by my heat treatment. Whether a) they have the same nutritional value and b) I have successfully "killed" the seed I cannot tell.
I did cover the seed in the microwave and only uncover long enough to test that it had reached a hot temperature, so the scope for loss of vaporised oil was minimised.

It seems to me that it is second brood tit fledglings that have started the trend to seed feeding.

Mike
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