Look at the package and the seed for these signs of quality. You may not be getting your money’s worth from economy seed if what’s in the bag isn’t going to get eaten by the birds.
- Treated seed – Most seed is steamed to prevent weed germination if it spills around the feeder.
- Sunflower, Safflower, and Thistle seed – Look for blends with a high ratio of these seeds. They’re favorites of most birds.
- Fillers that will be consumed – Pistachios, cherries and raisins fill more space in the bag but will be eaten by the birds. Millet, wheat, oats, cracked corn and peanut hulls may look like they add variety, but they mostly take up space. And, many birds discard them.
- Un-Hulled seed – Seed that still has the shell on will store longer.
- Cleanliness – Low-quality seed can contain twigs, rocks, field run, pebbles and other debris.