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What NOT to give your garden birds for their Christmas dinner

However many people we have sat around our dining tables this Christmas day, there’s always going to be leftovers. And if the leftovers aren’t on individual plates, there’ll certainly be plenty in roasting dishes and on turkey carcases. So how about giving the leftovers and scraps to your your garden birds? Absolutely not, and in fact it could actually kill them if you do. So here are the reasons…

Turkey fat, unlike suet, stays soft when it cools and can easily be transferred to birds’ plumage when they feed. This can then cause damage to the natural water-proofing and insulation of feathers, with this in-turn proving fatal to a bird in cold and wet weather.  So the number one rule is not to use turkey fat in any way for your garden birds.

Next up is the problem of salt, which most of us liberally use as part of the preparation of turkey and indeed other meats such as goose and beef. Salt is toxic to birds and a small bird eating, for example, turkey skin or beef dripping with salt in it, will be in danger.

Finally there’s the problem of meet juices, which once outside and assuming the air temperature isn’t well below freezing, will quickly become rancid and provide an immediate breeding ground for harmful bacteria such as salmonella – which can certainly kill wild birds and very quickly.

So what can you give your garden birds at Christmas? Well you could be forgiven for thinking that, as a bird food company we’re bound to say ‘proper bird food’, but actually that’s the truth of the matter. Yes there are a few things in your Christmas kitchen that won’t harm wild birds, but the fact is that it’s better just to keep to the feeds you usually do – e.g. sunflower hearts, suet blocks and niger seed.

And your garden birds won’t mind at all, because do they know it’s Christmas? No they don’t!