We’re big fans of husk-free seeds and mixes, with some of the reasons for this being obvious and some rather less so. Here are our thoughts on the subject anyway…

More species can eat them

Taking sunflower hearts as probably the best example, if these are fed from a bird table or ground feeder, then Robins, Blackbirds, Dunnocks and Song thrushes can all enjoy them. However, if black sunflower seeds were put out instead – the same as sunflower hearts but with the husk still on – then none of these species could eat them, as their bills simply aren’t adapted to removing husks in the way a finch or tit could. And of course, species such as Greenfinch and Blue tit can still eat sunflower hearts as it’s even easier for them than taking the husk off.

Less energy used by the bird

And linking to that last point, if it’s easier – and indeed quicker – for a bird to eat a seed because it doesn’t have to remove a husk, then that means it expends less energy.

Less risk of disease and infection

This is a very important reason, as the fact is that a huge number of birds needlessly die each year (in particular Greenfinches and Chaffinches) because they’ve rummaged through rotting seed husks on the ground or on a bird table and, as a result, have picked up salmonella poisoning. So feeding sunflower hearts and husk free mixes, such as our Ultimate Energy Mix with Mealworms, largely eliminates this serious problem.

And of course, no mess from seed husks means one less job for you!