Winter is coming, and it’s that time of the year again when the rolling countryside – its stunning woodlands, lively agriculture, and patchwork hills – are most celebrated. Those who have planned a rural escape may get to experience the benefits of animal feeding in terms of connecting with nature first hand.
But if you are stuck in the city, do not fret. There are hundreds of city farms across the country waiting for you, providing an urban oasis for families looking to have fun during the big break. These spaces are dedicated to both children and adults, educating city dwellers on food and produce cultivation.
What to consider
Naturally, gardens can offer an abundance of insects, seeds, and fruits for animals, but providing tit-bits means that you can boost their nutritional needs during stressful times while enjoying watching the wildlife from your window.
Keep in mind that the food you feed the animals is just a supplement, and attracting wildlife into your garden has its own consequences. On the other hand, a few snacks can go a long way towards helping feed demanding young ones in extreme weather.
When it comes to feeding birds in your garden, you need to consider the fact that different species have slightly different requirements and varying niches. They all have different feeding methods, meaning that they do not compete directly with each other. As such, certain species prefer feasting on the floor, while others enjoy hanging feeders. Similarly, different beaks have varying capacities to accommodate different sizes of food, with the thrush family preferring fat worms while the tiny finches go for the fine seed.
What to avoid
In particular, avoid:
- cooked oats – these can dry and solidify around the animals’ beaks
- sugary treats – these can have a negative impact on their diets
- loose whole peanuts – can choke chicks, especially when fed whole
What to feed wild animals
- Sweet items, cheese, bread, and dog food
- Commercial, cereal based feeds (although these are quite expensive). Be sure to supplement these with
- Peanuts and mixed dried fruit & seeds
- Use baffles to steer grey squirrels away from your birdfeeders
- You can feed the red squirrels by using a feeder in which an entrance excludes the heavier greys, or a hopper with a treddle for the same purpose
In general, the advice for wildlife animal feeding in your farm is to imitate what nature provides. The best and simplest way to do this is to simply let a part of your backyard grow a little wild. Gardening with wildlife in mind can create a safe haven for small mammals and birds, while a few supplementary snacks will keep them coming back.