Our garden has been a hive of activity in the last couple of weeks. We’ve been reviewing some high energy bird feed from Vine House Farm, and it’s safe to say it’s been a big hit!
We always make an extra effort to feed our local wild birds in winter, because this season is really tough for them. The cold weather causes wild birds to use more energy keeping warm, and also natural food sources are thin on the ground. Providing a source of energy-rich food in your garden during the winter months is a great way to give your local birds a helping hand.
I also love the fact that our little bird banquet guarantees lots of interesting visitors when the garden itself is less than inspiring. Feeding the birds is a lovely activity to get the kids involved with too; mine really enjoy topping up our feeders and spotting who comes to dine.
We’ve found that the higher quality the bird feed, the more feathered visitors we get; the birds really do know the difference. Based on our recent experience, Vine House Farm bird foods are the bird equivalent of fine dining!
Have you heard of Vine House Farm? They’re a family-run farm in Lincolnshire that also supplies a range of high quality wild bird food. The owner, Nicholas Watts, is passionate about wild birds, and having observed that some species were in decline on the farm back in the 1990’s, he developed his own seed mix which was a roaring success. Now the Vine House Farm range covers seed, suet and live mixes, with the majority of the seed still grown right there on the farm.
As part of their commitment to help reverse the decline of our native wildlife, Vine House Farm has partnered with The Wildlife Trusts. Over the last ten years they’ve donated 5% of their sales, which adds up to over a million pounds to date. How brilliant is that?
We’ve been trying the Super Suet Fat Balls, which are ideal for winter feeding. They contain a mix of fat, dried mealworms and peanut flour, making them a high-energy feast that’s popular with a wide variety of wild birds. They’re are a million miles away from those super-cheap fat balls you may have come across, which are often bulked out with zero nutrition ingredients like sand and even sawdust.
I was really pleased to see that Vine House Farm fat balls are netless, which means they’re not contained within plastic netting. This netting can be really dangerous to birds as they can trap their feet or beaks in it, it’s hard to believe that some fat balls are still sold this way to be honest. Please avoid them!
The best way to feed netless fat balls is from a purpose-made fat ball feeder. These are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and usually come apart for easy cleaning. We used the Heavy Duty Suet Fat Ball Feeder.
On a practical note, the super suet fat balls are easy to handle and pop into the feeder, they hold together well too so there isn’t lots of mess on the ground. Any scraps that do fall are quickly snapped up anyway!
We’ve hung our feeder just outside the kitchen window, so we can easily watch the birds from inside the house.
And guess what? The birds love them!
I’ve never seen any feed we’ve put out disappear so quickly. These fat balls are clearly exactly what the birds are after at this time of year, and the kids have been kept very busy re-stocking the feeder. It’s been so lovely watching all manner of wild birds paying us a visit, and we’re having fun trying to catch them on camera, with varying degrees of success!
We’ve also discovered the rather fabulous live webcam at Vine House Farm. This is watching one of the feeding stations on the farm, so you can check out all the birds that visit. The kids are absolutely transfixed.
The Super Suet Fat Balls have been really popular with our local birds, and we’ve had lots of fun watching all our visitors enjoy their winter feast. If you’d like to do your bit to support your local wild birds this winter I can definitely recommend them. With Feed the Birds Day on 3rd February and National Nest Box Week 14th-21st February, now’s a great time to start.
Vine House Farm Super Suet Fat Balls cost from £14.50 for a box of 50, you can find out more and browse their full range of bird food here. Will you be treating your local birds to a winter feast?
Pin this for later:
Vine House Farm provided the Super Suet Fat Balls and Heavy Duty Suet Fat Ball Feeder for review purposes, all comments and opinions are honest and genuine.