Social media
Contact information
Address

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6NH

Email

info@pfma.org.uk

Feeding the birds provides a lifeline during winter

Feeding the birds provides a lifeline during winter

The winter months provide a challenge for birds, as frosts, winds and snow can make it hard to find natural food supplies. Some smaller birds need to eat 30-40% of their body weight to survive the winter and supplementary feeding can provide a lifeline.

Feeding the birds provides a lifeline during winter

PFMA research shows that around half of the UK population with outdoor space feed the birds during winter – 51%[1] for city dwellers and rises to 57% in rural communities. However, recent reports[2] highlight the decline in the wild bird population and there is scope for improvement.

Nicole Paley, PFMA adds: “The winter months provide a challenge for birds, as frosts, winds and snow can make it hard to find natural food supplies. Some smaller birds need to eat 30-40% of their body weight to survive the winter and supplementary feeding can provide a lifeline. We have some great advice here: https://www.pfma.org.uk/wild-birds on how to support the local wildlife:”

·        During the winter, birds need high energy, high fat foods such as fat / suet balls and sunflower seeds.  

·        Different species of birds have different requirements. Some species are ground feeders (e.g. Robin and Dunnock) while others prefer to feed from hanging feeders (e.g. Blue Tit and Great Spotted Woodpecker). There is a wide range of products on the market suitable for hanging feeders, bird tables and ground feeding.

·        Birds need to drink and bathe daily – even when it’s cold – help birds by providing a fresh supply of water.

·        Think about other animals in the household. Foods such as raisins, currants, sultanas and grapes are poisonous for pets.   

·        Hygiene is important, leftover food should be cleared daily and feeding stations, water containers and baths kept clean.

·        Think about location – provide shelter from harsh weather and in an open, safe place away from hiding predators.

With the checklist completed, you can now sit back and await your guests – be patient, it may take a few days. Remember you don’t need a garden to feed the birds – a balcony or window will also work.

 


[1] Research Solour Consulting 2017 

 

[2] https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/where-have-all-the-birds-gone/is-the-number-of-birds-in-decline/

Share this

 

The pet food industry: Playing a part in sustainability and reducing carbon emissions

The pet food industry is very mindful of the role it plays in the responsible use of resources, including minimising wherever possible the environmental impact of pet food production. Pets are part of the family and bring numerous benefits to society. Pets instil responsibility,
encourage social awareness, and contribute to wellbeing. As an industry, we have a responsibility to balance the needs of the population (pets and people) with protecting the environment for future generations.

The pet food industry: Preparing for Brexit since the referendum

With previous experience from a number of trade associations, including some time in Brussels, Michael Bellingham, chief executive
of the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, is perfectly placed to lead the industry through these challenging times. Here he discusses
the impact and implications of the UK’s exit from the EU.