Birds wasting the milo in my bird feeders

wasabi_VA(7)April 17, 2011

I am new to feeding and attracting wild birds to my yard (Virginia) and only recently put up a nice feeder. After a few weeks I am noticing a significant increase in birds in my yard. I bought a 20 lb. bag of wild bird seed mix (Pennington brand) and have been good about keeping the feeder filled.

But I am noticing the birds seems to be separating out the milo seed and not eating it. I have a bunch of it collecting on the ground under my feeder. The seed mix I buy seems to use milo as a large % of the bag so I may be wasting my money on this type of mix. Is it common for wild birds to reject the milo?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

This is very common, and unfortunately many wild bird mixes have a lot of milo because it's so inexpensive. Birds know that it offers little in the way of nutritional value.

Spend a little more on black sunflower seeds or a mix that contains little of the cheap filler.

Do you have a finch feeder? Those gold finches are something else!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 2:05PM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

You will also attract birds you don't want like House Sparrows (HOSP) with the cheap feed. Black Oil Sunflower Seed (BOSS)and Thistle really covers it for most birds. Try Suit cakes also. If you want a lot of activity add a water feature, even if it is just an upside down garbage can lid with stones in it.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 3:30PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Very good question wasabi, and one of the most important reasons that that forums like this exist.
I do not buy any seed which contains millet, milo, or cracked corn. It just tends to draw in the birds that you don't want at your feeders, and it brings them in droves. rhizo and lisa give good advice. Stick with plain old Black Oil Sunflower Seed (BOSS) for your seed feeders. I buy 40lb bags of it at Tractor Supply for $16, so it isn't too expensive. If you want to splurge a little on the birds, Sunflower hearts/chips are a HUGE hit as is suet. Thistle seed (or Nyjer) is favored by Goldfinches, but it is expensive right now and requires a special type of feeder. You can also buy a peanut feeder and offer shelled peanuts for the Woodepeckers, Nuthatches, and Jays. You can buy mixes which are labled as "fruit and nut" mixes, and they contain really great choices for the birds. Many birds love to eat dried fruits, and these mixes usually contain BOSS, dried fruits, and nuts. Oh, and the suggestion of adding water is an excellent one. One of my most visited water offerings is a large saucer from a terra cotta flower pot. I add fresh water each day, and the birds flock to it for drinking and bathing. I also own a heated birdbath which is mounted on my deck rail. In the dead of winter when everything is frozen, it is a HUGE hit with the birds, and then I unplug it and they also use it during the summer months. Sorry to be so wordy. Hope that helps you~~Angie

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 8:08AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I sure do agree with providing a water feature of some kind. All of the birds love a good bath and fresh water. Place it where it will be convenient to keep it clean and filled with water.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 3:46PM
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Pennington and Milo seed SCAM: before I purchased a 40 lbs bag of Pennington Classic birdseed at Wallmart, I saw on the back of the bag that Pennington provided a nice little graph that broke down a variety of birds and what seeds they eat. It had to have had 12 different seeds listed but it did not list MILO which led me to believe the bag didn't contain MILO......SO WRONG! I never buy seed with Milo because the only birds that will eat it are pheasants, pigeons, and turkeys.....(nice for bird feeders, right!). I purchased the bag only to see it contained about 70% - 80% MILO! I looked at the back of the bag again and it did not list Milo in their graph. But when I looked at the bottom of the bag it listed what seeds the bag contained and guess what the seed was listed???? MILO! Would any honest company provide a handy graph only to leave out MILO which is the main ingredient? NO! So I immediately called Pennington and they confirmed that no bird feeder birds on the east coat eat Milo and added that their warehouse must have added too much Milo in error (LIE). Pennington went on to say they offer an alternative to their classic brand called ultra which had no Milo. Guess what is advertised on the front of the Ultra bad? "No Wasted Seed"! I brought this scam to the attention of the Wallmart Manager who said he would contact their buyer. DO NOT but seed with Milo because you are throwing your money down the drain and Pennington admits it!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 5:43PM
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I have had the same problems with the wasted red milo. I have purchased bags of mixed bird seed from Walmart for several years. At one time the birdseed was mostly millet but now it is mostly milo and the birds really waste it. The brand name is Kaytee and I will not buy it again. There is no way to know what is in the bag until it is opened. I now buy birdseed in bulk from Winco Food Stores in Idaho Falls, ID. They only cover a few states around Idaho. Being in bulk, it is easy to see that it is mostly millet seed that the birds love and it is only 49 cents a pound, cheaper by the pound that the bags at Walmart. However, I will still buy the 20 lb. bags of thistle seed at Walmart, when they are not out of it, since it is a little cheaper than the $1.43 per pound price at Winco. I love all the house finches, pine siskins, and goldfinches (and no house sparrows) that feed on the finch, thistle seed socks.

1 Like    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 1:22PM
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I've had a feeder in the backyard for over 5 years now and we really enjoy the activity. I decided to replace my feeder with an identical one and couldn't find it anywhere but at Walmart. Unfortunately, I broke my vow not to buy from Walmart again until they start treating their employees better when I bought the feeder yesterday. It has been modified with deeper feeder holes to discourage squirrels, but that isn't a problem here being a new neighborhood with no mature trees around. One last thing about Walmart, they rail against any safety net programs and support right wing politicians, yet its clearly known a big part of their business comes from accepting food stamps. They are happy to take food stamps which are supplied by the government they rail against and don't care many of their own employees are forced to apply for food stamps since Walmart refuses to pay them a fair wage. So, what this means Walmart knows their people have to go on government assistance which in turn means the taxpayers have to pick up the slack, not Walmart. Walmart finally admitted food stamps is a substantial contributor to their bottom line so now its time for them to help get their own people off government food stamps and other programs, if they are even available anymore. Apparently a majority of those "Christian" Republicans want to cut aid programs like food stamps, which in turn is one of their justifications to extend more tax cuts to their wealthy corporate donors like the Waltons and the Koch Brothers who contribute an ungodly amount of money to Republican candidates thanks to the hyper activist judges on the Supreme Court when they passed the "Citizens United" law. This law forever changed/corrupted American politics by allowing without question unlimited corporate political contributions by the likes of the Waltons and the slick Kochs. Each Walton family member is worth billions, they need another tax break like I need a hole in my head.

The in pocket to the Waltons and Koch politicians claim these tax breaks helps with "trickle down economics". Give more money to the corporation and that money will trickle down to the workers in the form of better pay and benefits. All voluntary apparently because none of the Walmart employees have yet to see the fruits of their labor nor the application of trickle down economics. They are still drawing an ever shrinking food stamp program, which wasn't much help anyway thanks to the constant cutting of benefits by Walmart class politicians. This might be where Walmart and their paid politicians disagree because cutting their employee and customer's food stamp benefits means less income for Walmart and god forbid, it puts pressure on them to pay their employees what they deserve. I think Walmart has been brain washed by the wages typically paid to their "indirect" employees, those Chinese workers who make 90% of the products on the shelves in Walmart USA.

Actually, I made two moral wrongs yesterday, I bought at Walmart and the bird feeder I bought was made in China.

I apologize for going on a rant, but the frustration of what is really going on in the USA has me frustrated, especially when voters don't research the issues and fall for the fear tactics and red meat issues every damn time. The right wing plays with that strategy over and over and it works most times. Now that the Kochs are going to contribute close to one billion dollars to win the 2016 elections, if that happens say good bye to Social Security and Medicare as we have known it for years. Don't fall for the lie they are changing the program to protect it for our kids, that is a bald face lie. They want Social Security privatized and put in control by the Wall Street stock brokers and Medicare handled by the insurance industry. Ever wonder why health insurance is so expensive and going up every year with benefits being cut as well? If you love Medicare like I do (both programs saved my parents), don't fall for their two faced lies. We are very close as a nation being taken over by corporate interests, one that will have a weak middle class if any and I dare to say we will be just another third world country, a rich entitled class and the rest.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2015 at 10:30AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Next time, john, take the rants to the Hot Topics Forum. This is the Wildlife Forum and the topic is bird seed, for cryin' out loud!

1 Like    Bookmark   February 22, 2015 at 2:32AM
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Your right. I, if I can find it, use only milo and oil sunflower seeds..

    Bookmark   March 14, 2015 at 4:16PM
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    Bookmark   March 14, 2015 at 4:19PM
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