How to keep tube birdfeeder bottom from growing sprouts?

brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)December 23, 2009

Don't know if this is right forum, but saw lots of birdfeeder posts.

Anyone have a solution for blocking up the bottom of the tube type, like creating a false bottom? With my type, after the bottom hole there's about 3" of seed that birds can't get to. It just sits there, wasted and ends up growing sprouts. I drilled drainage holes in very bottom but still, the seed gets wet.

If they were eating it empty it every day, I'd throw that part on the ground. But I don't have to fill it real often.

Tried putting gravel in to raise the level of seed but ended up with gravel melded together with sprouts. Had a heck of a time cleaning it out today.

I'm sure I could use smaller pebbles or even sand, maybe, but wondering if anyone has a genius idea I haven't thought of :)

Bonnie aka brit5467

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Better for the birds to put less in the feeder then wash before adding food. I realize it is a pain but sprouting seeds mean the feed is wet and could be molding.

By washing everytime you fill you cut down on the chance of birds transferring diseases. Last couple of years there has been a problem with eye infections that the spread in some areas were attributed to dirty feeders where the birds brushed their eyes against the feeder to get to the food. Tube feeders are one type that birds will brush their heads on the sides of the openings so extra care should be taken with those.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 11:22PM
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You could along with feeding less put a tube inside the feeder so that only the area next to the outside has feed. This would cut down on the amount of feed you add every time and the birds could access the full length of the tube.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 11:24PM
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justuscountryfolks(z8 Louisiana)

Understand very well what you are saying. I have/had the same problem and found the most economical fix was to empty the feeder when the feed got low and knock out the wasted bottom. Another remedy to my problem was I attached a flat saucer/plate of light weight to the bottom by screwing it to the bottom of the tube feeder and then bore holes around the bottom of the tube and then the birds could eat till the very bottom and any excess will fall onto the saucer or plate. A good source for some type of plate or saucer is in the toy department and especially the girls kitchen toys. This fix won't set you back money wise but now I am more careful in what feeders I buy. Much prefer to create my own from putting together parts from older ones.

Actually thus far this year we have not seen birds at the feeders as in past years. Hope all that will change soon.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 9:55AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Thanks for the head's up about the bird disease. Wasn't aware of that and certainly don't want to create that problem.

My feeders only have two holes near the top, then two about 3" up from the bottom. If I put less food, it's going to give them two less holes to eat out of.

As for the plate solution, it's a good idea! Not sure I have access to drilling holes in the bottom (side of bottom, right?) for the feed to fall out, tho, because my tubes (have 2 feeders) also have metal cages around them - partly decorative but also to keep out squirrels (bought this way, not home-made).

So where you're talking about drilling is actually attached to the bottom of this cage and then the cage itselfhas some solid metal that I think is going to get in my way. But I'll inspect them closer to see if there's a way to get a drill in there. THANKS !!

I've not had as many as I remember last winter, but do have my regulars. Esp. the little one-legged sparrow. Just noticed him about a month ago. I've been crumbling pieces of those suet blocks onto my porch railing which is right in front of my bedroom window. He comes and actually lays on his tummy and pigs out, versus standing on his one leg. It's really cute.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 11:28AM
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Brit -
Take it down, clean it thoroughly, and stuff something in the end of the feeder, such as a wash basin stopper.

Then caulk it in place with waterproof caulk.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 1:42PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

I DID just take them both down (separately, as not deprive my babies), soak them in bleach water, get out all the crud, etc. after reading the post about disease. I didn't realize !!

My bird book said some birds like cornmeal so I poured some in the bottom of one just for filler. But....realized IT will probably get wet and make a corncake...ha ha ha.

The other, I tried doing that and with all the drilled holes at the bottom, it ran out too fast so I dumped it on the grass. But that was a GOOD thing because the Grackles (who will devour everything in an hour) seemed to love that and stayed away fromt the feeders.

Sorry....I was just rambling. Your idea of plugging up the whole bottom with somethings seems like a good idea. Wondering about the drainage for rain, tho? Guess I could devise a stopper that still had drainage, huh? TKS A BUNCH !!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 8:24PM
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