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Dog Friendly Bird Seed?

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:27 pm
by meteorologist
We have two bird feeders in the back yard since my daughter likes to watch the birds. We have been filling them with whole black oil sunflowers seeds, which are supposed to be the best thing for the birds. However, both dogs just go straight for the feeders and eat all of the seeds the birds drop. It's like watching two miniature cows grazing in the back yard. For a few weeks we had more episodes of gross poop and dogs barfing that we stopped refilling the feeders.

I'm just curious if anyone else has any suggestions for feeders that are okay for the dogs too? Or am I crazy for attracting birds to a yard with bird dogs in it?

Jason

Re: Dog Friendly Bird Seed?

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:59 pm
by janet909
Wow, I don't know. We have about 9 regular feeders and 3 thistle feeders. Our older dogs never noticed them but we've noticed that our new little rescue Britt loves to eat the bird seed. We don't use straight sunflower seed but the regular wild bird mix. Other than having lovely bird seed poops, it never occurred to me that this might be bad for him. I mean, he's not eating tons of it but every once in awhile, we catch him out there. Interestingly, he did point a song bird today that was overloaded from eating and sitting in a bush. Then Wesley lunged at him and almost caught it :roll: . Not cool !!! Anyway, is this dangerous for his gut??????

Re: Dog Friendly Bird Seed?

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:03 pm
by Barb Wright
Hmmm....am thinking that eating enough bird seed to throw it up or having so much bird seed in the stool that it causes stool that is mostly bird seed is NOT a good thing. Cassie always manages to get a few licks of bird seed while I am filling feeders....am sure she is thinking "if she is giving it to the birds then I want some too" :roll: :roll: .... and the seed, which is essentially indigestible unless it is crushed or cooked, just comes out making a bit of a "polka dot" poop :wink: I don't worry about that at all. And my seed too is the wild bird mix, several different kinds of seed plus sunflower seeds and cracked (some not cracked) corn.

As far as the problem with the dogs grazing on large quantities of sunflower seeds, I think I would not allow that. What to do?????? Dunno :cry: Make some kind of feeder that doesn't allow the seeds to fall on the ground, or where the dogs can get at the fallout. There has got to be a way to give the birds a hand-out without dogs figuring they need to get in on the action too :P :P Maybe some chicken wire protecting the fallout area...that way the birds can get at it but the dogs can't...maybe :lol: These dang dogs are pretty clever....gonna take some thought to outthink them :P :twisted: :wink:

Re: Dog Friendly Bird Seed?

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:52 am
by adele
Lola grazes below the bird feeders too. I don't worry about it, but she doesn't eat enough to make herself sick and her poops are just fine. I serve only sunflower and niger seed. I'm sure the niger is too small for Lola but she gets sunflower. Lola pretty much ignores the passerines but we also get pheasant, squirrels, and chipmunks which provide hours of entertainment. It would be a shame to have to shut down the feeders. I agree with Barb. Try hanging some "catch all" thingee below the feeders to trap most of the seed that spills. It won't hurt if some of the seed gets to the ground. Another option is to use small seed like, say, niger and millet. Those seeds are so small I doubt your dogs would bother with them.

Re: Dog Friendly Bird Seed?

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:38 am
by Jotaff
The trouble with attracting birds is that the bird droppings can make your dog sick. A friend of mine just about lost her three dogs due to bird droppings from birds overhead.

Re: Dog Friendly Bird Seed?

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:06 am
by adele
I've never heard of that. What was the illness?

Our bird feeders have been part of Lola's life with us since day 1. We garden with plants to attract birds and we've left a good deal of our property untamed to encourage the birds. We haven't had any trouble with illness. Sunflower seed and sunflower oil are perfectly safe to feed to your dogs. I don't know for sure about the shells but my guess is that they just add ruffage. Certainly Lola eats shells without ill effects. However, too much of anything is never a good idea. And as always... what bugs some dog tummies doesn't bother others.

Re: Dog Friendly Bird Seed?

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:38 am
by Annie'sRebecca
We have the same problem. We used the regular wild birdseed and Rowdy and Annie were having mostly birdseed poops. So, we switched to sunflower seeds, the dogs left it alone, but the birds stopped coming. What to do????

Re: Dog Friendly Bird Seed?

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:42 am
by janet909
Well, I can certainly say that while there are some seeds in his poop, it is mostly other contents so I think I'll let it be. That being said, I'd love to hear a little more about what they can catch from bird droppings.

Re: Dog Friendly Bird Seed?

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:32 pm
by Barb Wright
janet909 wrote: I'd love to hear a little more about what they can catch from bird droppings.
Probably the main thing that dogs can (but don't always) pick up from bird droppings is Coccidia....a microcsopic parasite that can be problematic in dogs with poor health or compromised immune systems, and the very young puppies whose immune system is still coming up to speed. A rather nasty bacterium dogs can also get from bird droppings, creeks with water contaminated from fowl/birds, soil, etc. is Mycobacterium avium. There are also some fungal diseases, but again, healthy dogs can usually send these parasites/bacterium/fungals packing....it is only an unhealthy immune system that lets these type parasite, bacteria, and fungals take over and become a serious health problem.

Re: Dog Friendly Bird Seed?

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:09 pm
by AuntieMom
I used to feed birds more before we got our flying angel, Kallie. Pre-Kallie, I had a peanut feeder (post-Kallie, it became a pinata smorgasboard.) I still have a finch feeder with a baffle on top and a seed catcher on the bottom, mainly I fill it with nyjer & sunflower hearts mix. We also still have a platform feeder and a large tubular feeder, mainly for safflower seed. My seed of choice is safflower because the dogs and squirrels do not eat it but the birds like it. I mix in a handful of sunflower seeds in the winter.

I still feel like we are baiting the birds by feeding them but have somewhat gotten over that. It is so enjoyable and the birds got smart and only come feed if the doggies are inside. The finch feeder is just outside our kitchen window and it is such a joy to watch them.

The other thing that will attract birds is water and there are some beautiful bird baths out there. In the spring time, the birds should be able to find enough food that what you put out is just supplemental. Suet attracts a great variety of birds as well.

Bird dogs: http://img209.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscf4178.jpg