Fat balls

The place to chat, fluff your feathers, and let off steam!
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Tweetypie
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Fat balls

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:38 pm

Poundstretcher stores are selling boxes of 150 net-free fatballs for £9.99. Considering my garden birds get through a square suet block, 6 fatballs and a coconut suet per day, this has saved me some money. :D
Icemaiden
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Re: Fat balls

Post by Icemaiden » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:56 pm

We have rooks in our garden & a rookery in the tall trees just behind us. Before I got the girls, I used to feed the wild birds. The rooks would devour a fatball in minutes, so I got a 2litre fat block with seeds in it & left it on the lawn. Blow me if they didn't manage to carry the whole thing away!!!
Last edited by Icemaiden on Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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Tweetypie
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Re: Fat balls

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:39 pm

OMG icemaiden that's so funny. For some reason there is an abundance of sparrows in my garden this year. The beautiful bullfinches, pied wagtails, chaffinches and gold finches have gone away. I am not sure if it is down to nesting, or the sparrows. The bluetits come and occasionally the coal tit. I am now just left with brown birds... sparrows, blackbirds, song thrush. The rooks stay in the tall trees near the lane, high up. They don't bother with my garden.

Do you get pigeons? I really don't like them...
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rick
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Re: Fat balls

Post by rick » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:09 am

Aww! I like pigeons. They have such a hard time in Birmingham with all the hair that get wrapped around their feet (doesn't happen here in Leamington - big cities must have a lot of hair which is a disturbing thought!) A bit too successful maybe and eat a lot of bird food. They keep the peregrines well fed.
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Marigold
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Re: Fat balls

Post by Marigold » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:00 am

Do you get feral pigeons or woodpigeons? The RSPB Birdwatch reports that woodpigeons are among several species that have recently cottoned on to food supplies in gardens. I like to see them waddling about but we have to put feeder guardians on the feeders or else they manage to hang on somehow and empty the feed too fast. Dog likes chasing them but they don't take much notice of her.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Fat balls

Post by Hen-Gen » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:30 am

Yesterday I despatched two ten week old cockerels. As always I put them out to feed the birds. This morning just a scattering of feathers.
Some have criticised this but when I explain that crows and ravens have babies to feed the attitude usually softens. Better recycled than put in a black bin bag. And better to eat carrion than the fledgling chicks of other birds.
Apart from sparrows there is nothing here to eat fat balls. I miss wood pigeons too. Always seemed part of rural life to me.
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Fat balls

Post by MrsBiscuit » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:01 am

That's interesting, about the lack of wood pigeons. Both where my Mum lives and at our old house in the UK, we became overrun with the things, to the extent my Mum no longer puts food out but they are still the dominant species in her garden. At our house they became a real nuisance to some of neighbours, eating fruit and veg in everyone's back garden, with a real penchant for broccoli and purple sprouting! The sparrows this year are extremely prolific. Yesterday I watched them jumping up and pulling down grass seedheads, it reminded me so much of the chooks.

I never thought about putting out despatched birds, I suppose I wouldn't want to attract foxes, but then you don't get them I think HG. I did offer them to the local pet shop (who had reptiles) but he wasn't interested.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Fat balls

Post by Tweetypie » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:00 am

I am not sure what type of pigeon they are, they are huge and are not doves. My OH shot a few when we moved here, so they rarely come into my garden now. The odd one will drop in and retreat immediately when he sees us, or if there is any slight movement as we walk past a window. It's amazing how they learn who to fear, they must speak to one another... I really do not like them. They breed all year round and are basically out of control in cities.

I live at the end of a village on a very small, dead end, lane. At the top it is surrounded by fields. Half a mile away, the opposite way is Sherwood Pines forest, which joins with Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park (Robin Hood - Center Parcs). I walk in the woods most evenings, even in winter (with torches). I once stumbled upon a woodcock and more recently saw a nuthatch, which I have never seen before.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Fat balls

Post by Hen-Gen » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:51 am

MrsBiscuit wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:01 am
I never thought about putting out despatched birds, I suppose I wouldn't want to attract foxes, but then you don't get them I think HG. I did offer them to the local pet shop (who had reptiles) but he wasn't interested.
Yes, a very dangerous thing to do in your neck of the woods. Not only foxes but stoats, rats and badgers too. Fortunately we are free of all of those predators so no risk here. Curious no rats because they are present on the larger adjacent islands. Some say that the trolls eat them all!
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Marigold
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Re: Fat balls

Post by Marigold » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:24 pm

This is a woodpigeon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_wood_pigeon
and these are feral or rock pigeons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_pigeon The sections in the article about population control and disease resistance are interesting, especially the apparent immunity to high concentrations of bird flu, which is good news.
If you click on the small pic of the rock pigeon, you'll see they're a different, more streamlined shape than wood pigeons, and also they come in a very wide variety of colours and patterns, being descended from domesticated racing pigeons. Near where we live, in Andover, a lot of the pigeons have pinkish or brownish colouring and some are nearly pure white.
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