by Texas Homesteader ~
We love feeding the beautiful wild birds. So we used to buy the large expensive bags of bird seed at the big-box store. But those wild birds can really go through a lot of feed!
We discovered there’s an oh-so-much-cheaper way to fill the feeder, y’all. Check out today’s Homestead Hack.
Feeding Wild Birds Is An Enjoyable Pastime
We love to watch all manner of birds in our yard. We have a pretty hummingbird feeder and we make our own hummingbird feed to keep it filled.
And we also have a rustic wooden bird feeder on a decorative black metal shepherd’s hook in our yard. It’s purposely placed in full view of the large windows from our living room.
We both get so much enjoyment from watching the birds flitter around the feeders. So we always make sure our bird feeder is filled. We want to attract as many birds as possible to our yard.
Filling Wild Bird Feeder Can Be Expensive
Back in ‘the day’ when we ran out of bird food we’d simply shop at the big discount store & pick up the largest bag of bird food we could buy, plunk down the expensive dough required and schlep it home time & time again.
But that was then, this is now. And I’m here to tell ya there IS an easier (and oh-so-much CHEAPER) way!
Looking For A Cheaper Wild Bird Seed Option
When walking through the stores we saw that there were different combinations of seeds sold, supposedly to attract different kinds of birds.
Classic Bird Seed
Black Oil Sunflower Seed Included
We usually bought the regular blend to attract the most varieties of birds. It seemed the least expensive of all the specialty blends and always resulted in a nice mixture of colorful birds at our bird feeders.
But we noticed how close the mixture of seeds in the commercial wild bird seed mixes we were buying compared to our regular ole chicken scratch.
Although not identical in composition, our hen scratch included cracked corn, wheat, whole milo, etc. Much of the same seed also included in wild bird seed bags.
How Expensive Is Bird Seed?
As much as I love feeding the birds, it was getting expensive. At the time of this writing it was close to $10 for a small 10-pound bag of bird seed.
But the chicken scratch was only about $11 for a whopping 40-lb bag at our local feed store. Now that’s quite a savings, y’all!
Will Wild Birds Really Eat Chicken Scratch?
But you know, saving money doesn’t help at all if the birds turn their ‘beaks’ up to it – so to speak. HA!
So we filled our bird feeder with some plain ole chicken scratch to give ‘er a test run. We hung it on the shepherd’s hook and waited.
The verdict? Will the birds eat chicken scratch? YES!! The birds all flocked to the feeder at all hours of the day.
Many Varieties Of Wild Birds In Our Backyard
Our feeder is always heavily visited by many different varieties of birds at all times of the day. Birds including
Bright red cardinals
…and many more. They all absolutely love it.
So these days instead of buying that expensive bag of commercial wild bird seed, we’re opting for that cheap bag of plain chicken scratch instead.
And at less than 1/2 price of a bag of traditional bird seed we can keep them supplied much longer!
Where To Buy Chicken Scratch?
We’ve found the nearest Farmer’s Co-Op is the cheapest place to buy chicken scratch. But any actual feed store would be a good bet.
And here in Texas there are chain farm & ranch stores such as Atwoods, Gebo’s & McCoy’s where we can buy bags of chicken scratch. We’ve even seen chicken scratch for sale at the larger WalMart stores in nearby towns.
But even in the city there are usually farm & ranch stores. Most states in the U.S. have a Tractor Supply store, and there may be others farm & ranch stores local to your region.
Feeding wild birds plain chicken scratch is one of my favorite and most enjoyable Homestead Hacks ever. Give it a try, your birds (and your WALLET) will love you for it!
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