July 16, 2016 | Kelly Barany, Chin Ridge Seeds (en-CA)
We often get asked if it is possible to keep birdseed fresh for a longer period of time. While we typically suggest a bird seed shelf life of about 6 months, there are a few things that you can do in order to keep your birdseed fresh longer.
Buy fresh seed in good condition: The first thing to ensure is that the seed you are buying is fresh from the start. Make sure that you have a good look at the bag you are considering buying. If the seed appears dusty or discolored, or has any sort of cobwebs, do not buy it. Avoid any bag that appears worn out or dusty, as it is possible that it has been sitting on the shelf too long already. Also check to see if there is a manufacturing date or code on the bag so you know for sure when the birdseed was made.
Store your seed in an airtight container: After you have purchased your birdseed, it is important to consider the type of container that your seed will be stored in. If your seed is in a bag it is best to change it to another type of container as most bags have small holes in it to allow bags to stack better when shipping. However these small holes could allow insects or moisture to get inside the bag. A great alternative is to transfer your seed into an airtight plastic or metal container.
Store your seed in a cool dry spot: Once you have your seed in an airtight container, you will need to determine where you are going to place the seed. Temperature plays a major role in how long your birdseed will stay fresh. If the seed is stored at a temperature that is too warm, it will spoil a lot faster. Most homes are too warm to store seed. Therefore, a cool garage or garden shed are great options. During the summer months, it is a good idea to move your seed to a freezer if possible. Keeping the seed frozen will not affect the seed quality and will help to prevent the seed from spoiling.
It is always a good idea to do occasional quality checks on your seed. Ensure that there are no signs of insects, or insect cobwebs. The seed should not be discolored in any way, and you should check to make sure the smell is not ‘off’ and remains fresh.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to ensure your seed stays fresh for your feathered friends.