birdfeeders and peanuts/nuts

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I have just a quick question that maybe someone has a suggestion for this. I saw a cute craft online to do with my kids. It involved making a birdfeeder out of a plastic soda bottle and I thought my kids would get a kick out of seeing all kinds of birds come to their yard. Well when we went to the nursery to by birdseed, almost all of them contained peanuts and the few that did not did have warnings that they were packaged in a facility that did package other products with pn. I was so annoyed that once again even a simple thing could not be simple for my daughter. I was wondering if anyone had ever tried something like this with their children and maybe had a "homemade" birdseed recipe. I know this is a trivial thing so if we can't do it then no big deal. I just thought it was worth asking and also worth letting others know about it. I recently heard of a story from my sister that a girl in her son's class who is pa had to make a pb bird feeder with her class and they made her wear rubber gloves!!!!!! People just don't get it....Take care.

On May 2, 2003

Here are some IDEAS for you - grass seed cracked corn sunflower seeds berries crab apples sliced fruit suet (fat bought at Butcher shop or given to you free. You will probably get a good laugh from the Butcher when you ask him if you can buy some meat fat) grains bread and cracker crumbs Worms in moist soil - obviously this will depend on how big your carton is. Big feed stores carry grains in bulk which in my opinion should be clear of nuts/peanuts but who knows these days. We are big bird lovers so let me know if any of these work. Depending on the time of year will also depend on the berries available that the birds like. Here in Florida they love boysenberries and some other berries that make them "drunk". These come out 2 times a year. I know when we lived in Iowa the birds were crazy for crab apples and cardinals always love sunflowers and Robyns love worms. Also don't forget hummingbirds - you can always hang feeders and make your own hummingbird sugar water. Well, good luck and let me know. In my opinion any project that has to do with nature is worth some creativity.

On May 3, 2003

Caroline's Mom, I have always been an avid bird feeder, long before current DH and long before PA entered my life. Never once did I feed birds peanuts (and then I hear from my PA parent friends about having to clean up their yards because of people that feed squirrels peanuts all winter, but that's another story).

Of course, when PA entered my life, I was concerned that my kids wouldn't get the sheer enjoyment out of watching the birds come to the feeders and learning the names of all of the birds. What's the name of the beautiful red bird, Jesse? A cardinal, Mama.

We were very fortunate in the small town we lived in at that time that they actually farmed sunflowers and sold the seeds in absolutely giant bags for great prices. So, no worry about cross contamination whatsoever. And my kids got their bird watching experiences and learned the names. We had one wonderful flock of birds show up there that we had never seen before (I can't remember the name right now, it started with a C and it was very rare for them to be in our area).

We moved to a larger town/small city and I still buy sunflower seed only. None of the bags that I have purchased have had the warning "may contain" on them. I am a bit nervous about this but Jesse rarely helps me fill the bird feeders and when he does, I make sure he comes in and washes his hands immediately (which you should really do anyway, probably).

The best gift we ever bought our nieces was the bird feeder that attaches to windows and the children can watch the bird come right up to say their bedroom window. They got so much joy out of these feeders and the other people at the birthday party that year asked where we got such interesting gifts.

So far, touch wood, I've never had a problem buying sunflower seeds in the shell. I never buy the mixed bird seed. I think I would also be comfortable buying the niger seed for finches.

I do know when I went last Fall into what would be our local farm store, I was shocked (call me naive [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) to see this HUGE bag of peanuts for bird seed/feed. Shocked.

I also like the list of ideas Danielle posted for you.

I know I raised the question here a couple of years ago, perhaps in Off Topic, about whether anyone does do the bird feeder thing or not because of PA and there are a lot of us that do and do safely. Someone even posted a recipe for suet (aside from the stuff from the butcher) without peanuts. It was wonderful.

Also, another thought would be hummingbird feeders (although we've seen quite a few come just to our regular bird feeders).

Hope this helps somehow and your children can enjoy yes, what is a very simple pleasure to most everyone else. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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