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The birds in my backyard are eating dry cat food.

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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:19 AM
Original message
The birds in my backyard are eating dry cat food.
We always keep dry food out on our back porch for stray cats, but now birds are eating it, too. I've noticed recently that Starlings, Blue Jays and Crows are eating it. I don't know what to think of this. Has anybody else had this experience?
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. I wouldn't worry about it until the birds start meowing at your backdoor
and asking to use the litterbox

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FloridaJudy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
2. My parents were avid animal lovers
Who left out dry dog food for the raccoons. The birds used to finish up the leftovers all the time.

Be grateful it isn't squirrels. They sell supposedly squirrel-proof bird feeders, but I've yet to see one the furry terrorists couldn't get to when they applied themselves.
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I love that!
I guess I shouldn't worry unless I start seeing dead birds. I used to feed the birds but the sparrows came along by the hundreds and at one point I was buying 50 lbs. of bird seed a week! I can't afford that now.
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karmaqueen Donating Member (417 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
4. Yes, all the time
I always keep dog and cat food out. I have so many hungry animals around because of development and the fox will come for the dog food at sunset. The birds eat the food everyday too. The jays come right while the cats are there, not afraid at all. The big black ones, I think Grackles, go for the dog food, they throw it in the water bowl for a few seconds then eat it, I guess to soften it. It must be fine for them to do this, I have been watching this for years and I have tons of birds around.
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I'm so glad, carolinabeachbum!
I was so worried about the birds. But if they can get some nourishment from the cat food, especially in this frigid weather, I'm glad they're eating it.
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Don't worry about it, zanne.
They probably digest and process scrap iron.
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
6. Crows and Jays will eat anything they can wrestle down their
throats. They are not picky eaters.
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fizzgig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
8. that happens all the time at my dad's
there was also a skunk that 'adopted' us for some time. it was always quite the surprise to open the back door and see her (or him). and somehow, thank gods, neither us nor the cats startled it enough to spray
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Unfortunately, skunks really love the cat food...
We have that "Eau de Skunk" fragrance around the house all summer. We also have one (I think) possum who eats it. He's harmless and we like to see him around.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
9. Some of the birds around my house are very fond of dog food.
A bird feeding book that I have recommends good quality dry or wet cat food as a treat for the birds, especially the insect eaters. Winter is a rough time for them.
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zabet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
10. We have a Mocking Bird
and a huge 'possum that
eat the dry food left out
under the carport for the
'farm' cats.
The bird never bothers the
cats like most Mocking Birds
notoriously do, and I have seen
the cats and the 'possum at the
feed pan at the same time.
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Ramsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-21-08 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
12. We have all kinds of fauna eating our stray cat food
I put dry food out every morning and evening on the side patio. We have one outdoor cat there pretty much every day, a second one every other day or so, and a couple of others that show up randomly.

In the evening, I have to watch the bowls pretty closely because we get a bevy of raccoons and opossums that also like to chow on the cat food, and they will chase the cats away. I have to sit out there and guard the cats sometimes until they get their fill.

With all that competition, there's not much left for the birds.
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