Are ya or ain't ya:

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by postbeetle, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    From Eastern Iowa. We here are headed for what seems one of the harder winters since the 50's. I remember those well. Been a long time since I have been through one. Last year hit some records for us and this year may be worse.

    Here's what is bugging me and a question.

    Since returning to Iowa in 1985 we have lived in a rural area on a farm we purchased. While not hippies or "Greens" we have pursued an alternative lifestyle of no chemicals, back to nature type of junk. Don't get me wrong, I kill things and pee in the yard like most people. If I got bad bugs I will reach for the Killer Can like everybody else. Until this year, for 22 years we have routinely fed winter birds. We have counted 23 different species who have utilized our feeders, late fall through winter and into spring migration, to and including the hawks who prey on the birds we feed.

    We elected not to feed this year because of the exorbitant prices of cracked corn, sunflower hearts, thistle, peanuts and the cost of making foods like tallow balls (suet) We have saved a lot of money and don't have the mice problems and squirrel problems we have had.

    Here is the kicker though. We have had round after round of snow, ice, sleet and wind. The birds are there, they just aren't getting a hand out. The long range forecast is for extreme weather clear up to spring. Those few years it has been somewhat bad we would see upwards of a 100 pheasants and wild turkeys feeding along with the numerous songbirds. I know they would probably do fine without us but I am getting a guilty conscience.

    Have any of you pulled out of feeding? Have any of you found cheaper feeds or food stuffs? Have you ever started late and what experience have you had in attracting birds at this later date?

    Yap at me if ya want. I am looking out the window and there is a junco looking back at me and the temp just crawled to 1* above zero. Poor little devil looks hungry.

    John.
     
  2. Jerry60k

    Jerry60k New Member

    Messages:
    881
    State:
    Chelyan, West V
    Might help if you can find some cheap enough Dog food or Cat food.
    Hardware or farm supply may even have some sort of grass seed marked down now that the season is over.I would look for millet or even fescue the results would be fat birds and a green lawn in the spring lol. Turkeys and most birds will eat most grass seed as eagerly as corn.

    As for the birds that like the meaty stuff maybe go out and take a squirrel or possum grind em up real good for suet.Dunno if that would work or not as I have never tried.We dont have any birds around here except Starlings and Crow in the winter thanks to all the stray cats.
     

  3. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,493
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    Just started feeding again last week after every thing got covered with snow and iced over. Feeding cracked corn, milo, sunflower mix from the local feed store. Did buy some thistle also for the littler birds.
    Got an early Christmas present from the FIL. A heated bird bath that hooks on the deck rail.
    I know the feed is a little expensive at the time but they can use out help when it is this bad. Just my opinion.
     
  4. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Messages:
    4,947
    State:
    Louisiana,Mo.
    :sad2:I'm like you John,we fed the birds last couple yrs and even the deer last yr.But I'm afaird they are gonna have to fend for themselves this winter.Just can't afford it.shucks I can't hardly afford to feed myself.It's getting rough out there. really hate it, enjoy watching them.
     
  5. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I am in a quandry myself. I havent ruled out feeding this winter Yet..... But We are seeing a magnitude of Grackels this year and I hate the damn things,Nothing more than a miniture crow with the tail of a magpie and the disposition to match. I dont mind feeding the birds ,but I sure don't want to help the dang freeloaders while I'm doin it.:angry:
     
  6. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,253
    State:
    North Caro
    Twenty two years of feeding the birds and zap, no more. Pretty tough call there John, considering your love of nature. I don't know how to say this without hurting your feelings or making you feel more guilty, but you have those birds depending on you. No telling how many generation have come back year after year for daddy John to take care of them.

    I go along with the cheap dog food, it has rice and maybe corn in it. Just put some of it in you blender and get it to the point that they can handle it. Also, come spring, if it ever arrives in your area, plant you some sun flowers and harvest them when the time comes. Don't worry about getting the shells off for them, they know how to do it. For suet, get the butcher to give you some fat for the birds.
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Sounds like it's time the birds earned their keep. I'd get one of those high fallutin bird dogs, A gentleman's over and under, and a case of number #8's.
    Bon apetite.
     
  8. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    Gotta laugh Mark J. A good answer, the "final solution" so to speak.

    But gotta ask ya Mark. Do ya or don't ya? Play the banjo that is or is it fiddle. I am into bluegrass a little bit. One of the more stellar members of this crazy outfit said he thought you played one or both of the two. I could have you come up and serenade my birdies for me.

    John.
     
  9. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I could cure your problem with a banjo. In fact your neighbors wouldn't have a bird problem either. Maybe the whole county would be a no fly zone. Successful hunting without a shot fired.

    Fiddle? Had a great uncle I never saw but a couple of times because he ran off way before my time to Salt Lake City. He lived to be about 100. Old uncle Charlie. I remember him coming back east a few times.
    In his will was a 100+ year old fake Strat. It's actually worth quite a bit of money having to do with it's fakeness and it's age.
    Never have learned to play it. Never had the desire to be a fiddler but he sure could do it some justice.
    I could probally put on one helluva cat fight with it though.:big_smile:

    I just aint musically inclined although I played trumpet and baritone in school pretty good. I just dont have the ear for it.
    Probally why I listen to grass and some mexican music. I have a deep appreciation for the horns, and the accoustical instruments rather then the gunga gunga gunga of the electrics. That shitola gives me a headache.

    I dont have the time to devote to it. I just rely on a few of my favorite banjoers like Barry Abernathy, who plays banjo with one complete hand and a club hand with a thumb. He picks a clean banjo without all of the unnecessary "hot licks". Terry Baucom who I think is one of the greatest on the banjo. Al Batten who is a another great banjo picker, and Ralph Stanley who is pretty much self explanatory.

    It's like brewing your own beer. It was the thing to do when our gravity laws were so low but now that that they are so high, what's the point? I can buy a great beer cheaper and a helluva lot easier then I can attempt to make one.
     
  10. BIG_D

    BIG_D New Member

    Messages:
    8,107
    State:
    Batchtown IL.
    jOHN FEED THE BIRDS lol yes thay will come to it if you start now i ben feeding the birds as long as you lol i just cant go with out feeding theme yes feed is higher but i just put out a day or two worth at a time i makem clean it up befor i givem more i use platform feeders and a suit basket i keep a apple and a oreng out forem to and thay get all the left over bread and cookys donuts cereal you too can save bread and things like that to feedem and save a penny or two i think this would be a good time to shar some birding pics iv thout for a long time we needed a birders thread on hear just never got off my butt and started one.
    FEED THE BIRDS FEED THE BIRDS FEED THE BIRDS LOL:cool2:
     
  11. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    FEED 'em!!

    BB in SC
     
  12. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    John, I wasn't going to until they took my cat hostage. Miserable little peckers. If it would have my old cat Hattie I would have said, read The Ransom of Red Chief, bring me some wild bud and we'll talk about it. No, it was my youngest and latest addition, Jacob the Amish gray Tabbie. He was just to young and naive to leave in the hands of such gallinaceous fowl (the song birds played the big brother card on me). I relinquish my stance and gave in to their demands. I started filling their plates again. Yes the price is higher this year, but at least I can slumber peacefully at night knowing my cat is safe and my feet are warm. :cool2:
     
  13. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    I do, I would, and next spring maybe plant some of the leftovers to take the heat off of your budget if you have room.

    I have eased up on the summer/fall feeding though, just enough so they remember where the feeder is.

    I pretty much live in the woods so if I want to see them regular, I have to give them a reason to be in the yard.
     
  14. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    I save every thing and anything to feed the birds. Rice macaroni stale bread you name it I keep it. Put everything in a large plastic bag and about once a week I toss it out for em. In work I gather up the snacks that folks don't want like chips and pretzels and bring them home. Got a real good repor with the head of the meat department at the local grocery store. Just take em fishin once in awhile and he squares me away with fat trimmins. Ya gotta remember though. The city birds will eat crack viles if they find em. LOL!
     
  15. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    Now how in Sam hill are ya going to draw those hawk's in if'n ya don't feed the birds :smile2:. John, all BS aside if you can afford it then by all means keep feeding them if not then all you can do is give them any and all stale bread and scraps you think they can eat :cool2:.
     
  16. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,341
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    I just bought a 20# sack of bird seed. It has gotten brutal cold out so I feel bad for the birds. I go through a 20# sack a week in the winter, can't afford any more than that!
     
  17. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    This year has cost me several hundred already in feed for them dang things & the squirrels. I saw a fellow awhile back come out of the feed store with thirty 50 lb bags of sunflower seed. He said he uses it in a deer feeder in his back yard an has hundreds of birds at any given time. After talkin to him, I don't feel quite so foolish anymore. The older I get, the nicer it is to find folks who actually make me look smart.
     
  18. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    I found this awhile back on a Missouri Conservation Web Site:

    "I just saw a new report from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that 71 million people enjoy watching, feeding or photographing wildlife. (That was based on 2006 surveys—up 8% from a 2001 survey). In doing so, they spent $45.7 billion on equipment and trips. That in turn generated more than $122 billion in economic output, more than 1 million jobs and $18 billion nationally in local, state and federal tax revenue. That $45.7 billion is more than the revenue from all spectator sports, amusement parks, arcades, bowling centers and skiing facilities."
     
  19. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Hey Tom, that aint bird feed is it! lol:eek:oooh:
     
  20. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Whatever did these poor birds do before people started feeding them?