We often get questions from people about storing bird seed. What is it's shelf life and how do you store bird seed to keep it fresh? First of all we recommend that you try to use up all your birdseed within 3 months to keep your seed fresh. However, if you are going to store your seed for longer then here are some important seed storage tips:
1. Storage container: For longer storage, a bag just won't suffice for storage of bird seed. Most bags have small pin prick holes in them to let air out or perhaps are loosely woven. This means that insects could potentially get inside the bag. Storing seed in a plastic or metal storage container with an airtight lid is an ideal solution.
2. Temperature: It is always a good idea to store seed in cold temperatures, in fact, most homes are too warm to store seed for a long period of time. It is better to store seed in your cool garage or a cool outdoor garden shed. In warm summer months it is best to move the seed to your freezer if you have room there. The cold will not hurt the seed's quality and it will ensure that the seed does not get overheated thereby leading to possible spoilage.
3. Quality check: If your seed has been stored for a while, ensure that there are no signs of insect cobwebs or insects in the seed, you should see no discoloration on the seeds related to spoilage and you should smell the seed to ensure it smells fresh and not "off".
4. Buy fresh looking seed: If the seed looks dusty or you see discolouration in the seed inside or any sort of cobwebs, do not buy the seed. If the bag looks weary and worn then perhaps that bag has been on the shelf too long. Look for a best before date on your seed or check for a manufacturing date code to help you determine the age of the seed.
Seed can be stored for a long time, but it must be stored properly to ensure excellent seed quality.