Tips for Storing Bird Food

Keeping Bird Seed Fresh and Healthy for the Birds

Fresh, quality bird food is the foundation for successful backyard bird feeding. It is important to keep in mind how to properly store foods to maintain freshness and have the best experience.

Under normal storage and use conditions, seed and suet products will stay fresh and healthy for birds until it is completely consumed. However, unusually wet or humid conditions or periods of slow bird activity can potentially cause bird food to deteriorate or spoil. The following recommendations will help ensure the food you provide will always be healthy and nutritious.

In General

  • Never blend old seed with new seed in storage containers.
  • If you are unsure about the freshness of the food, it is best to discard the old and provide fresh, new food.


  • Store your food in a cool and dry location.
  • Store food in rodent- and insect-proof containers.
  • If food containers are kept outdoors, secure the lids so animals cannot get in and contaminate the seed.


  • Keep your bird feeders filled with a one or two day supply of food to ensure it is eaten quickly and stays fresh.
  • During hot, summer months store no more than a two to three week supply of seed at a time. A four to six week supply can be stored in cooler weather. This will help keep your food fresh and bug-free.


  • Discard moldy, rancid or foul-smelling food, because it can be a health hazard to birds.
  • Clean and disinfect all feeders and storage containers that have been in contact with spoiled foods. A 10 % bleach or white vinegar solution (9 parts water, 1 part bleach or vinegar) is recommended.

A Note About Bugs

Any food can become infested with grain moths, beetles and weevils. While this is not a preferable situation, it does not mean the food is unfit for use. 

Should your food become infested, place it in a freezer for five days. This will eliminate any live insects and freeze any live eggs. For ease of use, divide your food into smaller baggies and remove them from the freezer the day before you intend to use it.

If your seed is clumpy with webs from grain moths, your birds may not eat it and it should be composted or disposed of. 

Thoroughly clean your storage containers before refilling with fresh food.

Seed Storage Can

Available in 5, 10 & 20 Gallon Sizes

These galvanized steel storage cans are safe to store outside. The tight-fitting, locking top keeps insects and critters out.  

WBU Seed Scoop

Featuring a scoop on one side and a narrow funnel mouth on the other (for filling narrow feeders), the Seed Scoop is the easiest way to go from a bag of seed to a feeder--to your birds!