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How Long Does Bird Seed Last? Does It Go Bad?

If you’re a bird lover or maintaining a wild outdoor space, chances are you’ve encountered this perplexing question: How long does birdseed last?

We all want our feathered friends to have the nutrition they need for plenty of energy and health.

But if we don’t store it properly, that food won’t be any good whatsoever!

So let’s take a deep dive into the nuances of storing bird seed — including how long it can last in different circumstances, why some types will go bad faster than others, and what signs to look for indicating your seed is no longer safe.

By the end of this blog post, not only will you know just how much time those seeds have until expiry; you’ll also be armed with knowledge on how to best store them according to their type and usage.

What’s Bird Seed?

Bird seed is a type of food that is specifically designed for birds.

It typically consists of a mix of different types of seeds, as well as other ingredients like nuts and fruits.

Bird seed can be purchased at most pet stores or online.

The main benefit of feeding birds with bird seed is that it provides them with a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients they need.

In the wild, birds typically eat a mix of different types of seeds, as well as insects and other small prey items.

By providing them with bird seed, we can make sure that they are getting everything they need in their diet.

Another benefit of bird seed is that it is relatively easy to store and use.

Unlike many other types of animal feed, bird seed does not spoil quickly and can be stored for long periods of time.

This makes it an ideal food source for those who live in areas where birds are prevalent but access to fresh food sources is limited.

If you are interested in providing bird seed for your feathered friends, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, make sure to purchase high quality bird seed from a reputable source.

Second, be sure to store the bird seed in a cool, dry place to prevent it from going bad.

And finally, always offer fresh water along with the bird seed to ensure that your feathered friends are getting everything they need to stay healthy and happy.

How To Store Bird Seed?

One of the most important things to consider when it comes to storing bird seed is moisture.

If your bird seed becomes too moist, it can start to grow mold and mildew, which can be harmful to your birds.

There are a few different ways to help keep your bird seed dry and free from moisture.

One way to store bird seed is in an airtight container.

This will help to keep the seed dry and free from moisture.

You can also add a packet of silica gel to the container to help absorb any moisture that may be in the air.

Another way to store bird seed is in the freezer.

This is a good option if you live in a humid climate or if you know that you won’t be using the seed for a long period of time.

Just be sure to thaw the seed out before you use it so that your birds don’t eat it frozen.

Whatever method you choose, just be sure to check on your bird seed regularly and make sure that it is staying dry and free from moisture.

How To Tell If Bird Seed Is Bad?

Bird seed can go bad, and there are a few ways to tell if it has.

One way to tell if bird seed is bad is by the smell.

If the bird seed smells sour or rancid, it has gone bad and should be thrown out.

Another way to tell if bird seed is bad is by looking at it.

If the bird seed is discolored or has mold growing on it, it should be thrown out as well.

Finally, if the bird seed has been stored in an area that is too warm or humid, it can go bad.

If you’re not sure if the bird seed is still good, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and throw it out rather than risk feeding your birds bad bird seed.

What Types Of Bird Seed Last The Longest?

There are a variety of bird seeds available on the market, and each type has its own shelf life.

The three main types of bird seed are sunflower seeds, millet, and safflower seeds.

Sunflower seeds have the longest shelf life of the three, followed by millet, and then safflower seeds.

Sunflower seeds can last up to two years if stored properly.

Millet has a shelf life of one year, and safflower seeds only have a shelf life of six months.

To extend the shelf life of your bird seed, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

If you want your bird seed to last as long as possible, sunflower seeds are the way to go.

These Seeds have a shelf life of up to two years when stored properly.

Millet is a close second with a shelf life of one year, and safflower seeds come in last with a shelf life of only six months.

How Long Does Bird Seed Last?

Assuming that you’re talking about unopened, store-bought bird seed, it should last for about a year.

If you buy in bulk, you can probably get away with keeping it for up to two years, but after that, it’s best to replace it.

The same goes for bird feeders; if you don’t clean them regularly, they can start to harbor mold and bacteria, which can make your birds sick.

Bird seed doesn’t go bad in the sense that it will make your birds sick if they eat it, but over time, the quality of the seed declines.

Older seed may not have as much nutrition as fresh seed, and it may not be as palatable to your birds.

Additionally, older seed is more likely to contain weevils or other insects.

If you’re not sure whether your bird seed is still good, the best thing to do is to give it a smell test.

If it smells musty or like mildew, it’s probably time to replace it.

You can also check for signs of insects; if you see any bugs crawling around in the seed, pitched it and get a new batch.

What Do You Do With Old Bird Seed?

There are a few things you can do with old bird seed, depending on how old it is and what condition it is in.

If the seed is only a few months old and is still in good condition, you can donate it to a local bird rescue or rehabilitation center.

They will be able to use it to feed the birds in their care.

If the seed is more than a few months old or is starting to go bad, you can still donate it to a bird rescue or rehabilitation center.

They may not be able to use it to feed the birds directly, but they can use it as part of their educational program.

For example, they may use it to show kids how to identify different types of seed.

If the seed is really old or in bad condition, you can compost it.

This will give the nutrients in the seed a chance to break down and be used by plants.

You can also add it to your garden as mulch.

It will help protect your plants from weeds and keep the soil moist.


I have outlined the shelf life of different types of bird seed and how you can tell if bird seed has gone bad.

I have also given some suggestions on how to store bird seed to make it last longer.

I hope this blog post has been helpful in determining how long your bird seed will last and how to tell if it has gone bad.

Check out our website for more information on bird seed and how to care for your feathered friends.

How Long Does Bird Seed Last? Does It Go Bad?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Bird seed
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
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