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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody ever bought bird seed with "bird kote" on it?

The feed store was out of my normal bird seed so I got some other brand and when I got home I realized, after I'd opened the bag and poured it into the storage canister that it "now has bird kote!" which is apparently a kind of vitamin and mineral enriched bird seed additive. I'm a tiny bit weary of giving this to the mice. I usually sprout some of their seeds before I feed them so I would be able to rinse them really well if I need to, but I can't imagine that if it wouldn't harm wild birds it would harm mice?

Any ideas/experience?
 

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if you get lost in the wilderness don't be relying on what birds eat as an indicator of whats safe.Many toxic seeds,yew springs to mind immediately, are extremely toxic to us but designed to pass through the birds gut and be pooped out and grow into a new plant.Red berries with their hidden toxic seeds, to us mean danger,to birds an invite.Never come across kote but anything in the bag is unlikely to be toxic to the all important human so should be o.k.Sounded benificial when I googled it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok...thanks, Sarah. I actually fed some to some mice (small amounts only). It's all the same seeds that I normally give them, just a different brand. I read the ingredients but didn't see the "bird kote" label on it. :oops:

I had never even thought about yew berries being toxic to us yet edible by birds. Very interesting!
 

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Bird-kote is a coating on each of the seeds that is made from vegetable oil, several fat-soluble vitamins (Vit A, E, and D3), and some undisclosed "proprietary elements." It's manufactured by Central Garden and Pet Company, but marketed primarily under the Pennington Seed label.

Personally, I would be careful with it because fat-soluble vitamins can reach toxic levels when consumed in too high of a dosage. With water soluble vitamins (Vitamin B, C, amino acids, etc.), excess amounts are easily excreted through the urinary system, with no danger of toxicity. Fat soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are stored in the liver and in fat cells, and it takes much longer for the lymph system to metabolize and excrete the excess amounts. Based on the ratio of food portion to body size in mice compared to many birds and the proportion of seed in the overall mouse diet, I would fear toxicity of the supplemented fat-soluble vitamins.

I would probably mix small amounts into larger bags of non-coated seed, so that you don't feed too much of the vitamin supplement to the mice at any one time, but you don't waste the seed and/or lose the money for the bag of seed either. Or just use it up in a bird feeder, if you have one.
 

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Bird-kote is a coating on each of the seeds that is made from vegetable oil, several fat-soluble vitamins (Vit A, E, and D3)
Coincidentally, Vitamin D3 is also commonly used as Rat and Mouse poison. Its also in our (U.S.) milk. So I would proceed with extreme caution because it could take as little as 4 days to kill a mouse if consumed in a high enough amount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know it's used in large amounts to kill animals, but I don't have any worries that it will kill the mice as they only get seeds once a week, if that; I was just curious if anybody'd used bird-kote coated seed or heard of it. BTW, I thought you announced you were leaving again? I'm confused.
 

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It's quite hard to overdose on oral Vitamin C, in otherwise healthy humans an animals. The established LD50 (lethal dose for 50% of the population to which it was administered) for rats was 11,900 mg/kg. There is no established LD50 for humans, because the predictive studies never showed any effects that were likely to directly produce a fatality in otherwise healthy humans. For the most part, the worst side-effects are nausea, vomitting, diarrhea, flushing, and the occasional skin rash.

For humans with some rare iron absorption disorders, such as hemochromatosis, excess vitamin C can facilitate iron absorption to the point of causing an overload of iron. I'm not sure of the prevalence in Europe or England, but in the US, it's less than one half of one percent of the total population, so not terribly common. Consuming excess amounts of Vitamin C can also contribute to metabolic acidosis in people with diabetes, but it's rarely a sole cause and most often, it merely exacerbates an existing imbalance.

As a side-effect of excretion through the urinary system, high doses of vitamin C can temporarily acidify the urine. For that reason, supplemental Vitamin C is commonly used as an ingredient in prescription foods for dogs and cats that are prone to struvite stone/crystal formation, because the acidified urine dissolves struvite crystals. That effect is only temporary and in order to maintain the effect over an extended period of time, it has to be dosed frequently and consistently, which is why it's typically used in conjunction with other chemical substances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, here's an update: since originally posting this thread, I've fed off the entire large bag of birdseed, and it hasn't seemed to harm my mice in the least. :)

I also asked an ornithology professor about bird kote and he said it's basically just a multi-vitamin spray put on birdseed to make it more nutritious for birds (and a nice marketing tool, kind of like Total cereal, but for birds). :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I put them on a moist paper towel and mist them (they need to stay warm and moist) every day until they sprout. It usually takes about 3-4 days, then I feed them to the mice. Sometimes I eat them, too. There are special "sprouting mixes" for people, but birdseed is just as good for the mice. You can also buy contraptions and gadgets to sprout them, but I think they're pretty silly. Sprouting seeds isn't rocket science. :p
 
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