Peanut Butter Bird Feeder - Birds Go Nuts for Peanut Butter

by Andy Perrin

Part of the attraction at Leeds Castle is the Aviary. The Hon. Olive, Lady Baillie had a passion for birds and started to introduce her collection of exotic birds back in 1957. In 1988 the present aviary with its 48 irregularly shaped hexagon flights was opened and they have had many notable successes breeding rare birds. The Aviary is run by Laura Gardner (Curator of Birds) and her team.

Amongst the many species is a pair of beautiful Macaws. They were happily incubating two eggs when disaster struck! The nesting box fell down and the eggs were abandoned! So the eggs were put in one of the incubators and Laura's staff set about finding supplies of suitable food for the young chicks.

They were surprised and delighted to find that The Exotic Food and Spice Company, based in Chatham, actually made pure peanut butter.

The humble peanut has great nutritional value for birds as well as humans, said Laura, It has good quality protein and oils which birds need. By using it in the form of peanut butter we can feed the chicks with a syringe. Most supermarket brands have additives.

Leeds Castle and Grounds are open most of the year. To gain admission you will need to purchase a 'Key'. This key gives you unlimited access to the castle and grounds (including the Aviary), except for a few days listed on the web-site, for a whole year! And you only pay once. Once you have visited the place you will see why they call it the most beautiful castle in the world and you will want to go back time and time again.

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