This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Food Lion. All opinions are 100% mine.
Our four older children adore animals. It is something in common between them, even with the drastic differences in their personalities. They love going to the zoo or watching nature documentaries. Maggie, our oldest, often asks to keep random creatures as a pet. While we don’t allow her to keep whatever wild animal she fancies at that moment, we have allowed her and the other children to raise certain animals as educational projects. For example, we have raised butterflies, frogs, and triops (little prehistoric-looking crustaceans). We also have had the standard family pets at various times including a dog, a cat, a guinea pig, fish, and a hamster.
The difficult part about pets is when the children, who initially wanted them so much, aren’t as eager to help take care of them. Obviously, when they are on the younger side, this is to be expected. However, now that Maggie and Jacob are getting older, we no longer tolerate them not helping to care for our pets. Of course, we don’t ask them to do anything beyond the basics of feeding them, giving them water, or cleaning their enclosures.
While we don’t allow the children to keep wild animals as pets, we aren’t against trying to help the kids see certain animals a little more often. They love the standard small, furry woodland creatures and birds most of all. Before we moved to our new home several years ago, we put out a hummingbird feeder with homemade nectar every summer. They loved watching those little hummingbirds dart around the air, “battling” one another for the prime feeding spots. Something so simple brought them a lot of enjoyment.
I was recently at my local Food Lion to pick up some Companion dog food and treats for our dog, Emmy. Formerly called “Home 360 Pet”, Companion is actually Food Lion’s store brand of animal supplies, treats, and foods. It provides the balanced nutrition animals need to live happy and healthy lives while still maintaining an affordable price. I noticed this time that they stocked Companion food for wild birds and another variety for small animals such as squirrels and chipmunks. It gave me the idea to do an old feeder craft with my children that I had loved as a girl!
Easy To Make Bird and Squirrel Feeders
- Apples (4)
- String or twine
- Peanut butter
- Companion wild bird food
- Companion wildlife food – squirrel and critter blend
- Milk jug
Apple Bird Feeder or Squirrel Feeder:
- Wash apples and cut off one third (See photo)
- Hollow out the larger half of the apple with a spoon
- In a large bowl, mix approximately a half cup of peanut butter with a cup of Companion bird seed (or wildlife food if you want to make this for squirrels or chipmunks).
- Pack the hollowed portion of the apple with peanut butter and seed mixture
- Tie the string or twine around the stem of the apple feeder.
- Hang in an appropriate location
Milk Jug Squirrel Feeder or Bird Feeder
- Thoroughly clean the empty milk jug to ensure that no milk residue remains inside the jug.
- Cut a “window” large enough for a squirrel, chipmunk or bird to be able to access the food inside. This window should leave several inches of the jug remaining below it to hold the food.
- Punch two holes near the top of the milk jug, one on either side of the cap and roughly an inch down
- Thread the string through the holes near the top of the jug
- Fill the bottom few inches of the jug with Companion wildlife food – squirrel and critter blend (or birdseed if you’re making this one for birds).
- Hang the jug feeder in an appropriate location
Both of these crafts are VERY easy to create and can be put together in just a few minutes. As long as your children don’t get crazy with their peanut butter and seeds, cleanup is relatively quick and easy as well. Our kids were itching to hang them up right away and, in the interest of Orin and I maintaining our sanity, we obliged.
We found some old plant hangers in our garage and hammered them into the ground. On one we tied the four bird feeders and on the other, we tied the squirrel feeder. These worked marvelously well! Make sure you hang the squirrel feeder in a location they can easily reach.
We made the apple feeders for the birds and the milk jug feeder for the squirrels but you can make these for either, just use the appropriate Companion food for the wild critter you are trying to attract.
We love our pets – both the indoor ones and wild ones outdoors – and want to provide them with a balanced diet. I appreciate that I can find an affordable brand of pet products located in the same place where I buy my groceries at Food Lion! The Companion brand offers the performance, nutrition, and ingredients comparative to National Brands, but at the lowest price in the category. Best of all, Food Lion stands behind their products by offering a double your money back guarantee on all of their private label brands, like Companion!