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Can I Feed Organic Sugar to Hummingbirds?

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Old Monday 13th January 2020, 21:46   #1
SteveCooke
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Can I Feed Organic Sugar to Hummingbirds?

Hi all, I have been researching sugar all day and I came across this article by Joybilee Farm, which posits that the anti-orgianic-sugar sentiment is based on a myth. It says that both organic white sugar and organic raw sugar are in fact good to use as they contain little iron and contain no pesticide residue.

Was curious what others consensus was on this article? Would you use organic white sugar or organic raw sugar?

Thank you, Steve

Last edited by SteveCooke : Monday 13th January 2020 at 21:50.
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 02:01   #2
jmepler
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I can't see why organic white sugar should be a problem. It is just white sugar produced from organic stock.

I would avoid raw sugar, organic or otherwise, due to the iron content. Better safe than sorry in my opinion.
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 19:20   #3
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Originally Posted by jmepler View Post
I can't see why organic white sugar should be a problem. It is just white sugar produced from organic stock.

I would avoid raw sugar, organic or otherwise, due to the iron content. Better safe than sorry in my opinion.
Thanks for your input! She makes the point though, that the zoo who did the study responsible for the iron scare was successful in caring for birds for a number of decades with a food that contained 40mg/1kg of iron. It was a change of the recipe that resulted in 800mg/1kg of iron that led to the poisoning.

She says the iron content of raw sugar is in fact very low and very safe (containing 3.7mg/1kg of iron, just 10% of the zoo's successful supplement). It seems to me organic raw sugar would be better for the birds and the environment.

Am I wrong here? Thanks
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 20:20   #4
jmepler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCooke View Post
Thanks for your input! She makes the point though, that the zoo who did the study responsible for the iron scare was successful in caring for birds for a number of decades with a food that contained 40mg/1kg of iron. It was a change of the recipe that resulted in 800mg/1kg of iron that led to the poisoning.

She says the iron content of raw sugar is in fact very low and very safe (containing 3.7mg/1kg of iron, just 10% of the zoo's successful supplement). It seems to me organic raw sugar would be better for the birds and the environment.

Am I wrong here? Thanks
Raw sugar will be no better for the birds, but could potentially be worse.

All the experts recommend white sugar, preferable cane sugar. I would take their advice over the advice of one person.

If you are still against using white cane sugar, and want to provide an environmentally friendly meal for the hummingbirds, I would suggest planting a flower garden.
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 22:54   #5
SteveCooke
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Originally Posted by jmepler View Post
Raw sugar will be no better for the birds, but could potentially be worse.

All the experts recommend white sugar, preferable cane sugar. I would take their advice over the advice of one person.

If you are still against using white cane sugar, and want to provide an environmentally friendly meal for the hummingbirds, I would suggest planting a flower garden.
Which experts? What's the argument against raw sugar, and where is the data to support it?

Thanks :)

Last edited by SteveCooke : Tuesday 14th January 2020 at 22:57.
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Old Thursday 16th January 2020, 03:19   #6
jean_wright
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Originally Posted by SteveCooke View Post
Thanks for your input! She makes the point though, that the zoo who did the study responsible for the iron scare was successful in caring for birds for a number of decades with a food that contained 40mg/1kg of iron. It was a change of the recipe that resulted in 800mg/1kg of iron that led to the poisoning.

She says the iron content of raw sugar is in fact very low and very safe (containing 3.7mg/1kg of iron, just 10% of the zoo's successful supplement). It seems to me organic raw sugar would be better for the birds and the environment.

Am I wrong here? Thanks
Sorry for interrupting as it's not an actual proof, still:

Quote:
Unrefined sugar from sugar cane has iron, mineral salts and other minerals that are not present in white granulated sugar (only sucrose) nor in natural flower nectar.

While a better choice for humans, the added minerals in unrefined sugar may have an adverse affect on hummingbirds.

Brown sugar has molasses added to it which also contains iron and other minerals. Plain, white granulated sugar is best for making your hummingbird solution.
- source

So it's not only iron that could do the harm.
Also here you can read some arguments from Lanny Chambers, who is hummingbird expert.
Hope this helps.
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Old Sunday 19th January 2020, 23:35   #7
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Hmm, I used organic raw sugar for awhile, but have switched back to white cane sugar. it's scary that we could be hurting our Hummers.
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