Name: Anne Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) Only dead fish go with the flow!
I know a lot of people including myself that put out dryer lint for the birds to use as nesting material .. as it turns out, it's a very bad practice especially if you use fabric softener or dryer sheets. Apparently the lint gets saturated with the chemicals we use in detergent and softeners and can be very detrimental to young chicks.
Given that information, I am also wondering about offering dyed yarns and fabrics? I was just getting ready to put out my suet cage yarn scraps, and will now limit those to natural undyed yarns and fabric strips.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Before I take my long haired dog in to be groomed I take my scissors to her and do a rough trim job so I will have 'safe' bedding for the birds. Thank you, Deb, for mentioning the suet cage! I never thought of using one before but will use one now!
Anne, thanks for posting this; it's so important and something that all gardeners and bird lovers should be aware of. I learned about this fact about 20 years ago from a knowledgeable neighbor who at one time banded birds for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I was so thankful to her for informing me about it because I used to put dryer lint out also and I never even thought about the chemicals contained in the laundry detergent or dryer sheets.
My husband always brushes our golden retriever out in the yard. I'm always taking pictures of the backyard birds and a couple of weeks ago after Bo got a thorough brushing, I spotted a Carolina Wren and a Sparrow collecting the dogs fur from the lawn!
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!