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Lonely Blue Tit perched on empty fat ball feeder within dark woods

How to dismantle a bird feeder

You can depend on the manufacturer or brand to offer instructions, but to dismantle a bird feeder is similar across all product lines.

How to dismantle a bird feeder in the clear plastic tube kind involves lifting up the lid top before unscrewing the base from the clear tube via the perches. This method also applies to disassemble feeders that hold peanuts. I would say caged squirrel proof or suet feeders may not be capable of dismantling.

In knowing how to dismantle a bird feeder of any type, to hold different kinds of food is very similar across all products ranges.

Sharing a similar approach to disassembly is that of the clear plastic tube feeder that holds seeds, pellets or mealworms - or the peanut feeder shrouded in a mesh cage.

To know how each bird feeder is taken apart can vary, but do read the product label where it refers to how to clean the bird feeder.

To do a proper job of cleaning a bird feeder must first begin by fully dismantling it.

While my advice steps on the types of bird feeders that are made to be hung up on a branch or bird feeding station - you'd certainly need to refer to manufacturer's instructions as they can be more complicated to pull apart.

In disassembling a bird feeder, understand parts can break, so go gently but never force a section off - it should simply pop off or need unscrewing.

Example of that is when you need to adjust, open or fill a Squirrel Buster Feeder; knowing all its workings inside and out, is going to make it easier to dismantle when the time comes to give it a thorough clean.

Seed plastic tube feeders

I would class the clear plastic tube type bird feeders the easiest to dismantle in the whole series of wild bird feeders, so I'll begin here.

To disassemble a seed feeder that uses a clear plastic tube, to pull it apart involves first removing the lid top - before pulling off the base.

Here's how.. simply pop off the lid while pulling it up as far as it can go as its still attached to its handle used for a hook to hang.

Now the lid top is out of the way as it hangs over to one side, so assess to the interior is made easy - but do note not all seed feeders allow for the lid to be pulled completely off its hinge.

However, to dismantle a Brome Squirrel Buster you can do so all the way apart - more traditional feeders for seed mixes are made to not be completely disassembled.

Now the lid top is open and over to one side, you can then - under most circumstances - unscrew the perches connected to the bottom base, as to then pop off the plastic tube the base is fixed to.

You should now be left with up to three parts in total, including the clear plastic tub, two or more loose perches... plus the chunky plastic base.

Mesh peanut feeders

Similarly to removing the lid top off the seed feeder, to remove the peanut bird feeder lid partially off, is the only solution to having better access.

However, you can take apart the metal mesh cage shroud away from the base by following these simple steps.

Peanut feeders don't often make use of a perch as birds who eat off peanut feeders tend to cling onto the metal cage. But where they do come with a set of perches located near to the bottom, these perches must be removed.

Simply unscrew the perches then that are connected to the plastic bird feeder base.

That would then realise this solid plastic base away from the metal mesh cage, but remember the lid and its hanger for hanging would still be attached.

Where a peanut bird feeder, the kind that is long and rounded only, doesn't use a perch, the base would then instead be connected using a set of screws. All you need to do with this is use a Philips screwdriver to remove these screws.

You will now be left with a metal mesh cage with a lid top and hook for hanging still connected - along with a couple of perches, or only a set of screws.

Metal suet fat ball or block feeders

To dismantle a metal cage bird feeder, the kind used to hold fatty suet balls or suet cakes don't often come apart very well.

In fact, you'd be hard pressed to buy a fat ball bird feeder that comes apart at all.

I believe the only way the suet feeder of any kind would come apart, is only lifting up the lid - as with seeds or nut feeders - to then fold it over to one side on a hinge.

I now have in my hands a brand new Peckish Energy Ball Feeder with 4 fat balls included, and I can see from this one it won't come apart at all.

I understand the need to dismantle a bird feeder to clean or maintain it over the course of its lifetime, but thankfully that method doesn't apply so much to a cage feeder.

You see the large open gaps while a tight fit, the interior is far more easier to reach than those of a seed or nut feeder.

Similarly to squirrel proof bird feeders, cleaning a metal suet feeder is done pretty much fully assembled, as completely dismantling it would offer little benefit to you.

Caged squirrel proof variety

It can appear a complicated mess of wielded metal, when in fact to dismantle a bird feeder locked behind a cage shroud is as easy as dissembled the bare feeder.

I must say though, while its easy to access the squirrel proof bird feeder to replenish, once again its not possible to completely dismantle.

The integrity of the squirrel proof bird feeder is at risk if it can indeed be taken apart.

You can begin then for most types of seed, peanut or fat ball squirrel proof bird feeders is to remove the lid, or lift it up if at all possible. That way if it can be dismantled, you won't be unable too if the lid is still firmly shut.

You can then via the open top lid see if the clear plastic tube or mesh feeder in the centre of the cage shroud can be unscrewed. If there is no possibility of unscrewing it then it means it cannot be removed.

You do have a second option in removing any screws or perches located near to the bottom of the feeder, located in the centre of the cage - but again it there's no perches or screws to undo - then you cannot dismantle it.

No taking apart wooden options

While classic metal or plastic bird feeders made for hanging are made for dismantling, its just involves taking it apart the opposite way to how the bird feeders were assembled.

What I can guarantee is you won't be able to dismantle a traditional hanging wooden bird feeder of any kind.

It would be screwed, stapled or nailed together so to remove these fixings in hope of putting all back together again, is not going to be so simple. To remove fixings can indeed alter the original screw or nail hole size, so it will be a loose fit once back on.

But where its screwed or nailed together, you can almost guarantee the quality wooden bird feeders are going to be joined using a powerful wood glue.

You stand no chance of pulling apart a wooden bird feeder using adhesive as it would only serve to break apart the feeder.

You cannot dismantle a wooden bird feeder to clean or maintain then, so know that if you plan on getting it a little messy.

What you must do instead is access the wooden bird feeder via its opening roof to clean it out as regularly as you can.

Common disassembly function

Birds feeders of any style or type share one common feature, is that they are dismantled very similar to one another.

What that can mean for you is if you plan to disassemble the bird feeder from one manufacturer, you can rest assured its going to be near identical to dismantle if buying a bird feeder made by another manufacturer.

Feeders are put together on the assembly line using a clip-on method. So as it can be clipped together with ease, it can be taken apart in a reverse action.

Its rare to see a bird feeder of any kind put together, but designed never to be taken apart.

Feeders are made to hold all kinds of wild bird feed, so as there's a huge risk of rot or worse still - a build up of bacteria inside the feeder - you must have access to its interior for a thorough clean.

You'd find cage bird feeders that hold suet or in a shroud for the squirrel proof type harder to dismantle, or not being able to disassemble it at all.

To summarise how to dismantle feeders

To know how to dismantle your bird feeder, refer to the manufacturer's instructions on the product label, or refer to the seller's web site.

It won't refer to it has dismantling the bird feeder, but rather how to clean the bird feeder which would involve disassembling it beforehand.

Clear plastic tube feeders for holding seeds is the easiest to work with, as it involves simply lifting up the lid to fold it over to one side - all while this feeders base can be pulled away by unscrewing a pair of screws, or unscrewing perches that act as screws.

Similarly to seed feeders is disassembling the peanut feeder pretty much the same way, whereas the clear plastic tube would be replaced with a metal mesh shroud.

I can guarantee most squirrel proof bird feeders cannot be dismantled much, but nor can feeders made to contain suet balls or blocks.

Obviously, you can't dismantle a wooden bird feeder as they are not made to, but you can access the interior via the roof for cleaning.

Feeders share a very similar disassemble function as they are put together on the assembly line almost the same.

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