Most helpful critical review
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Please don't use red dye
on October 10, 2000
Red dye has never been scientifically tested for safety as a hummingbird food supplement, and while its health effects on birds are unproven, red dye is suspected by licensed rehabilitators of causing cancer in hummingbirds. Further, in preference tests, hummingbirds consistently choose plain sugar syrup (one part cane sugar to four parts water, nothing else added) over packaged mixes or homemade syrup containing dye, presumably because the dye tastes wrong to them. They also do not like beet sugar.
If hummingbirds seem to prefer this mix over plain sugar water, it's probably because the sugar water has fermented--it must be changed and the feeder cleaned as soon as it starts getting cloudy--and the fresh mix is the lesser of two evils. Many, many people report getting several times more hummingbirds after switching from this mix to plain sugar water.
A 1:4 sugar water syrup is nearly identical to natural flower nectars from plants that hummingbirds use. The contents of Perky-Pet's mix are not listed, since none of the protective government regulations apply to animal food, but analyses of the mix usually show a host of bacteria and other contaminants, presumably from unregulated and unsanitary handling practices. Sugar is cheap--why take a chance on the health of your hummingbirds?
I would rate this product with negative stars if it were possible.