Thistle seeds can last for several years, depending on the seed quality and storage conditions. Seeds stored in a cool, dry place under optimal conditions should remain viable for two to five years. Seeds stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container may remain viable for even longer.
Poor storage conditions, such as exposure to high temperatures and humidity, can reduce the viability of the seeds over time. Some sources report that, under the right conditions, thistle seeds can remain viable for up to 10 years.
Additionally, different species of thistle have different lifespans.
How can you tell if Nyjer seeds are fresh?
To determine if Nyjer seeds are fresh, look for several key indicators. The seed should be a vivid yellow-gold color, free of any discoloration or spotting, and the seed should appear plump. Additionally, check for any visible signs of mold or mildew, as well as any foreign objects such as dirt or weeds.
If the Nyjer seeds have a strong, musty odor, this can also be an indicator that the seeds are not fresh. You should also be sure to check the expiration date on the seed package, and make sure that the seeds are within their expiration date.
Finally, try and purchase Nyjer seed from a reputable source that you know will provide the freshest high-quality product.
How long can bird seed stay in feeder?
The length of time that bird seed can stay in a feeder depends on several factors, including the type of bird seed, the weather, and the presence of birds feeding. For example, if the feeder is in a shady spot and the bird seed contains a large amount of oil, such as black-oil sunflower seed, it may go rancid in a few weeks.
Whereas if the feeder is in direct sunlight, the bird seed may last longer. Additionally, in the presence of bird activity, bird seed is likely to be eaten quickly, so it may need to be refilled frequently.
To ensure a long life span, it is recommended to regularly clean the bird feeder and replenish the bird seed every few weeks, or as needed.
Does thistle seed get old?
Yes, thistle seed can get old. After a certain amount of time, the oil within the seed will become rancid, leading to a decrease in its nutritional content as well as a decrease in its palatability. This can also make it more difficult for birds to open the seed and eat it.
Thistle seed that has gone bad will usually have a very unpleasant smell and should not be used for feeding birds or other animals. To ensure your thistle seed remains fresh, store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Additionally, check the date on the package before buying, as buying seed that is past its expiration date may reduce its nutritional content and make it less palatable to birds.
Can birds get sick from old bird seed?
Yes, birds can get sick from old bird seed. Old bird seed can contain mold, bacteria, and fungi, which can cause a number of illnesses such as respiratory infections, fungal infections, and even salmonella.
Additionally, old birdseed can contain aflatoxins, which are toxic substances that can cause liver damage and death if ingested. In addition, older birdseed can become stale and contain fewer nutrients, making it less beneficial for birds’ health.
To keep birds healthy, birdseed should be stored in a cool, dry place and should be replaced at least every three months. It’s also important to inspect birdseed for any signs of mold or fungus before feeding it to birds, and discard any seed that doesn’t look or smell fresh.
Can you use 10 year old seeds?
Yes, you can use 10 year old seeds in most cases. Most of the time, older seeds are still viable, but there is an increased risk that germination rates will be lower. It can be difficult to determine the age of a seed, but in general, you can use a 10 year old seed if it is still in a sealed or air tight package.
The best way to determine the viability of a 10 year old seed is to conduct germination testing. This involves placing several seeds between two paper towels, lightly moistening the paper towels and keeping them in a warm area.
After a few days, you can count the number of seedlings that have sprouted to determine viability. It is still possible that some of the seeds will germinate, even if a low number sprout initially.
Are 20 year old seeds still good?
The answer to this question greatly depends on the type of seed and how it was stored. Some types of seeds can remain viable for many years, and some will only last for a few months. In general, vegetable, herb and flower seeds stored in a cool, dark and dry place will last for several years, potentially up to 10 years.
On the other hand, some flower and vegetable seeds do have a limited lifespan and can become nonviable before 10 years, usually around 5 years. Also, certain tree and shrub species can last even longer.
It is important to be aware that as seeds age, the rate of germination diminishes and the viability greatly decreases.
In conclusion, 20 year old seeds could still be good depending on what type of seed they are and how they were stored. For example, if they were stored properly they could still remain viable and germinate.
However, since the exact viability of the seed cannot be known until testing, it is recommended to purchase new seed if possible.
Should you put thistle seed out in the winter?
No, it is not a good idea to put thistle seed out in the winter. Thistle seed is an annual plant, which means that it cannot survive cold winter temperatures. Additionally, the plant cannot survive extended periods of snow cover; as such it is best to wait until spring temperatures arrive to put out thistle seed, as this ensures that it will be able to establish itself and reach maturity.
When putting out thistle seed in the spring, it is important to make sure the chosen location has adequate drainage and light, as the seeds require both of these in order to sprout and establish a viable plant.
Additionally, when planting the seed, it is important to plant it at a shallow depth as over-watering can lead to the seed rotting and being unable to grow.
Do thistles spread by seed?
Yes, thistles can spread by seed. Thistles are a type of flower with famously prickly leaves and purple or white blooms. Many thistle species will spread quickly when they reproduce by seed. Thistle seed dispersal generally occurs in two ways.
Firstly, the plant will go through its natural flowering cycle and release its seeds when the blooms die. The second, and potentially more damaging way, is that the seed itself is adapted to be carried by the wind in a process known as wind dispersal.
During this process, the seeds can be carried up to hundreds of miles away if the wind is strong enough. This can then result in a thistle infestation in previously untouched areas. For this reason, it’s important to identify and remove thistles from your property early on to prevent the spread of the plant and its seeds.
What birds are attracted to thistle seed?
Many types of birds are attracted to thistle seed, including finches, doves, cardinals, buntings, sparrows, blackbirds, chickadees, goldfinches, and nuthatches. These birds are drawn to the small, highly nutritious seeds that are found in the prickly thistle plants.
Thistle seed can be offered as an ideal choice of bird feed to attract more finches and other birds to the garden. They are also a favorite of wild turkeys and other large birds. Thistle seed is a great source of protien and may be mixed into other bird feed to make a balanced mix.
It is best to offer thistle seed on a flat tray or screen-like feeder that is designed to keep both larger and smaller birds in control. Further, it is important to monitor the birds for any signs of illnesses or other concerns that may indicate a need to switch to a safer variety of bird seed.
How often should I change the bird seed in the feeder?
It is important to keep your bird feeders clean, as old seed can harbor mold and other dangerous contaminants that can make birds sick. The frequency with which you need to change seed in your feeders will depend on a number of factors, including the type of seed, how often it rains or snows, and how many birds visit the feeders.
In general, you should change the seed in feeders at least once every two weeks; however, more frequent changes may be necessary in wetter climates or if more birds are visiting. Additionally, if you notice any discoloration, clumping, or smell problems, it’s best to clear out the feeders and replace the seed with fresh seed.
Will wild birds eat old bird seed?
Yes, wild birds will eat old bird seed. They may not be as interested in eating it compared to fresh seed, and it’s important to always keep bird seed fresh, especially during the winter months. Old bird seed can contain a variety of fungi, including Aspergillus and Fusarium, which can produce mycotoxins that can be harmful to birds.
Additionally, it can contain salmonella and other bacteria, which could make the birds ill. Store seed in a cool, dry place, and try to use it within six months after opening. Always check the seed each time you fill the feeders.
If it’s clumped, moldy, or smells musty, throw it away and get fresh seed. You can also supplement your bird seed with fresh fruits, nuts, and suet to ensure your feathered friends stay healthy and happy.
When should you throw out bird seed?
It is important to properly discard bird seed if it has been in the feeder for more than two weeks. The seed should also be disposed of if it appears to be moldy, mildewed, clumped together, wet, or has visible signs of spoilage.
If the bird seed has been outdoors, it should be replaced even more frequently, as outdoor seed can spoil quickly due to moisture, humidity, and other environmental conditions. Though bird seed does not typically contain any harmful bacteria or fungi, over time it can become contaminated, leading to health concerns for both birds and people.
Discarding seed regularly helps to ensure the safety and health of local bird populations and keeps them from the risk of any potential pathogens. Additionally, throwing out old bird seed and replacing it with fresh seed will improve the birds’ experience and keep them coming back for more.
Can you leave bird seed out in the rain?
No, you should not leave bird seed out in the rain. Bird seed contains nutrients that can become spoiled and contaminated when exposed to moisture and high temperatures. This can cause the seed to ferment and grow mold, both of which can make birds sick.
Additionally, wet bird seed can attract pests such as insects or rodents which can further contaminate the feeding area. Instead, it is best to store bird seed in a cool, dry, and pest-free location, such as a waterproof bird feeder.
If you need to replace wet seed, always discard it and replace it with fresh dry seed.
Can bird seed expire?
Yes, bird seed can expire. It is recommended that bird seed be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and should be changed at least every 6 months. Bird seed can become stale or contain mold, or have a high fat content, all of which can be dangerous for birds.
If the bird seed is stored longer than 6 months, it could be low in nutrients and be just as damaging to the birds as bad seed. Additionally, birds are sensitive to insecticides and other chemicals, so if bird seed is stored in an area that has been chemically treated, that too could lead to health issues for the birds.
It is best to purchase only as much bird seed as you can reasonably go through in 6 months and store it properly if you want to maintain the health of your birds.