About Nyjer Thistle Seed

Did you just purchase a bag of Nyjer thistle seed but you’re not attracting any finch to your thistle feeder?

Caution must be taken to assure the thistle seed you purchase is fresh or the finch you are trying to attract will reject it. Nyjer thistle seed is imported from Ethiopia and India. When it reaches North America it is sterilized by heat treatment to deter the germination of noxious weeds. This starts a drying out of the oils in the seed which is what attracts the finch. If sterilized Nyjer thistle seed is then warehoused for extended periods of time before it reaches the shelf for the consumer to purchase, such as at big box stores, hardware stores, and farm stores, it can lead to the oils drying out even more. At that point the finch will ignore it.

At the Wild Bird Habitat Stores, as we hope with many specialty bird stores, we receive weekly shipments to assure our bird feeds are fresh and of the highest quality. Wild Bird Habitat buys directly from Des Moines Feed to assure all 20 varieties of the wild bird feeds, including Nyjer thistle seed, we stock are fresh. Des Moines Feed generally receives shipments of Nyjer thistle seed within days from reaching ports in the U.S. At that time we have Des Moines Feed re-clean the Nyjer seed to remove any dust, foreign debris, and immature Nyjer seeds. Finches will reject immature Nyjer seed. This makes certain that the customers at Wild Bird Habitat have regular access to the highest quality Nyjer thistle seed available.

If you opt to purchase a pre-packaged finch mix you may be surprised much of what it contains is filler seeds such as reed canary grass seed, flax, and red millet. The best finch mix is 50% Nyjer thistle seed and 50% ground sunflower chips. You may purchase these seed separately and mix it yourself or purchase it pre-mixed at the Wild Bird Habitat Stores or your local bird feeding center.

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