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thistle seed

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

a friend of mine gave me two big bags of thistle seed thinking that as my babies are ( pigs with wings)tongue  as dh calls them would eat it, have tried mixing in with their morning scratch but silly girls pick everything else out and leave the thistle, question is if it sprouts would it be dangerous for the girls to eat the plant or should i rake it out and and spread in pasture as the wild birds love to be with the horses and they would get a great treet.

wife to DH, 1 DS, and enough critters to keep us all happy. 1 horse, 1 cat, 3 dogs, 12- 1 yr old hens and 20- 2 mnth old asst chicks, 4 ducks  (lex, na-na. brownie, and qauckers) and 2 ducklings (hoppy and mally), 3, banties
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wife to DH, 1 DS, and enough critters to keep us all happy. 1 horse, 1 cat, 3 dogs, 12- 1 yr old hens and 20- 2 mnth old asst chicks, 4 ducks  (lex, na-na. brownie, and qauckers) and 2 ducklings (hoppy and mally), 3, banties
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post #2 of 8

If you spread the thistle seed on the pasture, you will get a lot of thistle plants in the pasture.  The horses will not be able to eat the grass around the thistle plants.  The thistle needles will be a danger to the horses and any other livestock in the pasture.  The thistles will spread to neighboring fields and contaminate any hay fields they grow in.  Thistle is considered a noxious weed in many if not most jurisdictions and you are required by law in those jurisdictions to control it.  People have lost lawsuits in a court of law because they did not control thistle on their property and infected neighbor's fields.

I consider it an extremely bad idea to give the thistle any chance to either get established or to spread at all if you already have some thistle in your area.  I spent way too many hours of my youth in the heat of an August cloudless, windless day patrolling pasturefields digging up thistle to try to keep it from taking over. 

Personally I would burn the thistle seed, but I admit to being prejudiced against it.  If you feel you must use it, I would suggest using it as bird feed this winter in an area of your yard that will be mowed regularly next summer to try to keep it from ever coming to a bloom and spreading and infecting other areas.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #3 of 8

My winter birds love thistle seed. We hang it in 'feeder socks' outside the living room window and spend hours watching dozens of finches!!

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post #4 of 8

If it is birdseed thistle (or niger) then it is non-sprouting.

I agree, it is fun to watch the finches and siskins feed during the winter.  I would save it for cold weather and have fun with the small ones.  smile

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by SurprisingWoman 

If it is birdseed thistle (or niger) then it is non-sprouting.

I agree, it is fun to watch the finches and siskins feed during the winter.  I would save it for cold weather and have fun with the small ones.  smile


niger is non-sprouting?????  How does that work??  curiosity is killing the possum here!pop

STILL building a tractor, window shopping for chickens even though I'm already "overrun with chickens (not yet!!), STILL lurking around BYC and running my mouth, can't wait can't wait can't wait
big fan of Heifer International!!!!!  go to www.heifer.org for more information
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STILL building a tractor, window shopping for chickens even though I'm already "overrun with chickens (not yet!!), STILL lurking around BYC and running my mouth, can't wait can't wait can't wait
big fan of Heifer International!!!!!  go to www.heifer.org for more information
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post #6 of 8

Here in Colorado, it's spelled nyjer.  Goldfinches love it.  It's pretty expensive for chickens.  Mine just looked at it, then at me.  Then they demanded some scratch. 

It's heat sterilized (cooked) to prevent germination because it is so invasive.  They import it from either Africa or India.

Proud keeper of too dang many critters!
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Proud keeper of too dang many critters!
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post #7 of 8

I have had niger sprout under bird feeders.  It is similar to our invasive thistle, but not so picky.  It has never wintered over. I have always assumed it was noninvasive becaue of the cold weather here.

post #8 of 8

I just wouldn't consider feeding thistle to my flock.  It's expensive enough to buy it for the finches, but for chickens too?  EEK!  Even the sunflower seeds are costly.  So, I bought a bag of safflower chips to mix in  with the scratch.  It's far cheaper than the sunflower.  It may not have the alleged benefits of black oil sunflower seeds, but it does give them variety when scratching around in the run.

Pride                             
Integrity                         
Guts                               It's a thin blue line between us and them.
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Pride                             
Integrity                         
Guts                               It's a thin blue line between us and them.
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