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froglady

Safflower seed

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I've always heard that birds LOVE it. I've tried feeding it when I was in the city - nope, no one liked it. Now that I'm out here in the country and have my feeders all set up and going strong, I got a big bag and tried it again. Nope - no one will eat it. What's the deal? How come I keep hearing how MUCH birds love it and yet I've never had any eat it? I've resorted to feeding it to my chickens - THEY seem to like it.

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Same with me. The raccoons were the only way I could get rid of it.

I have heard before that milo (sorghum) wasn’t a good seed for birds. They eat it down here.

It’s just what the bird in the area are use to eating, just like people.

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Northern cardinals love it.......I think it is hard for some of the other birds to crack the shell.

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I go through a ton of safflower. There is a difference between the white and the brown. No one around here seems to like the white, but everyone loves the brown. The other thing is, the squirrels will eat the white, and they will not touch the brown. Finches, Cardinals, Chickadees, Titmouse, they all just gobble it down. I feed it by itself in a hopper feeder. So nice to have an active feeder that I don't have to worry about protecting from the squirrels! (I will say though, if you have deer, they love it too)

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Well, I take it back - ONE bird seems to like it here at my house: Mourning Doves. ;-)

What I have is the white. I thought it was already "shelled" though? Looks like only kernels to me.

Where/how do you find brown safflower?

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The brown is called NutraSaff. You can google it, and then find it somewhere near by I would think. Like I said, I have tried both, and the brown is by far the favorite. it's kind of hard to find in some of the bird stores, because they seem to only carry the white. Luckily I have one store near me that carries it.

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I got it back in MO, and mostly my cardinals would eat it. The Mourning Doves were a big fan as well. Sometimes a grackle, or woodpecker would take a few. I got the white kind, didn't know there was a brown one.

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safflower seed has been bred up or genetically enhanced for a bunch of reasons some for more oil and other to resist drought or frost ot growing seasons. the brown is one type bred up for more protein and more oil. my dads old hoimestead in Utah is leased out to a family friend and he grows both safflower and sunflower and organic grains, most of the place has been certified organic and he grows the brown safflower seeds and sells them to a company that repackages them for bird feed.

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I feed safflower year round. The cardinals are such a timid bird they seem to not like competition for the sunflower seeds. They go after the safflower. The only other bird that I see regularly eating the safflower are the doves. In the spring once I see a grackle or a black bird I pull everything except the finch feeders, safflower and caged feeders. Once they see no food options they move on. After they are gone I bring everything back out. Also around here safflower is cheaper than sunflower.

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I read that some birds need to be "introduced" to it, to mix it with black oil sunflower and gradually increase the safflower, they will learn to like it. I tried it that way and so far so good. Chickadees will throw it on the ground to get a sunflower seed though, but the ground birds seem to be enjoying it as well. I have a ton more Northern Cardinals since I began feeding safflower! I would love to find the brown, I hate feeding the squirrels!

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I was told that if i took all my good seed out and replaced it with safflower seed it wold drive off the squirrels and starlings as they dont like the bitter taste but the rest of the birds around here would eat it. I haven't tried yet so not sure if it works.

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there is both brown safflower and white safflower both bred up to produce more oils and to resist drought and to produce more seeds. some birds like one kind and other birds the other and you would just have to try and see what happens with your birds.

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My cardinals seem far from timid and they don't like the safflower seed. I will look for the brown and, in the meantime, feed what I have left to the chickens.

Thanks!

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My cardinals seem far from timid and they don't like the safflower seed. I will look for the brown and, in the meantime, feed what I have left to the chickens.

Thanks!

Haha, whenever I get something the wild birds don't like-- the chickens like it! :)

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Oh my ... my house finches, cardinals, tufted titmice, chickadees .... all eat my safflower........... They love it.... I wonder why the difference in the feedings?.. We have a feed store about 15 minutes from us....and they carry everything. I used to go about 35 miles to the Wild Birds Unlimited but I found that local places carry all the feed and seed for a lot less, and even less traveling...

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I bought safflower seed one time and put it in its own feeder for the Northern Cardinals. It was out there for days with no takers. So, I got the brilliant idea of putting a Coke can on top of it (strung the hanger through the can) hoping to attract the Cardinals to the red of the can. My son saw it and asked, "What's with the Coke can on that feeder?" I answered, "I'm hoping to attract Cardinals to the safflower seed inside." His reply, "Why? Do Cardinals like Coke?"

Long story short...none of the birds, including the Cardinals, ever ate any of the safflower seed

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