Why Aren’t the Finches Eating the Thistle Seeds? What To Do?
Finches are seed eating birds and they generally prefer thistle seeds over other ones. Though there are debates on this, thistle seeds are often called nyjer seeds or niger seeds.
If you find your finches not attracted to the thistle seeds, you might wonder why aren’t the finches eating the thistle seeds. There can be several reasons behind it.
This article can be your savior to find out the common reasons behind the aversion. Besides, you will also get to know how to attract your finches to eat the thistle seeds, whether by hand or from the feeder.
Why Thistle Seeds Are Necessary for Finches?
As finches are seed eating birds, you need to choose the most nutritious seeds for them to ensure enough energy. Thistle seeds can be the perfect energy-packed food for your feathered pets.
Basically, thistle seeds are small and black oily seeds that are generally found in Africa-based daisy flowers. They are of appropriate size for the finches to have with their small beaks.
These seeds are a great source of energy and an ultimate favorite food for seed eating birds. Thistle seeds contain nutritious oil consisting of different vitamins and nutrients which are necessary for birds.
As these seeds are a bit expensive, you can mix them with sunflower seed or millet seeds while feeding your finches. You should set up an appropriate bird feeder that will provide a perfect amount of seeds without any wastage.
If you know how thistle seeds can help your finches stay strong and healthy, you can plan a proper diet of necessary portions. Besides, you can also choose an appropriate feeder that can attract your birds to eat the seeds.
Why Your Finches Are Not Eating Thistle Seeds?
Though thistle seeds are absolute favorites to finches, they might not eat these seeds for certain reasons.
Well, some common reasons are briefly described here so that you can identify them and take the necessary steps.
1. Dried Out Thistle Seeds
The main nutritious ingredient of thistle seeds is the oil which gives your finches plenty of energy. But if these seeds are dried out of oil, there remains nothing but only the outer shells of the seeds.
Generally, finches do not want to eat such thistle seeds as they become either extremely dry or damp. If you keep these seeds stored for more than two months, they dry out easily.
2. Thinner Outer Shells
Often finches turn down thistle seeds even if those seeds are clean and fresh. In this case, if you examine the seeds closely, you might notice that the hulls are too thin and flat.
Thinner thistle seeds contain less amount of seed oil which doesn’t seem appealing to the finches. As a result, your finches might eat a little or not at all.
3. Seeds Getting Moldy
Bacteria and mold affected thistle seeds are harmful to finches and can create different health issues for them.
If you keep the seeds in the feeder for several days, they might get damp because of the humidity. Eventually, molds can affect the damp seeds easily as thistle seeds are vulnerable to moisture and water.
So, you should change the seeds every two days if your finches eat them actively. Remove the clumps regularly and keep the feeder clean.
Ways to Attract Finches to the Thistle Seed Feeder?
You can feed your finches both by hand or through a feeder. Hand feeding is a kind of exhausting task, and often finches might not like to be fed by hand.
Using a bird feeder is always a great option for your house birds. In this section, we are going to discuss a few tips to attract your finches to the thistle seed feeder.
1. Providing Clean and Fresh Seeds
Often, thistle seeds contain huge amounts of dust particles. Before you put them on the feeder, clean them by removing the dust and adding some oil if possible.
If your finches eat thistle seeds actively, give them preferable portions. But in case they eat a small amount, you should not keep the same seeds in the feeder for more than two days because thistle seeds tend to spoil fast.
When your finches will notice fresh seeds every time they eat, they will be attracted to the feeder and eat regularly.
2. Cleaning the Feeder
A dirty feeder is the most common reason behind the food aversion of the finches. If you clean the feeder every 3 to 4 days, your finches will get to the feeder more frequently.
Place small portions of thistle seeds on the feeder so that there is less chance of wastage. You might increase the portion if you notice your finches eating more than before.
Clean the feeder regularly with clear water. For disinfecting on a weekly basis, you can mix cleaning solutions or bleach with water.
3. Protecting the Feeder from Moisture
If you are keeping finches in your house, you can bring the cages inside during rain. But in case you are raising them in aviaries, there remains no option of keeping them under shades.
In aviaries, hang the feeder in such a way so that excess water can flow down from it. You can protect the feeder from direct sunlight and rain by hanging it under big leaves of trees.
Keep the water container away from the feeder so the water can’t get sprinkled on the seeds. Make sure that the thistle seeds do not get damp and clamped together.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you prevent the clogging of thistle seeds?
Keep the thistle seeds away from water and moisture to prevent clogging. But if you notice that the seeds have already started clogging up; shake the feeder a few times, and the clogs will disappear soon.
Why are my finches not eating nyjer seeds?
If the nyjer seeds are excessively dry or getting damp due to moisture, finches would not want to eat them. Besides, a dirty feeder can also be a reason for your finches not eating nyjer seeds.
How frequently should you clean the feeder?
Usually, you should clean the feeder once a week in summer and winter. But in the rainy season, the moisture level of the weather remains high. So, you must clean the feeder at least twice a week at that time of the year.
Hopefully, all your queries regarding why aren’t the finches eating the thistle seeds have been cleared about. Try to provide fresh seeds and keep the feeder squeaky clean. Thus, your finches will develop regular eating habits and stay healthy.
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