How cannabis seeds in bird feed may threaten growers’ crops

Published Apr 13, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Jellybean49

Have you ever considered what seeds you are feeding the birds in your beautiful bird feeder that hangs at the end of your garden? Some of those seeds could be compromising the four plants that you can grow legally for yourself, and here we're going to help you out by explaining why.

What seeds are you feeding the birds?

Next time you buy your birdseed, check on the types of ingredients that make up that premium bag of feed. A favourite seed of many birds is the hemp seed. Although not a seed, it is a nut. It’s high in fat content, which is why this seed is extremely attractive to the bird's taste palate. Birdseed producers add to the seed mix. Non-viable heat-treated hemp seed is inserted into the birdseed mix. The issue is that not all of the seeds get the full treatment to deactivate them.

So although your intentions were good in filling that bird seeder for the different birds in your neighbourhood, your carefully planted cannabis plants have perhaps been compromised by the cannabis seeds in the bird food. The cannabis seeds are not the only seeds that will sprout from the birds discarded the seeds while eating.  Some of the seeds that grow from the wild bird seed can produce a hemp plant.

Male plants will adversely affect the four female plants you have carefully grown. The male plant pollinates the female plant and thus results in the abundance of seeds, which turns your plant into a hermaphrodite. Your wild bird food is perhaps not a good thing for the cannabis farmer.

All growers look for the best and high THC content from their plants, so planting the female is of utter importance. The plants that have grown from the bird food sprouting will not be an enjoyable smoking experience. THC levels will be too low.

How to prevent your bird seed from sprouting

There is not much you can do about your neighbor's bird feeders. However, there are means to help stop the bird feeders that you have around your yard from contributing to stray males in the neighbourhood. To prevent sprouting of the birdseed, you need to sterilize the birdseed. You can microwave or bake the seeds to help achieve this.

Sterilizing wild bird seed

Equipment needed:

  • Oven
  • Cookie sheet
  • Airtight glass storage jar

Instructions

  1. Place the evenly spread birdseed on the cookie sheet.

  2. Put the seed in an oven that’s been preheated to 140 F for 9 minutes.

  3. Remove the seed from the oven, and then let them cool before you store in a dry airtight glass jar.

The microwave method

Equipment needed:

  • Paper bag
  • Microwave
  • Airtight glass jar

Instructions

  1. Place the birdseed in a paper bag and in a microwave on high for 6 minutes.

  2. Remove from bag allow the seed to cool and then store it in an airtight glass jar.

Sprouting is not the only means that male cannabis plants can be in your neighbourhood. Bird planters throughout the neighbourhood feed the birds, and the birds will do as they wish as they dispel the seeds. These plants germinate, and soon you could be contributing to the abundance of male plants that are now doing the same thing, by sprouting and affecting your female plants.

So, although everything in nature deserves to grow just like the weed plant, perhaps providing food for the birds needs to be done with sterilized bird food.

Growing Marijuana Tips and tricks to maintain a healthy plant

Author

Related posts