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Welcome to American Niger Seed Company™

Your source for American Grown "Live" EarlyBird Niger™ Birdseed!


After 20 years of research development in southern Minnesota, the variety EarlyBird NigerTM was developed and adapted to the United States in 2002 by Glenn Page.

Niger is the common name for Guizotia abyssinica.  Niger has been cultivated in Ethiopia and India for over a thousand years.  It is not a thistle or related to any thistle.  It has none of the characteristics that make some plants weeds.

In 1982, large shipments of niger seed were detained at ports of arrival because during a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection they had been found with contamination of dodder seed (Cuscuta sp.).  Dodder is a serious agricultural pest because it is a parasitic weed which attaches itself to a host plant.  This eventually leads to the decline and death of the host plant.  This variety of dodder is not known to exist in the U.S.  

Imported niger is not sterilized because it is a weed, but rather to kill the noxious weeds that accompany it in imported shipments.

A heat treatment was found to devitalize the dodder seed which still left the niger with a 4% germination at a heat exposure of 4 hours.  The findings were published as follows: Studies on the use of dry heat to decontaminate niger seed (G. abyssinica) infested with dodder seed (Cuscuta sp.) Strasser, EG Seed Sci. & Technol. 1988; 16: 501-505

This treatment, however, was insufficient to kill seeds of other Federal noxious weeds, including Asphodelius fistulosus Linnaeus (onion weed), Digitaria spp. (includes African couchgrass), Oryza spp. (red rice), Paspalum scrobiculatum Linnaeus (kodo millet), Prosopis spp. (includes mesquites), Solanum viarum Dunal (tropical soda apple), Striga spp. (witchweed), and Urochloa panicoides Beauvois (liver-seed grass).

In 2001 a new treatment required that imported niger seed must be heat treated at 248 deg. F (120 deg. C) for 15 minutes.

But now your birds have an alternative to imported niger seed. Read more about the EarlyBird Niger Live Seed Advantage!

EarlyBird NigerTM is U.S.D.A. Plant Variety Protected:

American Niger Seed Company™ is owned and operated by Fabulous Finch, LLC

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