Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Feeding Chickweed Seeding Heads

A Great Conditioner and Canary Favorite!

My birds really love to eat chickweed seeding heads when they are just forming. The top photo shows tasty and nutritious chickweed seeding heads that I picked in my backyard.

Once chickweed has the doughy seeding heads, I feed it to all birds that I am conditioning, all birds with banded chicks, and all weaned chicks. The only birds that don't get seedy chickweed are sitting hens and hens with chicks that have not been banded. The bottom photo is a nest of banded rose brown melanin colorbred chicks whose mother is stuffing them with fresh chickweed doughy seeds! The second photo is the same chicks a few days later. Look at that great chocolate brown color coming on strong! The top photo is these same chicks almost ready to leave the nest!!

Luckily, I have a large patch in my back yard. I have lived in the same house for 40 years and never allowed any spray in my yard. I wish it would take over the whole yard as I could always use more!

Last year, I admired the neighbors front yard which is totally chickweed and some purple flowered hen bit. These neighbors are Asian and own a restaurant. They are very busy and hard working people. So I went over and ask them if they had sprayed their yard. He evidently thought I was critical of his weeds as he assured me that he had someone coming that very afternoon to spray!
I explained that I liked the chickweed very much and would appreciate it if I could pick some for my birds and please do not spray it! Then every one was happy. The owner had one less thing to do and me with multiple bags of chickweed!

The neighbors have another great chickweed crop this year, but I will ask them first about spraying or lawn treatment before I pick it. The point of this story is that you must be absolutely certain that there has been no spraying before you pick chickweed and offer it to your birds!

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