how to store sunflower seeds for birds

Sunflower seeds are for the birds – and people

Jeannie Nichols, – October 16, 2014

Sunflower seeds are very versatile. They can be eaten or fed to the birds.

Keep an eye on your sunflowers this fall, whether you want to harvest them for people food or bird food. Sunflowers are mature when the back of the heads turn brown and dry. Most of the yellow petals will have dried and fallen, with the seeds still plump. Sunflowers can tolerate some frost when they are small.

When the time comes to harvest the seeds, cut off the entire flower head. After that, hang it upside-down by tying a piece of cheesecloth around it or putting it in a net bag. For approximately three weeks, the flower head should be hung in a warm, dry location with adequate ventilation. Seeds will drop out as they dry. Shake the head against a table or counter to remove the remaining seeds, or rub two heads together. Make sure the seeds are completely dry before storing them in airtight jars. There’s no need for additional processing if the seeds are intended for birds.

Seeds for people to eat can be hulled and eaten raw or used for baking. They can be hulled and fried or roasted, including roasting in the shell. Michigan State University Extension offers suggestions on how to prepare and preserve your sunflower seeds for snacks or in baked goods.

Before hulling dried sunflower seeds, first chop them up using a food processor, rolling pin, or hammer. After that, add seeds and hulls to a big container of water and give it a good stir. The shells will float while the kernels sink to the bottom. Dry the kernels before roasting or storing.

Roast plain sunflower seeds on a cookie sheet in a 300 degreeFahrenheit oven for 15 to 25 minutes. If you like salted seeds, soak them overnight in a brine of two quarts of water to 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt. The next morning, boil the seed brine with the seeds for a few minutes and drain. Spread the seeds on a cookie sheet and roast in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for three hours or until crisp. If roasted long enough, they are easy to shell. If preferred, you can baste them with just a little butter while they are roasting. Stir or shake occasionally so they roast evenly.

Sunflower seeds can also be roasted by simply combining them with salt and butter. For every two cups of seeds, use about 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of salt. Roast the seeds at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Shake or stir them occasionally.

For every cup of seeds, use 1/4 cup of cooking oil when deep-frying hulled seeds. Fry at 250 degrees Fahrenheit until seeds are golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and store, tightly covered.

Roughly chopped raw sunflower seeds can be added to cereal, salads, and baked goods like muffins, cookies, and bread.

Good, fresh food is the cornerstone of a productive backyard bird feeding program. To make sure you’re properly storing bird food, heed these seven tips:

By properly storing bird food, you can guarantee that the seed you supply is always wholesome and nutrient-rich. Birdseed will remain fresh and healthy until it is fully consumed when stored and used according to recommended procedures. However, bird seed may deteriorate or spoil if there are abnormally humid or wet weather patterns or times when bird activity is low.

By giving your birds wholesome, fresh seed, you can maintain their health. To learn how to preserve bird food freshness, stop by your nearby WBU store.


What is the best way to store sunflower seeds?

Allow them to dry for several hours (or overnight). If you’re saving the seeds to re-plant, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant. Label the container with the variety and the date you harvested. The seed will last for years if stored this way.

What is the best way to store bird seed?

Always store your bird seed in a cool and dry location outside of your home. Store bird seed in rodent and insect-proof containers. Never mix old seed with new seed. During periods of warm weather, store only the amount of seed that your birds can consume over a two-week period.

Can bird seed be stored in the garage?

Pick the right storage place For this reason, many people choose to store their seed in a container out in their garden, patio, or backyard. If you have a garage or shed close by, that’s a better choice. Though its preferable to store birdseed indoors, it can also stay fresh outdoors with the right planning.