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How to sterilize bird seed

Updated February 21, 2017

Bird feeders, available from retail, hardware and home improvement stores, let you feed birds in your backyard without the mess of tossing bread, seeds and other feed on the ground. But bird seeds dropped outside of feeders have a tendency of sprouting. To stop bird seed from sprouting and messing up your yard, sterilise the seeds with heat. The sterilising process doesn't affect the nutritional value of the seeds and birds will still consume the seeds.

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  1. Turn on your oven. Set the temperature control to 148 degrees C.

  2. Spread 1 gal. of bird seed out evenly on a baking tray. Place the baking tray in the oven. Let the seeds heat for 30 minutes.

  3. Remove the baking tray and let the seeds cool for 20 minutes before placing them in the bird feeder(s).

  4. Set the microwave oven's temperature control to "High." Enter five minutes on the oven's timer.

  5. Place 1 gal. of bird seed in a paper bag. Place the paper bag in the microwave oven and close the door.

  6. Press "Start." Remove the paper bag after the heating process is complete. Let the seeds cool for 20 minutes before placing them in the feeders.

  7. Tip

    Place a plastic or other type of tray under your bird feeder(s) to catch falling seeds to prevent the seeds from entering the ground and sprouting.

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Things You'll Need

  • Conventional or microwave oven
  • Baking tray or paper bag

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.

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