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Black Nyjer Thistle seed? Is it toxic to horses?

So, due to a massive OOPS. I have fifty pounds of black nyjer thistle seed well and truly mixed with fifty pounds of flax seed. I really, really do not want chuck the flax seed, but I certainly can’t sort it back out. Does anyone know if nyjer/thistle seed is toxic to horses? I can’t find anything out there one way or the other.

The best I can do is this link


Niger seed which goes by many names is in the sunflower family. It’s used in human cooking in India. The oil cake (what’s left after the oil is extracted) is used as livestock feed for protein in Ethiopia. I can’t find any reference to horses but if people and cows can eat it, and it’s basically tiny sunflower seeds, I think it should be harmless to horses but likely the wrong ratio of Omega 3. More like black oil sunflower is my guess.

Thanks. That is about what I can find too… sort of leaning towards just chucking it, but it was supposed to be a 100 pounds of flax, which would have lasted all winter. Bag one was dumped into the bin and was flax. Bag two was opened and dumped…and it was not flax. Ever had that moment when you are making chicken stock and forget to put the bowl under the strainer in the sink? And you are left with the cooked down chicken bones and the stock going down the drain? That sort of moment.


Could you get a refund?

You could feed it to the birds. Nyjer will attract gorgeous finches!


Feeding the birds is what came to mind for me too.

I did something similar (pouring bad food into good food) once.

So frustrating.

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This is what I use it for!

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You should be able to get most of it back into the bag? Then take it back and explain what happened. If you mix another 50 pounds of flax in with whatever small amount of thistle seed that may be left in your barrel , it should be fine ( i’d feed it) mixed with all that flax.

Especially since it is in the same family as the sunflower seed and BOSS is fine to feed.

Why is it OK to return something that the mistake is not the place they bought it from?
The OP made a mistake and mixed two things. How is this a burden for the store to fix and have to deal with now mixed product?


Because the store sold her the wrong stuff??
I m not sure if that’s what happened or not from the post, if it’s that or she bought the wrong stuff in error.
If it’s her mistake and it’s ok to feed it , then I would either feed it or scoop it out and give it to the birds.
If they messed up her order then I would take it back

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One is on top of the other in the bin. You just take the thistle back?

As per the OP

It is the mistake of the feed dealer because they gave them thistle instead of flax. Most likely the same type bag and an honest mistake but OP shouldn’t have to pay to feed the birds and buy more flax.

I really don’t think 1 bag is such a burden? They can sew it back up, weigh it and sell it for a bit cheaper and hopefully unload their feed a bit better next time.

I do agree that if they were all mixed together that would be a different story.

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Our feed dealers will refund a mistake without needing the product back. They aren’t going to resell an opened grain bag or the musty half of a bale of hay with the mummified rabbit in it. As long as they believe they made a mistake, especially on delivery, they just refund. I’ve never had to do this though.

At the feed stores here you pay at the counter and drive round the back where the employees load grain or hay into your vehicle. So if I bought two bags of flax on my receipt and they mixed up the order and I didn’t see it until I dumped the bag, that’s on them. I would keep the bags though they have date data on them.

Get a refund then give away the mixed grain on your local FB Buy Nothing group for bird feed. Might need to offer it in Bring Your Own Bucket smaller lots. Birds love flax.

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I agree, if the error was the feed company giving the OP the wrong things then the feed company owes the OP new bags of Flax.

Sorry if I misunderstood where the error was.

I knew they were all dumped in the bin, so now mixed. Which makes them not able to be resold.

My feed dealer is the same except they would take it back even if it had been mixed-- just because they gave me the wrong thing.

On my last trip I was supposed to have 8 bags of whole corn. I got 6 and 2 bags of cracked corn and NO oats that I was supposed to have. I opened them thinking they were oats ( no tags on these 2 bags) .

When I called the store they told me to being them back but I opted to keep them since I grind my corn anyways and went back for oats and they sold them to me at the cracked corn price.

Would have been nice to have them for free though!!

No reputable feed store will re-sell a bag that has been opened by the customer. My stores don’t even re-sell an unopened returned bag. Once the product is in a customer’s hands, the store and manufacturer cannot guarantee the safety or quality of the product.

OP, if the store gave you something other than what you paid for, take a photo of what was in the bag. They will likely refund your money (all my stores would).


It may not necessarily all be mixed if she dumped one bag then the other. Scoop out what you can of the top bag and return that if that’s what she decided to do.

I always enjoy COTH speculation. :slight_smile: So, here is what happened: I bought correctly two fifty pound bags of flax and correctly one fifty pound bag of thistle for those birds everyone is mentioning. Working fast in the dark, unloading, I grabbed a bag of flax and the bag of thistle. They both come in fundamentally unmarked brown bags from this mill and feel identical. Because of the bin shape, and the angle at which I was pouring, the two bags are mixed. Along with the flax that was already in the bin. So, there is a lot of potentially expensive, wasted flax there.
Nothing to do with the feed store. Totally my fault.
Any other thoughts though on the original question? It seems like it might be okay…

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Thank you for clarifying!

I know they do that with “people” food returns but didn’t even give that a thought. I still think the feed store can probably stand to give the OP a refund even if they have to lose the $$.

The OP has admitted it is their mistake, not the feed stores mistake.
So, I can not imagine asking the feed store to give a refund in that case. It does not matter if the feed store can afford it. The feed store did nothing wrong here.