Are sunflower seeds too much?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by AGuyWithSomeHen, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. AGuyWithSomeHen

    AGuyWithSomeHen Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm thinking about calcium ... one serving has 35.9 g of calcium , so I'm wondering if a handful of unshelled sunflower seeds once in a while would suffice for my hen's calcium requirement or cause egg bound?
     
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Laying hens need much more calcium in their diet than non-layers. While sunflower seeds have some calcium, they are so high in fat that to provide enough calcium you would have to feed way too much fat in their diet. Even when feeding a layer ration it is prudent to supply an extra source of calcium free choice, such as oyster shell.
     
  3. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    One

    One serving has 35.9mg of calcium, not grams... And said serving size is 46g, meaning the amount of calcium is minute in the end at only 0.078% by weight, that is far, far, far bellow any sufficient required level of calcium for laying hens and it's even below the requirement for non-laying birds... In fact you can pretty much ignore that level of calcium in the sunflower seeds as a source of calcium...

    Laying hens need give or take about 3.5-4.5% calcium in their feed...

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3076/2
     
  4. AGuyWithSomeHen

    AGuyWithSomeHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Must have misread that label... my bad.
     
  5. Ra_

    Ra_ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A big bag of Oyster shell fragments is cheap and are pure calcium.
    Sprout the Sunflowers and plant them and the nutrient levels will soar.
    24-30% protein and the birds love them.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. AGuyWithSomeHen

    AGuyWithSomeHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Good Idea. I could also sprout barley and other grasses and beans the same way...cut down on feed costs.
     
  7. Ra_

    Ra_ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried Pinto beans and small red beans but got a poor germination rate.
    Lentils work well.
    Be careful, some beans contain toxins when sprouted, such as Kidney beans.
    Rye grass works well for the birds.
     
  8. AGuyWithSomeHen

    AGuyWithSomeHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2015
    peaking of the oyster shells... what about cartel, lobstershell, shrimpshell... they sorts you would sneak home from dinner out? Am I correct in thinking they'd work for calcium also?
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I don't know if it supplies much calcium, but I give my birds shrimp shells when we have them. They happily devour them, and I never have any fishy tasting eggs.
     
  10. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    It will provide some calcium but I doubt you have a steady enough supply to supply the needs of laying hens... Crushed oyster shells are about $10 for a 50lb bag, so it's hardly worth the hassle, although if you are really cheap crushed limestone can be bought for about $15 a ton from most gravel pits and that should be a lifetime supply of poultry calcium for most ;)
     

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