Birdseed?

jahphotogal

Chirping
7 Years
May 15, 2012
242
4
83
CT
I read here on BYC that Black Oil Sunflower Seed is good for chickens, but my local grocery store only offered a mixed birdseed- lots of BOSS but also millet and a few other of the usual things birdseed has. The girls seem to love it but I suddenly wondered if it's OK. Also I know not to give them "too much" treats, but how much is too much? Can I give them a helping of seed every day? (By helping - I fill an old mealworm jar about a third of the way up, and scatter that around. It takes the five of them 5 minutes at most to consume most of it, then they wander off and the squirrels eat the rest.
 

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,207
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
I think that's fine. As long as it doesn't consume more than 20% of their diet.

They LOVE millet. That's the first seed I offer chicks, as they won't choke on it. I think bird seed is probably better for them than scratch. It most likely contains far less corn.
 

janinepeters

Songster
10 Years
Jun 9, 2009
906
83
153
I've been mixing birdseed into scratch grains as a treat for my chickens for years. The bird seed I usually use is a finch mix, composed of mostly hulled sunflower chips, millet, and niger seed. Now in the colder months, I'm mixing in some dried mealworms, since they're not getting the worms and bugs they find during the warmer months.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
675
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
I read here on BYC that Black Oil Sunflower Seed is good for chickens, but my local grocery store only offered a mixed birdseed- lots of BOSS but also millet and a few other of the usual things birdseed has. The girls seem to love it but I suddenly wondered if it's OK. Also I know not to give them "too much" treats, but how much is too much? Can I give them a helping of seed every day? (By helping - I fill an old mealworm jar about a third of the way up, and scatter that around. It takes the five of them 5 minutes at most to consume most of it, then they wander off and the squirrels eat the rest.

Millet is 11% protein or so, and BOSS are 16% protein. They are excellent additions to a feeding program, in moderation (or treat). I feed my chickens some every day as part of their feed mix (but I start with an unmedicated chick starter- 20% protein as the base, not a 16% layer feed).

So as long as you don't offer too much you are good to go! I think you have it just right- girls eat for 5 minutes or less- for a treat.
 
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