Black oil seeds or hearts?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Noodlynoo, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Noodlynoo

    Noodlynoo Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a bag of black oil sunflower seeds that my chickens dont seem very keen on. Would sprouting them a bit make them tastier for them?
    Also, nutritionally, are the sunflower hearts better than the black oil ones?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Mine seem to like them any way I serve them, but they are used to them and the older birds are keen on them so it makes the younger birds willing to eat them right off .... if you haven't fed them BOSS much, with a lot of chickens it does take a few tries to get used to the idea of eating strange things. I have sprouted them in the winter occasionally and they do have fun tearing them apart and eating them ... Hearts are higher in protein but lower in fiber, here is the Feedipedia page on them
    http://www.feedipedia.org/node/40
     
  3. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens were given hearts before BOSS. They went absolutely nuts for the hearts, but are still enthusiastic with the BOSS. Maybe introducing the hearts would make ease them into eating BOSS.
     
  4. Noodlynoo

    Noodlynoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Thats a good idea. I'll get a bag of hearts and see how it goes. :)
     
  5. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I soak my boss seeds then sprout them, my chickens lose their minds over sprouted boss more than even the other favorites, dried mealworms, seeds, dandelions.
     
  6. janukey

    janukey Out Of The Brooder

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    would sunflower hearts still sprout ?

    jan x
     
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It depends. They are easily damaged during the hulling process so you might end up with a lower sprout rate. That wouldn't be a problem except the seeds that didn't sprout might mold on you. You don't want to feed moldy spouts. The other thing to consider is that many seeds and grains destined for feed, especially the hulled ones, are heat treated to prevent bacterial and mold growth. Unfortunately this renders them unable to sprout.
     
  8. janukey

    janukey Out Of The Brooder

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    Ahh thank you talkAlittle better buy a sack with shells on ?

    jan xx
     
  9. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Nutritionally hearts are going to be your best bet, whole sunflower seeds have a lot of indigestible and hard to digest fiber that is next to useless for poultry.
    The protein of the whole sunflower at best is 16 to 18 percent protein and will deplete the protein amount of most good feeds.
    Hulled sunflower seeds (Hearts) are higher in usable nutrition than whole sunflower seeds and have about 20% +/- protein.

    If want to use the Black Oil Sunflower seed you have you can simply soak the seeds for a night or two in water, the soaking helps start to breakdown the outer hull of the sunflower seed and still keeps the nutrition higher than sprouting them. Sprouting seeds uses up a good bit of nutrition depending on how long you let the grow and since chickens are not Herbivores they don't need the extra fiber it provide.
     
  10. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I believe you are incorrect, Chris09. It's my understanding that sprouting increases the bioavailability of the seed's nutrients.
     

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