black oil sunflower seeds with shells on?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by princess araucana, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. princess araucana

    princess araucana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2008
    Rhode Island
    This might be a silly question, but... Everyone talks about how good black oil sunflower seeds are for chickens, do you give them the seeds with the shells on?
    Aren't the shells too tough for them? I just picture those hard scratchy shells scraping the chickens soft fleshy crop!
    I experienced an impacted crop once and do not want to jeopardize another one!

    Maybe it is my own bias because I can't pop 'em in my mouth and split them open with my teeth! My dad is a pro and can spit out the clean shells... I'm jealous!
  2. NuthatchKnollChickens

    NuthatchKnollChickens Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2008
    Ithaca, NY
    Mine eat unshelled black oil sunflower seeds all the time with no problem. The minute they are let out to range in the afternoon they make a beeline for the wild bird feeder to grab some spilled sunflower seeds before they head off in search of bugs and worms. Hasn't caused them any digestive trouble at all and they've been doing it for a year now.
  3. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    Mine get whole black oil seeds all the time. They love them and have no problems with them.
  4. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I mix the BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seed) in with my other grains. They never leave any BOSS. I have been feeding it to them for ages without any problems. Those grinding muscles have to be strong and since mine free range they are tough.
    I have taken 25# bags and scattered them all over the courtyard and watched tame and wild birds go crazy with the clean up. It is very nutritious and has a high protein with great oils for them and us.
  5. princess araucana

    princess araucana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2008
    Rhode Island
    just to be clear [​IMG] chickens are ok to eat Black Oil Sunflower Seeds, (BOSS) with shells ON.

    nuthatchknoll gives UNshelled
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  6. needtohatch

    needtohatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2009
    Hart Co
    Ours eat them all the time from under our bird feeders. Never had any problems.
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Mine won't eat them, hulled. Even tried breaking them up. Going to keep trying; seems like someone should get the idea eventually.
  8. Barn Maid Ann

    Barn Maid Ann Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2008
    Punta Gorda, FL
    I feed BOSS to my horses and chickens. They all love them and have had no problems whatsovever.
    The horses get BOSS 2x per day with their pelleted feed. And the chickens get some mixed with their scratch treats a couple or 3x per day. Plus the chickens get what they can thieve out of the horses' feed pans.
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    My birds love them. Shells and all.
  10. Nemo

    Nemo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    Quote:Yes, they are fine with shells or without. It's sometimes confusing how people think of 'shelled' and 'unshelled'. Unshelled can mean 'without the shell' or 'hasn't been shelled (hasn't had the shell removed)'. Shelled can mean 'has been shelled' or 'has the shell'. Kind of like 'unthawing' something from the freezer.
    1 person likes this.

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