Black oil sunflower seeds

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickendaddy'swife, May 20, 2010.

  1. chickendaddy'swife

    chickendaddy'swife Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2010
    Kingman, ARIZONA
    A friend who raises parrots told me today that she doesn't feed B.O.S.S. (Black oil sunflowerseeds) because it is a narcotic to birds and they get addicted to it, sorta like catnip to cats. And it really isn't good for them. I told her I feed some to my chicken every nite. Should I stop?? Whats' the deal??
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    They aren't "addictive" but they aren't the best food either.
    The hulls aren't digestable so it's concieveable the birds could eat enough to stay "full" but still starve IF that were their only food.

    They make OK treats
  3. underground chickenman

    underground chickenman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2009
    Orlando, Florida
    I don't know about addiction, but it is not complete nutrition. I use BOSS to up the protein in their overall diet a little and give them something to scratch for when they are in the run or coop. A handful or two a day among a few birds isn't going to hurt anything and in moderation is helpful for the purposes I mentioned. I only throw it in there after they have tanked up good on their feed.

  4. shopchicks

    shopchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    One thing about BOSS is that it is high in Omega 6 vs. Omega 3's. If your chickens are foraging on fresh plants a lot, and the BOSS is fed it small amounts, this probably isn't a problem, but if you are feeding extra flax to get high Omega 3 eggs, the BOSS might be counterbalancing the flax. I don't know how this works specifically for chickens, but I have fed my horse BOSS, and he seems to do better with flax and rice bran as fat sources, as they have a better Omega 3:6 balance (Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory, Omega 6 has inflammatory properties).
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Sunflower seeds don't have any narcotic compounds in them. Parrots do like them, though. There are a lot of parrot nutrition myths, like fruit is just sugar or seeds aren't good for them. Every natural food has something good about it. Every natural food can be bad, if it's the only thing you feed your parrots, chickens or yourself. Some people have fed their parrots only seeds or too much fruit and the result is an unbalanced diet.

    Fruit has many phytonutrients in it, including those that fight cancer, among other things. Sunflower seed is a good source of methionine, an amino acid that is a major component of feathers and one that is often limited in plant based proteins. I feed more of it when my chickens are molting. Sunflower seed has a lot of other good things in it, too. Many people eat sunflower seeds as part of a balanced diet, including me. I eat a small amount, not a huge bowl full. I take the same approach with the chickens and my parrot. A little sunflower seed or scratch doesn't keep my chickens from foraging every day.

    I feed the grey striped sunflower seeds that are much lower in fat to my parrot. He does love them and gets some every day. He also loves his Harrison's pellets, grain/legume/rice cooked mixes, sprouts, birdie bread, almost every vegetable, most fruits, chicken, salmon, lean meat, a mix of different seeds and nuts, plus all kinds of things I cook or bake for us. Eating sunflower seeds hasn't prevented him from eating other things. He's a good eater, but not fat. He was at least a couple of years old when I got him and I've had him almost 20 years.

    One other thing you may have noticed, is that birds need to learn to eat new foods. They often learn that a food is safe and good to eat, when they see someone else eat it. Sometimes the someone else is a flock member and sometimes it's their owner. Only the bravest will try things on their own and they often need to think about and observe a new food, before they decide to try it. In general, if you teach parrots and chickens to eat a lot of different foods when they are younger, they will be more likely to try new foods as adults. Parrots that have had limited diets for many years may find it more difficult to try new foods, but eating something in front of them is a good way to show them that it's something good to eat. It works for chickens, too. Mine always want to know what I'm eating and can they get some of it. [​IMG]

    What kind of parrots is your friend raising and what does she like to feed?
  6. Moabite

    Moabite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2010
    Wow! I'm totally addicted to sunflower seeds. I often have so many in my mouth that I can't talk. I am even growing my own. My chickens didn't like BOSS at first, but now they love them. I am wondering if I was to plant a few BOSS's if they would grow? Are they treated with something? Why does it say "not for human consumption" on the bag? ( I don't believe SS are narcotic, but lettuce is! Lettuce is a mild opiate.)
  7. eggsited chickens

    eggsited chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    SW Michigan
    Quote:Mine grow when I put them in the ground. Give it a try
  8. sandiklaws

    sandiklaws Chillin' With My Peeps

    sprouted seeds are probably great for them
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Sprouted seeds ARE great for them. And the reason the bag cautions about human consumption is that it's intended as animal feed; the restrictions on packaged foods for human consumption are much greater. BOSS isn't [usually] treated with anything. Sure as shootin', if I said it wasn't, somebody would find some that was.
  10. chickendaddy'swife

    chickendaddy'swife Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2010
    Kingman, ARIZONA
    Thank you everyone who responded!! I won't feed as much but use as an occasional treat!! Love them girls!!!

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