Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by canesisters, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2011
    I keep hearing how wonderful Black Oil Sunflower seeds are for my girls - as a treat and to supplement during the colder times. So I thought that I should include a few in my garden this year. But, I can't seem to find any sunflower plant seeds called 'black oil'. SO -
    (1) Are 'black oil' sunflower seeds from a particular flower?
    (2) Are all sunflower seeds 'black oil'?
    (3) And, should I try to find seed packets - or - just save a few from the bag fed to the girls?
    (4) AND where do I find them as feed?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
  3. David LaFerney

    David LaFerney Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2013
    If you want to grow black oil sunflowers just buy some as birdseed and use them for seed. I broadcast some over a 50 by 50 ft plot one year and when they were ripe a huge flock of goldfinches demolished them. It was great.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    That would have been a sight to behold!

    canesisters- I buy 50 lb bags of it at the feed store. Also the grocery stores sell them mixed with millet (also good for chickens but only 11% protein as opposed to the BOSS which are 16% protein). I feed both. You can grow both of them and the chickens will pluck the millet for you- it doesn't get very high from my experience and they will trample the stems to get to the spray of millet.Wild birds will eat it too, LOL.
  5. CrosStitching

    CrosStitching Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 25, 2012
    Why use black oil sunflowers instead of the striped ones from russian mammoth sunflower that people eat?
  6. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Its easier to find boss in larger amounts. Well for me anyways. 50 lb bags.
  7. kacklinkelly

    kacklinkelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2012
    Southwest Desert
    I bought a mix of BOSS and Russian together at the feed store just a few pounds to see
    if the girls would like it. Then I heard of people sprouting seeds so I tried sprouting the
    Boss mix and it worked very quickly in germinating. I fed it to the girls on about day 3 and they
    loved it. Now I am going to put the remaining germinated sprouts in some dirt to
    grow the greens and see how that progresses. This has been a VERY simple
    project (sprouting fodder for feed) so far. I live in AZ and am always looking for ways
    to keep the girls hydrated and happy during the HOT months. Which for us are
    right around the corner. This will be a winner since they liked it wet.
  8. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    I sprouted a few flats of boss this winter myself. Chooks LOVED it. Everything is brown and covered with white around here. Feel the need to get green food into their system every couple days. Doing kale and spinach too. But pretty sure boss sprouts are a bigger hit.:lol:
  9. cutechick2010

    cutechick2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I believe the nutrition is different.
  10. CrosStitching

    CrosStitching Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 25, 2012
    An excerpt from on the difference of the two-one is heiloom, one is hybrid and has a higher oil content:
    Mammoth Russian

    • [​IMG]
      Mammoth Russian sunflower is an heirloom cultivar producing large amounts of seed with half as much oil as the oilseed varieties, according to Jeff Cox from Organic Gardening magazine. The seed is large and black striped and is referred to as confectionary. Reaching heights of 12 feet, the Mammoth Russian has large heads that can measure 16 inches across. Birds love the seeds as they are large, easy to shell, and contain highly nutritious oil providing calories for long migratory journeys.
    Dove Hybrid

    • [​IMG]
      The Dove Hybrid is frequently found in birdseed and is called "black oil" sunflower seed. "Black" refers to the color of the hull. "Oil" refers to the high oil content of the seed. It towers to 12 feet tall and has seed heads up to 12 inches across densely packed with black seeds. One lb. of an oilseed variety of sunflower can produce up to 3 oz. of oil.

    Read more: Sunflower Seeds for Oil |

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by