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blackoil sunflower seeds

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by davidsgirl, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. davidsgirl

    davidsgirl New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2014
    Just read about giving blackoil sunflower seeds to chickens while they are molting to add protein to their diet. Is it ok to give them mixed into their scratch on a regular basis or is that too much protein when they are not molting? I give very little scratch in proportion to their balanced pellet diet.
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    It is fine to give chickens sunflower seeds on a regular basis, mixed in with scratch or otherwise. Make sure the total amount of "other food" doesn't exceed 10% of their diet, though, or problems may result. Lots of scratch or sunflower seeds has the tendency to make chickens overweight.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Sunflower seeds are fine to give chickens, even when not molting. But, like all treats, they should be given in moderation. Limit the amount of scratch and sunflower seeds that you give your birds.
     
  4. hillcrest10Hens

    hillcrest10Hens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2014
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    Can I feed sunflower seeds that are not black? I grew some sunflowers around the chicken yard and would like to feed the seeds to my hens. Can they digest the hulls? Some have fallen into the chicken yard and the girls seem to love them.
     
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, you can feed sunflower seeds other than black. Black oil are usually the easiest for chickens to eat (as other varieties tend to be large and thick hulled), but others are fine for chickens to eat.
     
  6. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, you can feed chickens virtually any type of sunflower. They don't really "digest" the hulls. Chickens basically have two stomach-like organs. The first stomach is called the Proventriculus, and it secretes certain acids/enzymes that begin the breakdown of food. After the Proventriculus, food moves into another part of the digestive tract known as the Gizzard, or Ventriculus. The Gizzard has strong, muscular walls and contains grit (small stones) that a bird eats. The grit and muscular walls work together to grind up hard or fibrous substances, including sunflower seed hulls.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  7. hillcrest10Hens

    hillcrest10Hens Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reply. I will enjoy feeding the sunflower seeds I grew and get them some blackoil seeds, also. The anatomy lesson was helpful. Knew about the gizzard but never heard of the proventriculus.
     

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