Feed Black Sunflower????

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Paws2u, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Paws2u

    Paws2u Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 13, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    This is going to be a laugher...do we feed chicks the same black sunflower seeds (in the shell) that we would feed to Cardinals in the bird feeder??? Please forgive my...the only word I can come up with...stupidity.[​IMG]
  2. brooster

    brooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    yes, but not to chicks, only adults
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Black oil sunflower seed is a good source of protein for chickens. I didn't start feeding it until my chickens were going thru their mini-moult around 7 to 8 months - the boost of protein helps in the growth of new feathers - but I know others start it earlier.
  4. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    Kinda expensive, isn't it?
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I've been able to pretty regularly catch it on sale at Atwoods for 49 cents a pound. It's normally 89 cents per pound there. I don't feed tons of it. Usually two 11.5% coffee cans full every other day for 15 chickens.
  6. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    I buy one bag of shelled sunflower seed pieces for $65 per season. Unfortunately, I read on BYC that the sunflower seed, while rich in protein, is also high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which are not terribly healthy for people. I still feed them as an occaisional treat, but am mindful of their potental impact on the quality of our eggs.

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  7. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Omega 6s are still needed and healthy. The problem is in our diets. People tend to eat diets rich in omega 6 and not in other essential fatty acids causing an unbalance. The shells have some good fiber and minerals. They aren't unhealthy to feed. The greatest benefit to eliminating the shells is making the seeds easier to digest but I've never seen a problem with it. Black oil sunflower seeds digest better than whole corn or oats. It would also concentrate the protein more if you were really concerned about upping their protein without adding other things. For the extra cost though I see no good reason under normal circumstances (healthy chickens with adequate grit to digest with) to get shelled over unshelled sunflower seeds.
  8. nightshade

    nightshade Chillin' With My Peeps

    yup and if your are lucky try to grow them, Sun Spots are great they are a commercial style sunflower so they don't get really tall ( the tall ones fall over if the wind blows to hard) but they have the huge heads that Mammoths have.
  9. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    i got 9 pound bag at tractor supply for about $5, has millet in too, I just mix it with cracked corn and toss out for a scratch treat.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Im planting some sunflower this summer.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  10. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    My back pasture is loaded with them 10 acre tract in pasture grass and sunflowers. In the fall I spend a few long hard days collecting them in burlap sacks and 55 gal drums. then I just feed them daily throughout the yr, seed head and all, my chickens love them and they look super. I leave quite a few plants in the pasture so I get a new crop effortlessly every yr.


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