Free Choice Sunflower Seeds?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jay13, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Jay13

    Jay13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central NC
    Ok, I have a question for you all... I am trying to reduce the amount of feather picking in my flock, would it be ok to have free choice sunflower seeds available? Or should i just mix them with their feed, or as a treat? I can't seem to find any information as to the amount of sunflower seed to give.

    Thanks, Jay
     
  2. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I only mix some in with feed as an additive. I don't believe the actual nutrional value is that high and it is more of a fat based item.

    I could be wrong. Someone with more knowledge will surely come along soon....

    Julie [​IMG]
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    I wouldn't offer it free choice. I give it to mine as a treat once a day or once every other day.
    If you mix it in with their feed you might find an increase in the waste of their feed. They'll bill out the regular feed trying to get to the sunflower seeds.
     
  4. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    I fill up a small seperate feeder once a day, sometimes if they're in all day I'll sprinkle some in the shavings and then kick up the shavings so they have to hunt for it.
     
  5. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    If you free choice them then thats all they will eat. If you mix it in with there feed they will throw all the feed out on the ground an still just eat the seeds. Just toss out however much you wont them to have each day an they will love you even more.
     
  6. chica-z

    chica-z Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Northern WI
    Is it possible for them to OD on them? I've been wondering about this too.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Actually OD I don't think so. However sunflower seeds aren't a complete nurtient like their feed is. Just like giving a kid a choice between eating ice cream all day vs. a well balanced meal the chickens will take the "ice cream" and not get a balanced diet.
     
  8. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Actually the nutritional value of sunflower seeds is quite high. That's part of the reason they make such a good supplement and why animals tend to prefer them over most everything else. They are not nutritionally balanced though. Eating only sunflower seeds would lead to deficiencies in some things and excesses in others. Like I said animals also prefer to eat sunflower seeds over most other things so leaving them out free choice would result in eating mostly sunflower seeds. Not a good diet long term. They are great as a supplement though. A few cups of sunflower seeds actually results in mine eating pounds less of layer feed.
     
  9. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    We grow lots of sunflowers and I was wondering if I could just cut the heads and let them dry then hang the entire head in the run for them. Would this work or should I just shell them out??
     
  10. Jay13

    Jay13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central NC
    Quote:I was thinking of planting some around the run for them for shade and for food too.... I'll have to look into it more I guess. Is there a difference nutritionally between "black oil sunflower seeds" and regular ones? Would they need to be dried first or do you think I could just lop off the stalk at the base and chuck it in for them since they seem to want to eat just about anything.....?
     

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