Oil seeds - winter - small chicks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am going into winter for first time with small chicks that are not being reared by a hen. By the time they have full body feathers they will have to be outside to deal with our highly variable mid-Missouri winter. I would like to provide them with an energy dense diet, more so than what the typical carbohydrate dominated scratch diet. I have read on multiple threads that black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) are suitable for adult chickens even with hulls on. How large will my chicks need to to handle the hulls? The BOSS will be mixed in to repressent only about 10 to 15% of the diet.
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I'm not sure how small is small. But if they are already hatched, I think they will be big enough to eat BOSS by the time winter is here. It has been posted that people have given their chicks BOSS at 4, 6, 7 weeks.

  3. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    There are a couple of sizes of BOSS as well. In the wild bird feed section at TSC, the smaller BOSS seeds are in 20 pound bags. My silkie babies that are about a month old eat them whole.
  4. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

    Sep 28, 2008
    They will be fine with them... I have seen a full sized chicken eat a full grown mouse... a seed shouldn't pose a problem .. the boss are small anyway.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:You see no evidence of hulls in feces? I do not doubt the digestive tract is tough enough in young birds for passage of intact BOSS but want to make certain not too much passes undigested.

    I have some 4 week old dominiques and red jungle fowl. Will feed them some BOSS tomorrow to see what comes out.

    I am assuming the birds do not learn how to dehull BOSS?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by