Plain 'ol Sunflower seeds vs. Black Oil

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mfsakc, May 17, 2009.

  1. mfsakc

    mfsakc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2009
    El Dorado County, CA
    I've seen that a lot of folks feed their chickens black oil sunflower seeds as a treat/supplement. Can I feed them regular old sunflower seeds I grow in my garden? I planted a bunch before getting hooked on chickens. Next year I will definitely grow the black oil for them. But can I fed them regular seeds this year?
     
  2. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    Thats a good question, wish I knew the answer. I don't see the difference, I mean they are both sunflower seeds, right? [​IMG]
     
  3. NuthatchKnollChickens

    NuthatchKnollChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2008
    Ithaca, NY
    Yes, you can feed them any kind of sunflower seed you have. Black oil seeds seem to be preferred by "bird feeder" type birds -- not sure if it's just because they are smaller or because they are higher in nutrients or oils. It's possible chickens might prefer them as well, but there's certainly no problem with feeding them a different type. I'm sure they will be very happy with home grown! Also, for the record, there is no need to take the shells off -- just make sure they have access to grit.
     
  4. mfsakc

    mfsakc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2009
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    Thank you - I figure when the seeds are ready I'll just toss the whole head into their run and let them have at it...cheap entertainment!
     
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Large striped sunflower seeds have much tougher hulls that are not as digestible. I know they are not suggested to be fed to any mammals for that reason. We use black oil sunflower seeds as supplements for horses and big livestock as well as chickens and small mammals like gerbils and guinea pigs. They have tons of useful nutrition and digest better than grains. None of those mammals should have the large striped kind because they can't digest them and the hulls pose a choking hazard in the smaller animals. I would not purposely buy or feed them to the chickens. If they get a few it shouldn't harm them but if you are feeding specifically to supplement their diet get the small black sunflower seeds.
     
  6. mfsakc

    mfsakc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2009
    El Dorado County, CA
    Akane- Thanks for the good info. I'll leave the big seeds for the squirrels.

    It's not too late to plant a few more sunflowers. Think I'll run to the feed store and pick up some of the black oil and plant a few of the seeds for seed heads later this year.
     

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