side-benefits of feeding sunflower seeds

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickenannie, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    although I'm still not sure how the chickens and turkeys get the nutrition of the seed, if they swallow those black oil sunflower seeds whole and in the shell, I noticed a nice side effect:

    The seeds that got left on the ground frequently germinate after it rains -- they are very vigorous seeds -- and now I've got fast-growing sunflower seeds growing all around the property "by accident". But the chickens figured it out pretty quickly and now they wait until the sunflower heads have matured, then they stand in front of them and peck out the seeds.

    It's a self-sustaining cycle!

    Anyone else had this happen?
  2. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I only got chickens in May, but I've had that happen with the songbird feeder. The prettiest little sunflowers popped up. I can't wait to see what happens next spring!

  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I have probably thousands of wild sunflowers in my back pasture, and I too have thought of this as a possible feed source. I am planning to go out and harvest bushels full of the ripe heads and just throw them into the coop, a few at a time that is. I think it is a good source of a scratch type snack, through the winter. what do you think ?
  4. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    I have one small sunflower that recently popped up next to the chicken run, just out of their reach...I wondered how it got there until yesterday when it just clicked. I was surprised at how fast it grew.
  5. skand

    skand Songster

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    wonderful ingenius birds! Our's don't wait that long. If one is waiting, there's two more hoping it will forget so they can get it first. "you snooze you lose" attitude.
  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Quote:sounds like a great plan to me. I wasn't sure when the seeds were mature enough to eat, but the birds figured it out for me. They just 'knew'.
  7. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    we call these rogue flowers 'volunteers'!

    i have found tomato plants, pumpkins and more like that!
  8. Quote:Every year when we're doing jackolanterns we toss the seeds in the yard and usually get a few dozen volunteers. The ones I plant rarely do as well.[​IMG]
  9. Sahara

    Sahara Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    Keystone Heights, FL
    What about with cantalopes and watermelon? I have been feeding mine the seeds after I clean them out. Perhaps I will get fruit growing everywhere. [​IMG]

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