sun flower seeds?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cluckin tractor, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. cluckin tractor

    cluckin tractor Chillin' With My Peeps

    what i need to know about sunflowers is?
    how many plants would i need to feed a flock of thifteen chooks throughout the year as i will be storing them. how many flowers or seeds if i fed them sunflowers at a lower rate than wheat and barley as it will most likely be a treat.
    what they require and can chooks be free ranged with them or will they destroy it
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They will most likely destroy young plants, but would probably leave taller ones alone, unless they discover the seeds in the flowers.

    Quantity is really your choice; as a rule they love them, but like any treat, you want to limit it to about 10% of their diet. It's a healthy treat but not a complete ration, after all.
  3. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    Axshully, I have a LOT of small sunflower plants growing up underneath my wild bird feeders and my chickens won't go near them. However, they love the sunflower seeds. They do get lots of grass and other yummy stuff from my yard, the woods, and the half of my garden they can get into.
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Fence off the sunflowers while they are small if you want to ensure they will survive. Once they get taller than the chickens they seem to leave them alone unless they have no other greens in the area. If you plant them in an area they don't frequent and they have more enticing things they will likely leave the young plants alone too but it's hit or miss. I feed 1 sunflower head a day from small-medium sized sunflowers so if you want to grow enough to feed them daily you just have to count the days. You can plant a whole heck of a lot of sunflowers (100s) out of a 40-50lb bag of boss if you have the space to grow them. The main problem is keeping the wild birds and squirrels from getting them. I had to lay screen door mesh or chicken wire over several ares of my plants last spring to keep the squirrels and birds from eating the seeds. A bag of boss really isn't expensive though so unless you have a bunch of space you don't care about if you want to feed them regularly you are probably better off buying some bags this fall while they are cheap and storing them over winter. I feed about 1-2cups a day from a bag if I don't have fresh sunflower heads. we have 80acres loaned to the state for wild life preserve that is not mowed or disturbed so we just used a hand rake to break the grass roots up and toss out sunflowers or whatever else. I also try to get native sunflower varieties because they actually pay us for adding native plants that would attract wildlife but they don't care if we use it to grow other things so long as it doesn't deter wildlife. I do have to keep my fenced garden in the yard because we aren't allowed to put up fences which would stop wildlife from using portions of the land.
  5. Ironmaiden

    Ironmaiden Chicken Maiden

    Jun 14, 2010
    I live in the Sunflower State and never thought about this. ...... [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by