sunflower seed with shell; good for chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by new chick chick, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. new chick chick

    new chick chick Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2011
    I recently heard a talk about sunflower seeds being good for a chicken's feathers. I notice that mine eat them whole, not like a cardinal or other bird, which cracks it and just eats the seed. I'm assuming this is ok and that it all just gets ground up in their intestinal system. Anybody know anything about this?
  2. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    They do eat the seeds whole, and they do get digested. [​IMG]
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The gizzard will grind them up, as long as they have grit available from free ranging or supplied from the feed store. I feed the Black Oil Sunflower Seeds and they love them. I don't feed the very large human grade ones.
  4. Tatern

    Tatern New Egg

    Sep 30, 2011
    I just harvested about 20 mammoth type sunflowers, dried & seeded...stored away for winter supplement. Can I ask why black oil only? Whats the difference between those and what I have?
  5. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    I've offered mine the BOSS ones.. they show little to no interest beyond lipping at them. They aren't laying yet.. maybe its an aquired taste with time?
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Quote:I've tried the stripey large seeds from the mammoth sunflowers and the girls just didn't seem interested. Then I ground them and put them in the laying mash and they consumed them just fine. I know it's not because they are too big as whole corn is bigger and bulkier and they eat that just fine.

    I tend to think that the BOSS resembles shiny black bugs and this could be why chickens try/like them more than they do with other types of whole grains/seeds.
  7. Tatern

    Tatern New Egg

    Sep 30, 2011
    Hummm...that's odd how some chickens can be picky eaters (I've discovered this by reading several posts in this index). My two Barred Rock girls go after these stripes like they're candy to a kid. Makes a great hand feeding snack for my relatives kids. Usually they swallow these very large seeds whole but once in a while they'll crack 'em open on the driveway slab. They are free-rangers so I have no concerns about that. I was just trying to determine if black oil seeds were better nutrition than the stripes and it appears they're not. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe most use the black oil seed only because they're easier (smaller) for the birds to swallow. Thanks for the replies folks!
  8. YaYa27889

    YaYa27889 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 8, 2016
    Eastern NC
    I havent offered my flock seeds yest as they are only 5 weeks old. Like you I have read everything I can get my hands on about feeding. I planted mammoth sunflowers and a variety of giants for my ladies. Right now they are happy with apples, kale and raisins. Tried celery tops but they did not care for that at all. Meal worms are eaten but they prefer fruit and veggies. Maybe I have a flock of vegetarian rare breeds [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  9. ISA brown hen

    ISA brown hen Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 23, 2016
    It sometimes takes time for them to acquire the taste. I grew my own and gave the chickens full heads of dried sunflower seed - they ignored it at first. After a while the y figured out the heads contained seeds and from they on they were obsessed!!! Too bad I've run out this season :-(

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