Sunflower seed

Chickn chick 46

10 Years
May 22, 2009
I gave my chickens black oil sunflower seed this morning. They saw me coming with the bucket and all came running to the fence. Once I threw it in there, they all turned their noses up at it. You'd have thought I put poison in there. Boy did I get the chicken glare. Some even made the "don't eat it" alarm noise

Will they come to like it? Eventually some did eat it, but not enthusiatically.
First off. How old are they? If they're over 10-11 weeks they should start eating the seed. When I first introduced BOSS I too was excited to see their reaction. But like yours they almost ran for their lives. I was so disappointed. All I heard was how great BOSS is and how much the chickens loved it.
Hang in there. I left it in a dish for them and the next day it was gone. Now they look forward for their BOSS treat.
Chickens are a little funny when it comes to new things. They are very hesitant but will come around. You'll see.
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I agree with rstampa.... whatever new food I introduce, they seem to turn up there noses. But within a day or so they come around! Treats, melon , corn , yogurt etc.
mine love it, and i use it as a treat after they have been out of the run, they get some before bed, and a handful in the morning
I have 4-5 year olds and 20 week olds. Both groups were looking at me as if I was crazy for expecting them to eat it.

Yesterday I had a cracked egg that came out of the nest box, so I boiled it up, chopped it and mixed it with crushed stale cheerios and more Black oil SS. Looked really gross,
but they seemed to enjoy it and of course ate the seed last. My older molting hens need a bit more extra protein so they'll have to learn to like them.
I just started feeding the sunflower heads to the hens. They had them last year but apparently forgot that . . . they never touched the seed heads for several hours.

If you are feeding the seeds in their hulls, you don't really have a high-protein addition to the birds' rations. I've seen as low as 13% on a list and Kaytee, the bird seed people, say that theirs is a minimum 16.5% protein. That's not a step up from a minimum 16% laying mash.

The hulls amount to a lot of fiber. Kaytee says not more than 29% fiber but that's still a lot that the birds are essentially just moving right thru their bodies. Even if some is digestible, it's a carbohydrate and not much more.

Actually, it is fairly remarkable that the whole seeds are as high protein as they are. Goes to show that kernels by themselves run up to about 20%.


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