Sunflower Seeds

kmdsparrow

Chirping
10 Years
May 10, 2010
70
1
94
Hi! It seems that my hens have started laying more eggs since I have been giving them sunflower seeds in addition to their layer feed. Does that sound right or is it just coincidental?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
42,083
67,946
1,392
Wisconsin
Sunflower seeds run around 17% protein, and 44% fat. Your layer ration is probably just 16% protein. So the extra protein and calories can initially boost production. The high fat content will cause them to get internally fat which can lead to health problems, and lower production.


You are better off feeding a higher protein ration like a starter grower, and feeding the sunflower seeds minimally or not at all, especially if your birds are confined and they don't get much exercise.
 

Mossy Dell

Songster
Dec 1, 2015
145
164
142
Southwestern VA
I feed whole black oil sunflower seeds at 5% of the ration. The shells add so much fiber they cut the protein and fat in half. It takes energy to digest shells.

Hulled seeds are very concentrated and 5% might be a little rich. Not sure!

I have seen scratch rations very high in sunflower seeds compared to what we often see, with sunflower seeds as a minor component.

Chicken Raising Made Easy, 1946:

Mix No. 6
Whole Corn or Milo, 25
Wheat, 25
Oats or Barley, 25
Sunflower seed, 25
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
25,988
16,597
766
Holts Summit, Missouri
I feed whole black oil sunflower seeds at 5% of the ration. The shells add so much fiber they cut the protein and fat in half. It takes energy to digest shells.

Hulled seeds are very concentrated and 5% might be a little rich. Not sure!

I have seen scratch rations very high in sunflower seeds compared to what we often see, with sunflower seeds as a minor component.

Chicken Raising Made Easy, 1946:

Mix No. 6
Whole Corn or Milo, 25
Wheat, 25
Oats or Barley, 25
Sunflower seed, 25
Mix No. 6 above a I treat as scratch formulation used to cut a high protein complete feed during most of winter. The scratch mix represents about 1/3 or total ration, thus my birds are getting a little over 7% black oil sunflower seed.
 

KerriChick

Chirping
Aug 5, 2020
40
123
56
East Bay, CA
I Have been giving my mixed flock the fresh cut spent heads of my massive sunflower that has like 20 blooms on it, they love them. They free range mostly and get 16% layer mixed with my leftover grower crumble at the moment so it is just supplemental for them. They are just getting to laying age(20 wks) and I only have had 1 egg so far a couple days ago, so no evidence either way on whether it helps in that department!
 

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