Too much BOSS and scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ronikins, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. ronikins

    ronikins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    SW Missouri (Ozarks)
    Is it possible to over feed the chickens BOSS and/or scratch? I usually give them about a pint a day of each between 23 chickens as a treat. Am I over doing it? They're free-range. And they are still on chick crumbles until it runs out, then I'll start them on laying feed. They are about 5 1/2 months old now. I've noticed that some of them have runny poop. Guess I'll go check out the poop guide next....
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes. Boss has lots of useful nutrition and is actually 23% protein so it's not as bad if you over feed it. They may get fat and it's not entirely balanced but it's at least useful. Scratch is generally just empty calories. Like candy for birds. A few people have better quality scratch but unless you specifically look for it you are likely to just be feeding some useless grain leftovers. I never use scratch. Just boss and oats. I don't know exact amounts per number of chickens but you want to make sure they are eating more poultry feed or free range items than the treats you are feeding.
     
  3. ronikins

    ronikins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    SW Missouri (Ozarks)
    OK. Thanks for the info....
     
  4. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I have 26 rocks and they get 1 cup of scratch and 3 cups of BOSS. 50/50 in the morning and all BOSS in the afternoon.
     
  5. Wheels

    Wheels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Milledgeville GA.
    Quote:I have 31 rocks just purchase 40lbs of boss today. I try to give them something healthy and different everyday. I like your ideal on how you mix scratch and boss. I want to mix boss with some the treats I give them daily. Such as greens,broccoli, grapes, meal worms, bananas, crickets, and cabbage. I try to give them some of the things they would get if I could let them free range.
    Am I on the right track on having healty chicks and good eggs? They get their grit from dirt in run. I also have oyster shell in coop.
     
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:Where are you finding Black Oil Sunflower Seeds that are 23% protein?

    All the BOSS that I have seen is in between 14 and 18 percent protein with the average being 16 percent protein.
    Now there is Sunflower Meal which is the By-product of the oil extraction process and it can have a protein percentage of either 28, 30, 32 or 35 percent.

    But for the most part Black Oil Sunflower Seed (BOSS) contains from 14 to 18 percent protein, 32% fat, 3 1/2% of mineral salt, but also has 28 to 30% of crude indigestible fiber.


    As a mix I feed adult birds 50lbs Game Bird feed, 25lbs Pigeon Grain mix and 25lbs BOSS.

    *Game Bird feed is 28% protein, Pigeon Grain is 14% protein and the BOSS is 15% protein and the ending mix is around 18% protein with some of the extra goodies I add to the mix.*

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  7. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    I've seen a few brands around that list 20-22.7%. There are lots of species of sunflowers. They just get categorized in to black/oil or striped/confectionary. Some of the varieties you can grow in the garden have more protein than the ones commonly sold commercially. Somewhere I have a list of sunflowers that are not suggested as growing for pet birds because they actually contain too much protein. Also if you have a need to you can increase the protein concentration about 10% by using hulled sunflowers but the hulls do provide some useful nutrition and fiber depending on what animal you are feeding. That also means if you have an animal that hulls the sunflowers they are getting that extra protein.
     
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    A pint? That's a small mason jar right? For 23 chickens.....nope you aren't overdoing it. Sounds about right for a snack.

    At one point I was feeding mine a coffee can full every day, but I did have 60+ birds eating it.

    Runny poop in the summertime is usually caused by them consuming extra water to stay cool. Plus, chicken poop just plain varies throuought the day depending on when/how much they drank last. It seems much more solid when they drop it from the roost because they are not drinking at night. There's a lot of variety in normal chicken poo [​IMG]
     
  9. HBuehler

    HBuehler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    Ask around for scratch especially if you have a local feed mill.Mine makes one that has all kinds of stuff in it even tiny alfalfa pellets..makes that corn scratch look [​IMG] it's also higher protein and the birds love it.We make a mash daily for our chickens and add the scratch and some BOSS-scratch has some already so not much and they would lick the bowl clean if they could! It allows you also to add some stuff they may not eat if they could pick it out easier like extra vitamins.Another thing they just love is Hemp.
     
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:Yes there is more than one Variety and specie of "Sunflower".
    Black oil sunflower seed (BOSS) has the highest amount of fat/ oil but the least amount of protein of the two categories.

    Most if not all that I have read about BOSS and livestock use says that the protein amount is 14 to 18 percent.

    Chris
     

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