type of cat food and sunflower seeds


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 2, 2011
Which type of catfood do you use (on limited basis), dry or canned. I picked up a small can of tuna cat food but have not given it to them yet. Does it matter if it is dry or wet? If you use wet should you rinse it to get rid of extra fat? Also, what is the difference between the black sunflower seed and the stripe? I have some stripe already.


9 Years
Feb 10, 2010
Webster Groves, MO
I've given my girls both dry and wet cat food. It's only once in a great while if/when my cat doesn't finish dinner. I usually soak the dry stuff in a little water so it's easier to eat.
I'm sure your chickens will eat both the black and striped sunflower seeds. I've heard somewhere that black oil sunflower seeds are the better choice for chickens, but I can't remember why. Maybe someone else can tell you. Good luck.


8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
We don't feed cat food, just sunflower seeds. We buy the small black ones sold as wild bird feed.


9 Years
Nov 30, 2010
Edgefield county South Carolina
My Coop
My Coop
I don't feed sunflower seeds, but I do feed cat food when I feel they need a protien boost like when they are molting. I just give them a handfull of high quality ($) dry cat food. High in amino acids and animal protien, no corn. It's expensive, but you don't feed much, and it helps in replacing feathers. Sunflower seeds do not have as high a protien level as layer feed, and the seeds are much higher in fat. I know lots of people around here feed them regulary, but I would use them as a treat only. Check the label.


10 Years
May 23, 2009
Santa Cruz, CA
I think the striped sunflower seeds are larger and they have a harder shell than the black ones. I only feed my hens the black oil sunflower seeds as a treat and they always eat them first before their other feed.

A handful of dry cat food soaked in hot water and allowed to cool before giving to them, they also like the wet cat food, but I only mix in a little for flavor.

Mine only get a daily handful of dry cat food when they are molting and growing new feathers. This also jump starts their egg production following a molt.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
Opelousas, Louisiana
I throw them Purina Kit-n-Kaboodles dry cat food from time to time, along with BOSS.

ETA: Info below:

Striped Sunflower Seed
Striped sunflower seed, sometimes called "stripers," are larger than black oil sunflower seeds and have a thicker shell. Their larger size and thicker shell make them harder to eat for small birds, but larger birds like cardinals, jays, woodpeckers and grosbeaks have no problem breaking through to the delectable nutmeat inside. And although most people would consider chickadees, titmice and nuthatches to be "small" birds, they also can easily open the shells of striped sunflower seeds.

The birds have competition, however – us! Striped sunflower seeds are the seeds the snack industry cultivate and roast that you see on the shelves of supermarkets and convenience stores everywhere. They are nutritional for the birds and us, containing protein, carbohydrates, fat and have a high oil content. In addition, they contain calcium, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin E.

Due to the popularity of striped sunflower seeds as snacks for humans, the crops are screened so that the largest seeds ultimately wind up in our pantries instead of bird feeders. The upside of this screening process is that the smaller striped sunflower seeds that are left over and sold as wild bird food are the smallest seeds from the entire harvest, making them even easier for more species of birds to be able to enjoy.

Striped sunflower seeds are a wonderful way to distract larger birds – like grackles – away from bird feeders so that smaller birds have a better chance of eating with less competition, especially when they are offered on an open platform feeder. As an added bonus, they make an inexpensive treat to offer squirrels so that you can attract them away from feeders as well.

Yes, the shells are larger than the shells of black oil sunflower seeds and have to be cleaned up in the same way, but the meat-to-shell ratio is not as different as you might think. The weight of the shells in a bag of black oil sunflower seeds is approximately 35-45%; the weight of striped sunflower seed shells is approximately 40-50%, a difference of only 5-15%. When you consider the benefits of feeding striped sunflower seeds to both larger species of birds and to squirrels – less money, more distraction and less competition at bird feeders – that small percentage of difference seems well worth its weight in gold.​
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In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 2, 2011
Thank you for all your answers. I would only give the sun flower seeds and cat food as a treat in the afternoon. Being new to chickens for only a month I was not sure. They have been loosing some feathers lately and thought the extra protein might help a bit. Will only give the cat food on a very limited bases. Will add the sun flower seeds with the cracked corn in the afternoons. Thanks again - I just spend hours of my day reading through all these posts!


11 Years
Apr 29, 2008
I feed cat food during the winter months for added fat and energy. I feed mostly dry food soaked, unless I get kitten food, which is smaller sized kibbles. Once in a while I will give them canned tuna cat food as a treat. They also get meat/fat scraps I get from the meat shop for my dogs.

I don't give it to them in the warmer months.

I do give them a little BOSS every so often. It's getting way to expensive to feed it daily.

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