If you are planning on raising chickens, you should know that sunflower is a good choice for feed. Sunflower seeds are nutritious and can boost egg production and weight gain. The sunflower seed shell is also edible by chickens. The sunflower stalk is tough and difficult for chickens to swallow, so you can cut it into smaller pieces to feed it to your birds. The chickens peck at it and tear a piece of it for their diet.
Black oil sunflower seeds are healthier
It may not be immediately clear why black oil sunflower seeds are healthier for chicken feed, but they are very good for poultry. These seeds are high in linoleic acid, which boosts the immune system and helps chickens gain weight. However, you should not overfeed your chickens. Overfeeding can lead to overweight, which can be fatal. Sprouting black oil sunflower seeds is an easy and inexpensive way to increase the nutritional value of your chickens’ feed.
Sunflower seeds are widely available and contain a high amount of fiber and lignin. They are also rich in vitamin E. Sunflower seeds are high in magnesium, which benefits calcium metabolism, smooth muscle tone, and laying. However, you should not feed your chickens more than 1/3 of their diet. The amount of sunflower seed you give your birds should not exceed three percent of their regular diet. Sunflower seeds are not harmful to other animals, but they can be harmful to chickens if they are overfed.
They increase egg production
The sunflower seed is a great supplement to the diet of your chickens. Sunflowers are high in protein and can aid in the process of moulting. It is also best used as a treat for your flock rather than a main staple. Sunflower seeds come in many varieties, including black oil and non-oilseed varieties. Oilseed sunflower seeds are larger and black with white stripes, while non-oilseed sunflower seeds are smaller and white.
The sunflower plant is free from toxins, which makes it an excellent addition to poultry diets. Whole sunflower seeds can be added to layer diets at a level of 30 percent. They are safe for layer chickens and do not affect their performance in any way. Nonetheless, the hens may produce eggs that are more pale than usual, with high yolk cholesterol. Broilers can be fed up to 50% sunflower seeds.
They promote weight gain
Whether you are trying to raise a flock of meat-hungry chickens or you are just interested in raising healthy animals, sunflowers for poultry feed are a great choice. These nutritious seeds are easily available and contain high amounts of vitamin E and a crucial amino acid for birds. They are also rich in magnesium, which helps your birds’ calcium metabolism and smooth muscle tone. Plus, they are an excellent source of fiber.
Black oil sunflower seeds are more nutritious for chickens because they contain more oil than striped ones. Black oil sunflower seeds also have thinner shells which make them easier for chickens to crack. They also have more vitamin E, which supports the chicken’s immune system and helps them resist disease such as E. coli and coccidiosis. Moreover, they have a high protein content, making them an excellent energy boost for stressed hens.
They are easier to digest
There are two ways to feed sunflower seeds to your chickens. You can either harvest the seeds from their seed heads or feed them as whole sunflowers. In either case, they will peck at the seed heads until the shell breaks. Sunflowers are a rich source of fat, and they add weight to your chickens, which will translate into more warmth during cold weather. You can also use sunflower seeds in your chicken feed in winter to keep your birds warm.
In addition to the seeds, sunflower plant contains healthy fats that are essential for good egg production. Your chicken will lay dark, shiny, and colorful eggs when fed sunflowers. Remember to provide your chickens with sunflower seed treats in moderation. They can eat sunflower seeds as whole petals or in smaller pieces. You can cut the stalks into smaller pieces to make them easier for your hens to digest. Sunflowers are not toxic to chickens, so make sure to use sunflowers sparingly.
They are more economically viable
One great reason to grow sunflowers for chicken feed is the economics. The seeds cost $15 per acre, and their harvest and transport costs are similar to those of soybeans. While fertilizer costs are higher, sunflowers do not require insecticides or other pesticides. And since sunflowers do not require a lot of work to harvest, the overall cost is much lower than soybeans. Using sunflower seeds in your flock’s diet also provides you with a source of high-quality honey.
The process of growing sunflowers for chicken feed is much easier if you choose a non-oil-producing variety. Sunflower seeds are grey to black depending on the amount of dehulling done. The seedlings should be kept at a distance from their neighbors, so that they can avoid the seeds being knocked off their cotyledons. Some sunflower varieties will fall off the plants if they get bumped by the chickens, so make sure you pick the right one for your flock.
They are easy to grow
Growing sunflowers in a backyard is an easy way to provide nutritious chicken feed. The seed heads are edible and can be harvested for your chickens. Place a ribbon through the center and hang the sunflower seeds in the feeder. Sunflowers have high oil content and should be dried indoors. After the sunflower flowers are finished, remove the seed heads. Afterward, wash them and discard them. Sunflower seed heads should be discarded after the chickens finish reading them.
The seeds from sunflowers are high in protein and will keep your chickens full throughout the fall molting season. Harvesting the seeds from your sunflower plants will only take a few hours. You will need cheesecloth, twine, or small paper bags to collect the seeds. To dry the seeds, place them in a cool, dry area. A garage or mud room is a good place for drying sunflower seeds.