Black Sunflower Seeds For Chickens:
In this article we have discussed how to plant black seed sunflower seeds for chickens. You will learn about the best time to sow them, when they are most likely to germinate, and other things that you need to know before planting them. This article contains some basic information about black seed sunflowers and their benefits for your backyard flock. There are many different varieties of black seed sunflower seeds available online, but these are the ones that I recommend for growing your own chicken coop or yard. They come from a variety of locations and produce a wide range of colors.
Some varieties are so dark that they look like charcoal while others have beautiful shades of blue.
Black Seed Sunflower Seeds For Chickens:
The first thing you want to do is check out the color of the seeds before planting them. If they are too light, then they won’t germinate at all. A dark seed will not germinate either because it doesn’t contain enough melanin. Melanin is what gives plants their vibrant colors and makes them resistant to insects and diseases. The best colored black sunflower seeds have a bluish hue.
Due to this, you may notice that the black oil sunflower seeds that you buy at the store are not as dark as you would like. They may look like they have no color at all. This is because those seeds have been de-hulled and polished until all of the dark shells are gone and only the white insides remain. If you want to plant black sunflower seeds for chickens, then you need to shell and polish them yourself, otherwise they won’t be dark enough.
Black oil sunflower seeds are actually more than 90% hull. The outer shells are dark in order to protect the white, nutrient-rich insides. Once the hull is polished, the nutrients can be extracted for cooking oils and other uses. This leaves behind a very pale seed that has no pigment at all. If you grow black sunflower seeds for chickens this way, they will never turn dark or develop a blue hue.
In order to grow black sunflower seeds that are dark enough for a chicken to eat, you have to leave the hull on. You can try grinding them up and feeding them to your flock, but they won’t turn blue. This is because the black oil sunflower seeds have lost their most important nutrients.
If you want to enjoy growing black oil sunflower seeds for chickens, then I recommend that you buy them from an organic food store rather than a regular grocery store. They are a little bit more expensive, but they will grow dark colored seeds that are rich in nutrients. You can then grind up these seeds and give them to your chickens to eat. They make a nice treat because of their sweet flavor and high fat content.
Seeds That Stay Dark:
When you buy sunflower seeds at the store, you will notice that most of them start off light in color and then turn darker as they mature. They actually start off a creamy yellow color and then turn a bright green before they mature. As they become fully grown, they start to turn brown and lose their hulls, which is when you pick them and process them into food for your chickens. Most of the time, the seeds you buy will be in the green to brown range. They will not be as dark or black as wild sunflower seeds or black oil sunflower seeds that you grow yourself.
If you want your sunflower seeds to stay dark all the way through their growth cycle, there are some varieties that will. The darker the seed is to begin with, the darker it will stay because there is more of the pigment melanin in its shell. When sunflower seeds are very young and still in the milk stage, they have not yet developed their outer shells. During this time, they absorb whatever is around them. Sunflower seeds that you buy at the store have most likely been soaked and bathed in a chemical bath to make them grow faster.
This is why they are so lacking in nutrition when you buy them.
Sunflower seeds that you grow yourself will soak up whatever environment they are in. If you want black sunflower seeds, then you need to plant them in a rich, fertile soil that is dark in color. The shell of the seed will absorb the color and stay that way. Likewise, you can plant them in a lighter soil and they will stay lighter in color. Most people don’t realize that the shell of the sunflower seed is not hard until the seed is fully mature.
If you want to grow black sunflower seeds for chickens, then you will need to know exactly what to do. Don’t bother trying to get them from the store or grow them in a different color of dirt. You will just be wasting your time. The only sure fire way to get black sunflower seeds is to grow them yourself.
Do keep in mind that different varieties of sunflower seeds will mature at different rates. Even if you grow them in the right type of soil, they may not stay dark enough if they are a fast growing variety. You are better off finding a slow growing variety or a hybrid that stays dark no matter what. Your local farm supply store or online retailer should have seed varieties like these available.
Sunflowers are really amazing plants and every chicken keeper should give them a try at some point. Not only are they great for your chickens to eat, but they are fun to watch grow and their flowers are beautiful. They are also very easy to grow and in most places, you can grow them all year round.
Most of the problems that people have with growing sunflowers is that they either don’t know what they are doing or they just get unlucky. Growing sunflowers is really easy and should not be intimidating to anyone. The hardest part is waiting for them to mature, but even that isn’t all that bad.
So what are you waiting for?
Go out and get some black sunflower seeds today and get your chickens eating healthier.
Tagged black sunflower seeds, black sunflower seeds for chickens, how to grow black sunflower seeds, sunflower seeds for chickens, where can i buy black sunflower seeds
Sources & references used in this article:
Do innate food preferences and learning affect crop raiding by American black bears? by MA Ditmer, TE Burk, DL Garshelis – Ursus, 2015 – BioOne
A simple HPLC method for the determination of chlorpyrifos in black oil sunflower seeds by RE Mauldin, TM Primus, TA Buettgenbach… – Journal of liquid …, 2006 – Taylor & Francis
Sunflowers for wildlife in the cross-timbers by J Dillard – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,+ Austin, Texas …, 1999 – tpwd.texas.gov
Sunflower seeds and their products by M Charney – Journal of Agricultural & Food Information, 2010 – Taylor & Francis