Sunflower growing question...

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by kittiemeow, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. kittiemeow

    kittiemeow Member

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    Okay, I hope this doesn't sound dumb but can I plant the sunflower seed that is used for bird feed? I can buy it for $15 for 50 lbs at the ag store. I noticed that it always come up in places that the birds have dropped it and under the bird feeder. I want to grow a large field of sunflowers for bird and chicken food but there is a huge difference in the price that they are getting for the "seed for food" and the "seed for planting".

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Yea, they should be fine. Same way with beans. Expensive when buying it as seed, cheap when buying it as food.
     

  3. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    The seed for birds is smaller than the seed for people. As far as I can see that is the only difference.
     
  4. gnatgnome

    gnatgnome Well-Known Member

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    The "people" sunflower is the grey stripped and the kind usually sold in the 50 lb bags for the birds is usually black oil sunflower seed. The black oil seeds are a little smaller but higher in oil content, something the birds need to survive throughout the cold winter. I buy bags of whole corn, whole oats, and black oil sunflower seed to feed to my chickens as scratch feed. I throw it around the chicken house in the winter and they dig and scratch to find it. This gives them something to do during the long winter months besides pull feathers out of their neighbors butts. Something I have heard a bored chicken will do. :no: This also stirs up the bedding and keeps the chicken house dry and non ammonia smelling, as long as I add more bedding (in my case shredded paper) occasionally. Anyway back to your actually question, plant the seed you got from the 50 lb. bags, watch it grow, then share it with your chickens and other birds. You can either rub the seeds off the flower heads when they are ready or cut the heads and hang them up whole for the "girls" to enjoy. Be aware the word will get out to every bird in the area that your field of sunflower treats are theirs for the taking. Around here bluebirds and gold finches are well feed by my sunflowers in late summer if I don't get bags put over them in time. Good luck. Denise
     
  5. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    And hope that the birds don't find your seed right after you planted them!!