growing a little patch of sunflowers this year so that we can
experiment with pressing our own oil, and one of our readers mentioned that she likes to
tie the sunflower heads in the coop for winter entertainment:
the fall, we cut them and hang them to dry, and then, through the
winter, when the chickens don’t have much else to do, and they might be
prone to start pecking each other from boredom, I hang them just up
above head height, so they have to stretch to peck them, and they swing
a bit. The seeds fall out and they all run them down, and then start
again with another peck. Gives them something to do.
After reading Bethany’s
comment, I looked up the protein
content of sunflower seeds
— 26.3%! That’s three times as much protein by weight as you’d
find in corn and more than two thirds as much as you get from
soybeans. Clearly I’ve been thinking too much inside the box when
it comes to growing our own chicken feed. Perhaps sunflowers are
the way to go? They are certainly easy to raise, and our
honeybees love them.
waterer never spills
or fills with poop.