Friday, August 31, 2012

Picky Eaters

Our sunflower harvest this year was pretty plentiful thanks to the Mammoth Sunflowers we grew.  The girls have been picking the seeds out of the dried heads and filling very large ziploc bags with them for roasting once cooler temps arrive.

After reading several blogs and articles on how much chickens LOVE whole sunflower seeds and how good they are for them.  Hannah and I headed out to give the "girls and one guy" a treat.  Or so we thought.

We began pulling out some seeds from the flower head and sprinkling them on the ground.  The initial scurrying about and excitement quickly died down to a bunch of funny looks from disappointed chickens.

Hannah's "little hand" did an amazing job of pulling these seeds out so much faster than I could

The rooster after pecking at a few made some funny sounds and the girls moved off to the bushes as though they needed to be leary of us!   Needless to say the seeds were not the hit I thought they would be after all I'd read about what a "treat" these were for chickens.  Either mine are too lazy to work at eating them or as the title states they are just picky eaters.

Oh well, the birds and squirrels that are always foraging in their area will probably enjoy them.  The pieces of overly ripe pears and apples I took out later were a much bigger hit.

You might note that the rooster has been relegated to a caged area.  Our overly amorous guy was just doing too much damage to the backs of the girls.  We had hoped that when we expanded the chickens area a few months ago they might get a break not being in such close quarters and able to flee.  Didn't happen and since a few were beginning to look like they'd already been plucked in preparation for cooking we figured we needed to do something about our Don Jaun who can't seem to keep his libido in check.  So seperation was the only answer. 

Note the bald head and back

It's been a couple weeks and some of the feathers are beginning to come back.  Need to get them full again before temperatures change.  It's bad enough that they have sunburns for lack of plummage!!  So note to self " sunflower seeds have no health benefits for chickens who refuse to eat them"  : )

Sunburned but she won't let us get anything on her to help

Did manage to gather a couple eggs for our effort, and finally managed a bit of a smile from Hannah. 

Hannah's been shyer about smiling since she's missing so many teeth.
I think it's cute and assure her they'll be back in soon.



  1. I have some friends that just throw the whole flower head in with the chickens and let them do the work. Just an idea! They might need to poke around them a bit before they decide to eat them!

    1. Thanks Jolene. We left a partially full head and it was picked clean this morning. Just haven't figured out if it was the chickens or other scavengers : )
      I have several more so will try again and see if I can interest them.