Can Chickens Eat Sunflower Seeds? (Nutrition, Pro & Cons)

Sunflower seeds are an essential food, whether you want to produce them yourself or purchase them from reputable retailers. Sunflower seeds, because of their nutritious content, can also support hens through seasonal changes in their biology like molting. 

If you want to know if the chickens would eat certain seeds, you should offer them a small amount of them first, after making sure they are healthy.

Yes, Chickens love sunflower seeds, and you can tell because of how enthusiastic they become about munching on them. Most flocks won’t mind eating sunflower seeds, & yours won’t be an exception. 

Types of Sunflower Seeds That Are Commonly Used

But there are several varieties of sunflower seeds, and you need to figure out which ones are ideal for your hens. There are about 70 different kinds of sunflowers, however, they can be roughly categorized into two groups: oilseeds & confection seeds.

Sunflower seeds are the most important oil-seed crop because of their widespread application in industrial production. You can classify them as either oleic, mid-oleic, or high-oleic. 

Sunflower seeds used for food, as opposed to oil production, make up the second most common variety. These seeds are generally consumed by animals and humans.

The two varieties of seeds are visually distinct from one another. While the oilseeds are uniformly dark in color and very modest in size, the sweet seeds are striped in white and much larger. 

Both oilseeds and candied seeds are healthy, but oilseeds have more fat. Unlike candied sunflower seeds, which have had their husks removed in order to reduce fat content, raw sunflower seeds have the husks still intact. Striped sunflower seeds, often known as candy sunflower seeds, are another name for confection sunflower seeds.

Nutritional Benefits of Sunflower Seeds For Chickens –

A variety of vitamins, minerals, fats, and other nutrients can be found in sunflower seeds. Not only should you feed some to the chickens, but you should also eat some so that you can reap the advantages of it yourself. In addition to the minerals already mentioned, sunflower seeds additionally provide selenium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, etc.

The health of your chickens can be improved in several ways by providing them with these foods: 

  • Protects and enhances cardiovascular health 

Unsaturated fats, of which sunflower seeds contain a lot, have been shown to reduce the likelihood of health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and so on.

High blood cholesterol is one cause of sudden death syndromes in chickens. You can save more of your chickens from untimely deaths by feeding them sunflower seeds, which are rich in nutrients. 

  • Improves resistance to disease 

Due to their frail nature, chickens have an overly vigilant immune system. That’s why members of your flock may mysteriously disappear. Consequently, you should incorporate into their diet items that have been shown to strengthen the immune system organically. 

Vitamin E, mineral zinc, & antioxidant flavonoids are all found in sunflower seeds, and all these nutrients work together to reduce inflammation and combat disease. Nutrients like zinc, selenium, etc., are also present in them, and they aid in the development of healthy blood cells as well as the body’s ability to combat free radicals.

Can Chickens Eat Sunflower Seeds

You May Also Read: Can Chickens Eat Chicken? A Comprehensive Guide With Feeding Tips

The Effects of Feeding Entire Sunflower Seeds to Hens – 

  • Boost Vitality 

Chickens need food and water so that they may do their daily tasks, which include mating, exploring the backyard, avoiding danger, eating, socializing, laying eggs, and so on. 

Your flock requires energy whether it is calm by nature or full of pep. Feeding your hens sunflower seeds is a great way to increase their overall vitality and ensure their survival through times of extreme physical demand like molting, extreme temperatures, and other similar challenges. 

  • Take care of their weight 

While chickens’ corpses must be meaty, they should not be bloated. When left untreated, obesity can lead to a host of health problems and even death.

Your hens will be at a healthy weight thanks to the fiber in sunflower seeds, which also helps with digestion, meal absorption, avoiding constipation, and storing excess fat. 

But since sunflower seeds are high in fat, you should limit their consumption so that the hens don’t become the threat you’re trying to prevent. 

Most important things to remember when Feeding Chickens Sunflower Seeds – 

Don’t worry about offering the complete sunflower or only the seeds to the chickens anymore; you can offer either. Here are some suggestions for how to best feed sunflower seeds to the chickens: 

  • Carefully examine the seeds

Neither mold nor a foul odor should be present in a package of nutritious sunflower seeds. Always verify the “Best By” date on seed packages before purchasing. Sunflower seeds don’t really spoil, although they do keep for a long period. 

However, due to their high oil yield, oilseed sunflower seeds might go bad after being stored for a time. In the same vein, if you must buy seeds from a store, be sure they are not salted. Salt is unnecessary for the diet of a chicken

  • Give the head of a sunflower

Cut off the sunflower’s head & hang it from the coop’s feeder for a comical sight of frolicking fowl. The seeds are in the sunflower’s head, so they’ll peck at it until they’re full. They can get some physical activity out of it, too. 

Benefits of sunflower seeds with shells –

Chickens would also benefit from eating the deseeded seeds from a sunflower head. Avoid scattering the seeds mostly on the floor of the coop. Put it on the feeder so the birds may easily get it and you can clean it without any hassle. 

  • Use the rest of the sunflower 

Sunflowers, in their entirety, are safe for chicken consumption. However, not every aspect is as delicious as others. Even if the hens might not enjoy the floral parts as much as the seeds, who are you to refuse to feed them? 

  • Put the seeds away safely. 

After feeding your birds their share, store the remaining seeds in a clean, cold, dark spot. The container must be absolutely sealed and dry. The lifespan of your seeds is typically determined by how long you store them. 


Do Chickens love sprouted sunflower seeds?

The chickens will love you forever if you feed them sprouts. Here, we are using black sunflower seeds to grow sprouts. These seeds are more nutritious & easier to digest after they have sprouted. In addition, the chickens will appreciate the fact that this reward requires little work on your part.

Do Chickens like raw-shelled sunflower seeds? 

You can reward your chickens with some tasty sunflower seeds. They’re readily available, chickens usually go crazy for them, but they’re actually pretty healthy as a treat. Vital amino acids like methionine (which is found in them) are particularly useful to birds. Vitamin E is also abundant. 

Do Chickens eat so many sunflower seeds?

Once again, hens will gain weight if they are overfed sunflower seeds and any other high-fat meal. Furthermore, it has been proven that excessive body fat can lead to the unexpected death of chickens. 


Since you now know how much hens enjoy sunflower seeds, you shouldn’t withhold this healthy treat from them. However, remember that treats including sunflower seeds should not really account for more than 10% of the chickens’ total diet. As an added bonus, your chickens will be healthier if you provide them with a variety of seeds instead of just one.

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