Black Oil Sunflower Seeds a.k.a. BOSS

K&BHomestead

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Hello everyone, I'm trying my hand at making my own rabbit feed based on Oren Reynolds's recipe which is 6 part oats, and 1 part of each Barley, Wheat, BOSS. I'm trying to go strictly organic with the feed and the only version of BOSS that I was able to find that is listed as organic is from Modesto Milling and they specify it as "Sunflower Sprouting seeds in the shell". In the description they state:

So if you have horses, dairy cows, poultry, goats or rabbits, this is the place for organic feed.


Organic Sunflower Seeds, black oil are bagged as harvested. They are an excellent source of energy, protein and fiber for any poultry or livestock. The high oil content will put a sheen on any animal coat.


"Black Oil" sunflower seeds are great for sprouting. (please see sprouting instructions below) Seed not to be consumed only the sprouts grown from the seed.


I planned on including these in my rabbits feed, but wanted some input from people who probably have a lot more experience than I do when it comes to these things. Is there really a difference between normal BOSS and Sprouting Sunflower seeds? In your opinion is it safe to feed the Sprouting Sunflower seeds to my rabbits despite what the producer says about them? To me I don't see how one can differ from the other, Barley can be sprouted, but fed raw as well along with a long list of grains so I'm a little skeptical of the producers warning. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You
 

thistlebloom

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There would not be a difference, except perhaps that they are grown organically, and therefore probably marketed more for human consumption. (??)
Regular BOSS will sprout also and you can plant it and it grows. I feed my horses, chickens, and wild birds regular feed store BOSS.
 

K&BHomestead

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There would not be a difference, except perhaps that they are grown organically, and therefore probably marketed more for human consumption. (??)
Regular BOSS will sprout also and you can plant it and it grows. I feed my horses, chickens, and wild birds regular feed store BOSS.
Awesome! Thank you!
 

Nao57

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Actually there can /be a difference. But there's not a difference for rabbits it seems. (I think.)

Let me explain.

Black oil sunflower seeds are soft shelled. But not all sunflower seeds are soft shelled.

So it won't really make much of a difference for rabbits. But it does make a difference if you have poultry or birds (ducks, chickens). The poultry animals like the soft shelled and can handle them better than the normal ones.

But for rabbits...they chew on wood lol. So if you can chew on wood it won't make much of a difference.

I use BOSS also. But mostly I use boss sprouts for my ducks. I've been trying to use them for rabbits also to stretch the money out, but I've only done this for a few days and there's still a lot of unknowns.

Like...

I don't know yet if there should be a percent of the meal total you should stop at with boss sprouts on rabbits.

I don't know if you could feed rabbits entirely on sprouts of any kind or not, and with boss? (I'm guessing you probably could feed rabbits some of the other sprout types more? Does anyone know?)

One of the harder things about using sprouts is that you have to actually study out how to sprout them as a separate skill. You don't automatically get a guaranteed 'everything was a success!' I'm currently frustrated that my seed trays weren't draining as well as I thought. And because of this my boss sprouts had a lot of seeds that didn't sprout right and didn't sprout at all.

So boss sprouts is wonderful.

But you have to have it just right or it can be a mess.

I've done it both ways with success and a few failures with sprouting the BOSS. Its neat when it works.

But its stinky and a mess if you aren't careful. You have to make sure you give it a bit of attention everyday to keep it from doing that.

(And I wouldn't mind a guide if someone has one and maximizing the sprout yield of the seeds.)

Its also very cool when you realize that 1 lb of seed became 3, or 4 pounds of food. (I don't know if its possible to get 5 pounds? Is it? Does anyone know? I think the most I've pulled out is 4 pounds.)
 

Baymule

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@Nao57 I'm pretty sure I have read fodder threads on BYC, where people have built fodder systems and grow sprouts for their animals. Are you a member of BYC? You could do a search there and find out all you want to know on fodder. I have never done a sprouting fodder system.
 
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