Nutritional Profile of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
BOSS are packed full of vitamins and minerals. Here is a look at a nutritional profile for sunflower seeds for human consumption:General Nutrients:
(per 1 lb)NutrientAmount
(per 1 lb)Calories2588.40 Protein103.50 g Carbohydrates85.25 g Fiber
(dietary)47.74 g Sugars15.03 g Fat225.46 g Water24.38 g Omega-3
Fatty Acids0.25 g Omega-6
Fatty Acids148.40 g Lysine24.5 mg Vitamins:
(per 1 lb)VitaminAmount
(per 1 lb)Vitamin A222.48 IU Thiamin10.36 mg Riboflavin1.14 mg Niacin20.46 mg Vitamin B63.54 mg Vitamin C6.32 mg Vitamin E340.50 IUFolate1033.90 mcg Vitamin K12.25 mcg Pantothenic Acid30.69 mg Minerals:
(per 1 lb)MineralAmount
(per 1 lb)Calcium527.43 mg Copper7.96 mg Iron30.82 mg Magnesium1609.57 mg Manganese9.22 mg Phosphorus3205.50 mg Potassium3132.75 mg Selenium270.53 mcg Sodium13.64 mg Zinc22.99 mg They are also high in amino acids...which are very important for muscle building and maintenance.
Why to feed Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
Black Oil Sunflower Seeds have two visible positive effects on horses:
- Great SHINY coats
- Weight gain
However, at 2500 calories/lb. They can also be fed at higher levels to add some calories to your horse's diet and assist with weight gain. They are preferred by many owners over oil due to the fact that they provide fat along with other nutrients.
How to feed Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
BOSS can be fed as whole seeds right along with your horse's other feeds. For some picky eaters, you may have to start with very small amounts and gradually increase to the amount you want to feed. In my experience, most horses love the seeds once they get over the suspicion of it being a new feed.Sunflower seeds should never be fed at a rate higher than 2 pounds per day.
Usually, they are fed at a rate of 0.5-1.0 cup per day for shine without the weight gain. For weight gain, you usually want to feed at least 2 cups per day, if not more. Of course, you may have to adjust these amounts for individual horses.
The volume of BOSS varies due to seed variation so this is one feed that you should actually weigh out every time you feed. In some bags, the volume to weight ratio will be approximately 5 cups/pound, while other bags will be as low as 2 cups/pound!
So, definitely weigh this feed every time you feed it. You can get a cheap kitchen scale at Wal-Mart or Target and use it specifically for feed use.
Who Should NOT Have Them?
The only group of horses that absolutely cannot have BOSS is horses that are HYPP positive. These horses need to have very controlled amounts of potassium in their diets, and BOSS contain a large amount of this mineral. This also goes for horses that might have HYPP but have not been tested.Some people worry about the ability of horses with poor teeth to break down the shell. However, the BOSS shell is softer than the coating on an oat (try biting into each yourself if you don't believe me), so any horse that can handle oats should have no problem with BOSS.
There have been reports online of horses colicing when their diets contain BOSS, and having seed hulls show up in the impactions. However, all of these reports have been "unofficial" reports online, and none of them have been able to prove whether or not BOSS was the actual cause of the colic...its very possible those horses would have coliced regardless of whether or not there was BOSS in their diets.
just wanted to share I hope this was helpful. A lot of people don't know about this.