Grains are the major energy source in most animal diets. The energy levels are related to the amount of starch in the grain. The ranking from highest to lowest in energy is maize, sorghum, wheat, barley then oats. For more information on trading in Grains see the Commodities page.
Sunflowers (Helianthus annus) are grown throughout Australia for the production of seed for oil extraction. Sunflower seed is also grown for birdseed and sometimes a small amount is available for use as a stock feed.
The whole seed contains about 15 percent protein with an energy level equal to that of the cereal grains. Its main advantage is the high fat levels, providing a good source of linoleic acid.
Its main disadvantage is that it has a high husk level that will limit its use in diets for pigs.
Due to its high oil content, processing whole seed through feed milling equipment can present problems. It should be mixed with a grain, or a grain by-product such as millrun, prior to milling.
Available in black or grey stripe varieties.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE
- Crushed sunflower seed can be included in diets for pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and poultry of all ages.
- Sunflower seed is particularly useful as a source of linoleic acid in layer diets. Since it has a similar nutrient composition to grain, it can be used to replace some of the grain in the diet.
SUGGESTED MAXIMUM INCLUSION RATES IN TOTAL DIET
HIGH HUSK LEVEL MAY LIMIT USAGE FOR DIETS IN PIGS AND POULTRY.
USUAL INCLUSION 5%.
HIGH FAT LEVELS WILL LIMIT THE INCLUSION LEVEL IN FEED FOR CATTLE, SHEEP AND GOATS.