Germination Seed Mix 20lb
Sprouting seeds are Canola seed, Safflower seed, Mung Bean, and Thistle.
Sprouting or Germinating Seeds for Your Birds
Sprouted or germinating seeds presents the simplest method of providing your birds with fresh greens. They are a healthy food addition for all birds, but are absolute necessity for the feeding hen and for the newly weaned young. Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted by "seed addicts" than fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Sprouted seeds are more nutrient-dense as they are high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
- Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process - thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.
- It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.
- Sprouting: Sprouting is the practice of soaking seeds overnight (1 part seeds to 5 parts water), draining them, placing them into a sprouting jar (a sieve propped up in a bowl to allow the water to drain will do just fine); and then rinsing the seeds several times a day until they start to sprout (they usually start sprouting after about 24 hours) - at which time they are ready to feed. For the next days, the seeds will continue to grow. The different stages provide different nutrients to your bird. For a few birds, a few tablespoons of seeds are sufficient. If properly attended to, the sprouted seeds will last for up to 5 days. Discard if a foul smell can be detected. If early spoiling is an issue, adding a few drops of Hydrogen Peroxide or GSE added to the rinsing water will prevent early spoiling. In most cases, this may not be necessary.
Sprouts are rinsed as little as twice a day, but possibly three or four times a day in hotter climates, to prevent them from souring. I keep my sprouts right on the window sill above my sink -- that way they get plenty of light and I can't forget to rinse them throughout the day. If your house isn't air conditioned and you live in a hot and humid area, I would recommend keeping the sprouts in the fridge. They take longer to sprout, but you have less to worry about fungi, mildew or bacteria.
Birds like sprouts when they just started to open up, which usually happens after one day or so of sprouting.
Common causes for sprouts to turn out inedible:
- Seeds are allowed to dry out
- Seeds are left in standing water
- Temperature is high or too low
- Insufficient rinsing
- Dirty equipment
- Insufficient air flow
These problems are easily solved by an automatic sprouter that mists and drains the sprouts at regular intervals. To control temperature, in the winter a warming blanket can be placed under the sprouter, and in the summer small fans in the lid if it's very hot and humid.
HOW MUCH DO I NEED?
For a few birds only a quarter cup of seeds should be sprouted at a time. Seeds increase in volume tremendously when sprouted. Place the seeds in a clean glass jar. Fill with tap water and let stand at room temperature for twenty-four hours. Rinse and drain completely. I keep the seeds in a sieve propped up in a plastic container and repeat the rinsing and draining completely daily until the seed has sprouted.
WAYS TO KEEP SPROUTED SEEDS FRESH LONGER:
If a foul odor or mold develops, discard.
Ways to prevent spoilage (choose one or a variation of the below - whatever works best for you):
Hydrogen Peroxide: Add 1 ounce 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1 pint of water and soak the seeds overnight. Add the same amount of hydrogen peroxide each time you rinse the seeds. (It prevents bacterial growth)
GSE: Alternatively, adding a few drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) in the soaking and rinsing water will also prevent pathogens from developing. As an additional benefit, GSE also has good anti-parasitic properties.
Buffered, Powdered Vitamin C (example Nutricology or other brand): A little powder added to the sprouting water should keep it fresh.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: ACD alters pH and so is effective in killing many pathogens.
Rinsing and draining well is very important.
After sprouting commenced - keep refrigerated. Any surplus sprouts may be refrigerated up to two weeks.