Why do we feed our birds sprouted seeds? Sprouted seed is one of the most healthful foods that you can give to your , and especially the young shoots of the seeds that your bird would find in the wild provide a source of critically needed nutrients that pellets and dried seed can’t supply. It is the bird food of choice in the wild, as those who have tried planting a vegetable garden from seed realize. In my garden, succulent young sprouts barely emerge from the seed when flocks of crows and ravens hovering in our oak trees take turns devouring them.
How much to sprout? You will have to do some experimenting to determine how much sprouted seed your birds will consume and how frequently you wish to feed it. This will help you decide how much to start with. Keep in mind that the seed will double in volume with sprouting and that you may store the finished living sprouts in the refrigerator for two or three days.
How long to sprout? This is a decision that once again you will have to make. After 24 hours of sprouting most of the seed has started to germinate and release valuable amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients. Some feed at this stage. At 48 hours the emerging roots are longer and probably more appealing to your parrot. In the warmer months, we have chosen not to sprout longer than 36 hours. Sprouting containers The size of the container will depend on the number of birds in your flock. In these instructions we will assume that you are using a 1 quart sprout jar or the Sproutamo system, which we supply, but ask us about other containers for more birds.
Four important rules of sprouting
- Always use good quality water, either bottled purified or water generated by reverse osmosis. We all now know that there may be pathogenic bacteria and parasites in our tap water.
- Aerate your sprouting seed mix by rotating the jar or container several times during each 24-hour period.
- Drain your seed mix well after each rinse
4. Smell the seed and even taste it before you feed it to your birds. It should smell fresh and healthy. If in doubt, do not feed. Feel free to call us or bring in a sample of your sprouts for inspection.
AND FINALLY……How to sprout You’ll be amazed at just how simple it is.
- Add 1-2 inches of seed, either to your sprout jar or to the inner liner of the Sproutamo. . Fill with quality water to within about one inch of the top, screw on your wire sprouting lid or snap on the lid of the Sproutamo, swirl several times to mix and invert the jar to drain. Repeat this step. The draining water should appear fairly clear after the second rinse, but if in doubt rinse a third time.
- Add 2 cups (16 oz) of quality water to your seed, stir the mixture with a large spoon to mix your stabilizer with the soaking seed mixture.
- Add 8 drops of Stabilizer Solution to your rinsed seed.
- Leave the jar or Sproutamo on your kitchen counter or other surface for 8- 12 hours . (never more than 12 hours; if you forget and soak longer, you should discard the mix.
- Invert the jar or Sproutamo in the sink to drain.
- Rinse your seed mix once as you did in step 1. But this time be sure to drain thoroughly to remove all standing water.
- You are now ready to begin sprouting by simply placing your jar on the kitchen counter with the bottom of the jar elevated to an approximately 45 degree angle. If using the Sproutamo leave it upright on the counter. Better results will be achieved, if you can aerate the sprouting seeds by rotating the jar or stirring the seed in the Sproutamo several times during the next 24 hour period.
- After 24 hours repeat steps 6 and 7.
- At the end of another 24 hours your sprouts should be ready to feed. Refrigerate any remaining seed to use in the next three days.
CALL US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS AND HAPPY SPROUTING. YOUR BIRDS WILL LOVE YOU FOR IT.