how to make sprouts for birds

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Assume for the moment that you want to start some seeds for your birds. First, you need some raw materials. And when I say raw, I really do mean raw. Pulses, nuts, beans, and seeds are frequently processed for human consumption. For instance, you can’t begin with roasted nuts, and I’ve had bad luck with dry bean packages that are sold in plastic bags at the grocery store. Although they appear tidy and ready to use, no matter what I tried, they would never sprout for me. Your best bet is probably a health food store or co-op that sells beans, seeds, and lentils in bulk, especially if they are labeled as “organic.” It’s not because they were grown without pesticides, though that’s also beneficial for your birds; rather, it’s because they are less likely to be treated, which increases the likelihood that they will sprout well.

Almost any whole, raw seed, such as oats, rice, and other grains and cereals, as well as peas, beans, lentils, and other members of the pea family, will sprout quickly. Any oil seed, including sesame, sunflower, and safflower, is also an option. I would suggest beginning with a few of each kind. Next, move forward in accordance with how well they sprout and, eventually, how well your birds accept them.

Generally speaking, the process comes down to two stages:

1. Soaking to start the germination process and,

2. Rinsing as soon as the seeds sprout to promote healthy growth

Now that you have multiple bags of seeds at home, you are prepared to begin the sprouting process. Locate a few wide-mouthed, preferably glass, containers that can accommodate at least 8 ounces ( 25 l). After thoroughly cleaning them, put one quarter full of seeds—one for each variety—into each. Smooth, vertical walled containers are best. Fill with water and swirl as needed to wash. After that, add 3/4 of the water to the container and leave it to soak overnight. I haven’t found these steps necessary, but some people advise treating the seeds initially with either grapefruit seed extract or chlorine.

All seeds will swell as they sprout, so make sure you leave enough space. Some seeds—especially beans—swell greatly after absorbing water, while others swell very little. Soaking the seeds overnight is enough to get them started. After that overnight soak, I usually give them a couple of rinses, thoroughly drain them, and then leave them in their jar to do their thing.

Rinse and drain your seeds at least twice a day after the first soak—possibly during mealtimes for your bird(s). Some people help with the rinse and drain process by using a small piece of window screen or another type of light mesh. You can also buy special sprouting containers. Screens and specialty jars are great, but you can also use your hand and regular canning jars or other repurposed containers for the same purpose.

Some beans sprout very quickly. Mung beans sprout roots in less than a day and swell quickly. Others take several days before you can see them sprouting.

Some simply never take off, and for those you can discard and move on to something else the next time you go shopping. I no longer bother with white beans (cannellini and limas) because, for some reason, they smell bad while they’re sprouting and our two African Greys just ignored them.

how to make sprouts for birds

Sprouting is a good place to start if you’re looking for a way to encourage your young children to interact with the family parrot. For children, the process of growing anything—especially food—is a fantastic teaching tool. A unique bond is formed when you share and your parrot enjoys that food together. Hopefully, I’ve dispelled any doubts about your ability to grow your own nutritious sprouts, regardless of the color of your thumb. It requires very little time or effort, is inexpensive, and requires no cleanup. And, it’s quite a lot of fun!.

There are several kinds of sprouters on the market and I imagine they all work well. I use an Easy Sprout sprouter, which I bought for under $15. There are 6 pieces included in this lightweight, easy to clean sprouter, and they all have multiple uses. All the parts you need to sprout and store them are included along with directions. The Sprout People, who manufacture Easy Sprout also sell different varieties of sprouters, like grass sprouters, for wheat and barley grass flats etc, grain sprouters, micro-green sprouters, seeds, beans and more.

It’s quite the task—each step taking less time than changing a roll of toilet paper, isn’t it? Do give sprouting mung beans a try; they are the tastiest sprouts I’ve tried, in my opinion. They need a little more attention and four to five days to reach their full potential, but they are well worth it.

If you look around The Sprout People site, they offer many practical tips on growing and storage. They have videos that walk you through the process, as well as several recipes. I recommend the Beanie’s Awesome Mix, and The San Francisco Mix for beginners. They are super easy to sprout, and my birds love them. In my shopping cart at the site is the flat grass sprouters and the soil-less growth medium. This kit will grow flats of grasses for your birds, like the squares of sod you buy for bald spots in your lawn, except they are made of edible, nutritious greens. I have bought wheat flats before from Whole Foods and tossed them in on the floor of my birds’ cages. What a ball they had rolling around in the wet grass! Linus, my umbrella cockatoo, had a the time of his life “mowing” his own personal lawn. And the grass continues to grow for some time.

I have heard people complain that sprouting is hard. It is not. Let me tell you a little story: One day when I was reaching on top of my refrigerator for a fresh scoop of cockatiel seed, I noticed my freezer door was ajar. I shut it, without noticing the moisture that had built up around the edges of the door. In the process I spilled a few seeds, and made a mental note to go back and clean it up, which I forgot to do. A few days later, there were plants growing in the rubber gasket on the door. So, no. It isn’t hard. The only other concern is for the growth of bacterias and fungi on the the seed while they are sprouting. As long as you keep them properly rinsed and drained and keep them in an area where there is good air circulation (not in cabinets, for instance), there should never be a problem with that.

FAQ

How do you grow sprouts for pet birds?

Although sprouting may sound complicated it really takes only minutes. Put some seeds in a jar, wash if needed and soak them overnight, then rinse them twice a day. In a few days, sprouts! Enjoy!

What are the best sprouted seeds for birds?

Sprouts provide great nutrition in a form that your birds will really love. Includes Grey Stripe, oats, wheat, safflower, dun peas, lupins, Mung Beans, corn, safflower and white millet.