Friday, May 13, 2011

Sprouting For Birds - Let's Do It!

In my last blog, I showed you how to make your own sprouting jars. This blog, we are actually going to sprout! We are going to start off using three simple, easy to sprout ingredients: Mung beans, whole lentils and hulled (no shell) sunflower seeds. Two notes here: 1. Be sure the lentils are WHOLE and not split. Split lentils will not sprout. Just plain whole green lentils will do fine. 2. And be sure the hulled sunflower seeds are RAW. That means natural. NOT dry roasted and NO salt.

Here is a picture of the dry mix before sprouting.

1. Put your sprout mix in your sprouting jar. Only fill the jar 1/2 with the mix (As the mix soaks up water, it doubles in volume). Then fill the jar with water and let the mix soak for approximately 8-12 hours.

2. After soaking, drain the water. Rinse the mix three or four times by filling the jar with water, swishing the mix around gently, and then draining. Rinse until the water draining out of the jar runs clear.

3. Put the jar on a counter away from direct sunlight for about 10-12 hours. Rinse the sprouts twice during this time. This particular mix is fast sprouting and you will see begin to see growth after the soaking phase. NOTE: If you are worried about spoilage you can place the jar in the refrigerator instead of leaving it on the counter. This mix will sprout in the fridge too, just a little more slowly.

5. The mix is now ready to feed! ALWAYS rinse your sprouts and drain them thoroughly before feeding. Store remaining sprouts in the refrigerator and use them up within two days. This particular mix is great for people too! They make a great tasting, healthy addition to salads or your favorite stir fry dish.

Below are two examples of how we incorporated these sprouts into our bird's veggie mix. Doesn't this look yummy?

Sprouting is so good for your birds (and you too). And frankly, a lot easier than chopping a bunch of veggies every day. Once you begin, you will wonder why you did not try it sooner! When I began sprouting for my birds years ago, I noticed many benefits: healthy weights, better feather condition, bright eyes, smoother skin on their feet, well formed droppings, etc. Sprouting is also a great way to introduce "seed addicts" to a healthier diet.

I would love to hear about your sprouting experiences! And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me through my website: