Sprouting Sprouts

I just tried something for the first time. I’m probably the last person on the planet to do so… but better late than never!

My curiosity was piqued when I read about how healthy it was for chickens to eat sprouts. It sounded like a great way to give them some green during the winter. That and mealworms should make a pretty yummy diet along with the plain, boring laying crumbles.

Once I started exploring the possibility I saw that there were lots of varieties of seeds to sprout and that you could get combo packs for different flavors. The chickens would probably be just as happy with alfalfa sprouts, but broccoli with radish and garlic seeds started sounding good to me!

The SproutPeople was a great website to peruse, watch videos and learn.

sprouts, sprout, sprouting

So here is how my first try went:

Put a tablespoon of seeds into a wide mouth pint jar. Cover with at least 4 T of water and let sit for 8 hours.

I used an alfalfa, broccoli, radish mix

A word about lids. I bought this yellow plastic one from our local Healthy Grocer. They come in a 3-pack for about $4.50. The three have different sized holes for different types of seeds and can be switched to a larger one as the seed grows to allow more ventilation and for the hulls to wash out. I also ordered a set from the Sprout People. It was about twice as expensive ($9.87 for set of 3). I switched over half way through (cause that is when they arrived in the mail) and they work much better than the plastic. They are a metal mesh screening, again with the 3 different sizes. For some reason with the plastic, the water resisted going through the holes and this didn’t happen with the screening. Also, the fit wasn’t as good with the plastic and I got a bunch of the seeds wedged between the glass and the the lid where the glass is threaded.

Sprout People’s lids were much better. Here are the three screen sizes. The one on the bottom is just wet, not grody! The screens pop right out from the rims for easy cleaning.

From what I researched, you can use a regular canning rim and make your own lid with screening or multiple layers of cheese cloth.

The tablespoon of seeds doesn’t even cover the bottom of the jar…this can’t be right!

After soaking overnight.

Then the next morning you drain them and start the routine of rinsing and draining two or three times a day.  At 24 hours:

Everyone grew tails!

Overhead view at 24 hours

Then after 3 more sessions of rinsing and shaking and draining, at 48 hours:

I forgot to take a sideways shot, but the tails have doubled in length and they are a bit bulkier, but it still feels like I didn’t put nearly enough seeds in.

Add another day of rinses and shakes and drains and WOOF they expanded! 72 hours:

The jar is more than half full and I can see some little leaves on the sprouts now.

I tried to rinse some of the hulls out today (that’s what’s at the bottom of the jar in that picture). And I took my first bite: I was surprised at how crunchy they were and the flavor was tasty with a zing to it. I am going to let them green up today and then eat them with zeal tonight.

I could have gone a day or two longer, but after 3 ½ days this is what I got! Yumm!

For comparison, the original tablespoon next to the results at 3 and a half days.

And what did the chickens think?

Hey, what’s this?? New stuff that looks wiggly!

Ehhh. Not nearly as interesting as all the worms lying around from last night’s rain…

I’ll try again when they no longer have access to bright green grass and clover all around.

But I liked them! 🙂

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7 Responses to Sprouting Sprouts

  1. Cylly says:

    I hadn’t thought about sprouts for chickens, but sprouts are yummy for people too! I have used adzuki or mung beans. They don’t grow so fast. They take 3-5 days and grow much thicker tails. I like the screen lids! I just used cheesecloth and a rubber band. I’ll have to try your mix.

  2. Trish says:

    I used to do sprouts all the time. Old peanut butter jar, and elastic and a piece of Dan’s old T shirt. I’ve done some a year ago, but should do more. I did not think to share with my chickies. Maybe I should.

  3. Lisa says:

    Can I have some for my salad next time I see you, or will I have to fight off some chickens? 😉

  4. Laura says:

    Those are spoiled chickens! You prolly don’t remember that you did have sprouts as a child and absolutely turned your nose up at them. So did your father. I gave up doing it because it was too much work just for me. I did the peanut butter jar/cheese cloth with elastic too, but it wasn’t particularly neat and tidy. I’ll have to order some of those mesh covers because I ordered a dozen different seed combos already…

  5. glorylennon says:

    Now hold on! I thought you did it for the chickens and then you got to eat them??? So, they’re not just for chickens? I gotta try this. The things I learn from you…amazing.

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