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.
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.
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.
From what I researched, you can use a regular canning rim and make your own lid with screening or multiple layers of cheese cloth.
Then the next morning you drain them and start the routine of rinsing and draining two or three times a day. At 24 hours:
Then after 3 more sessions of rinsing and shaking and draining, at 48 hours:
Add another day of rinses and shakes and drains and WOOF they expanded! 72 hours:
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!
And what did the chickens think?
I’ll try again when they no longer have access to bright green grass and clover all around.
But I liked them! 🙂