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Birds, like humans, require greens to obtain a balanced nutritional diet. Providing birds with fresh vegetables greatly increases their overall food value.

The highest protein food value of around 300% is obtained when sprouts are just breaking. This is the ideal time to feed to birds. Once sprouts reach 5ml in length protein levels decrease to around 60%. Be careful not to allow the soaked seed or sprouts to become too long, as they become bitter to taste and their food value decreases.

What items will we require?

1. A container to soak the seed. The most common is an old ice-cream container or stainless steel bowl. Sprouters are available on our shop, please Click here.  

2. A kitchen strainer. Size of strainer depends on the amount of seed to be sprouted. A strainer capable of holding double the amount of dried seed you soak is important, as the seed swells during the sprouting process. Try to use one with not too many fine holes, as the water does not pass freely through and the seed at the bottom continues to be soaked and you will end up with sour seed.

How will I go about it?

  1. Measure out a days supply of the seed mixture into your container. Depending on the size and number of birds you own, somewhere between 1 tsp and 1/2 cup should be sufficient. The seeds will expand to about triple their volume after sprouting. Fill the container about 3/4 full with water making sure all the seed is covered and then cover container with a towel. Allow the seeds to soak for 8 to 12 hours, no longer as this will lead into producing sour seed.
  2. After soaking the seed for the required time, tip the seed into the strainer and rinse thoroughly with clean water until all signs of discoloured water are no longer visible. Don’t short cut this rinse. Place the strainer suspended across the container to allow the air to circulate through the seed.
  3. Continue to rinse the seed in the same manner every 12 hours until the desired length of the sprout has been obtained. Under no circumstances rinse the seed just prior to feeding the birds. The seed should be allowed to stand unrinsed for at least 12 hours before feeding. If you have followed this procedure correctly the seed should now have a nice nutty smell, and taste sweet.

What happens if my seed smells?
If your seed smells, you have not followed the above procedure correctly so, start again!
1. Soak seed for 12 hours – drain and wash
2. Leave stand in strainer for 12 hours – wash thoroughly
3. Leave stand for a maximum of 12 hours – feed to the birds

Warning
Under no circumstances feed sour seed to your birds. Discard any seed that looks wet and gluggy, and has a very strong odour. Also, if you believe that mould has occurred on your seed, rinse the seed in a solution of household
bleach (approximately 1 tablespoon) as this will kill the mould without any harmful effects to your birds.

Sunflower seed seems to be the most likely seed affected by mould, mainly during the summer months. Just remember to keep all containers thoroughly clean at all times and do not overfeed your birds.

Information above provided by Breeders Choice Seeds.