|Chicken Wheat, before sprouting|
|Ready for the chickens to eat|
The Sprouting Instructions are simple:
- Fill a jar (I use a two-quart jar for my 7 chickens) 1/3 full of wheat berries
- Soak grains overnight in water (read here about how I dechlorinate my water for better germination of sprouts.)
- Drain and rinse wheat once a day, letting as much water as possible drain out to allow sprouts to grow (they shouldn't be immersed after the initial soak)
I generally have 5 or 6 jars going, at different stages of development, in order to give them time to green up before the chickens eat them. I feed the hens one jar every morning, rinse the 5 remaining jars, and start a new jar soaking that night. I store them on a cabinet shelf until the last two days of sprouting, when I put them on a sunny windowsill to produce chlorophyl. I give my chickens a second meal each afternoon, which is usually some combination of kitchen scraps. See my earlier post for making your kitchen scraps into something the hens will actually eat.
I have also used feed quality oats for sprouting, which sprout faster than the wheat so you don't need to have as many jars going before they're green. When using oats you can fill the jar about 2/5 full, since they don't grow quite as much as the wheat. Any other whole grains or edible seeds will do for sprouted chicken feed, but oats & wheat are the least expensive organic grains I can find.
Any seeds or grains that you sprout for human consumption should be rinsed twice a day. This prevents bacterial and mold growth. For the chicken food, I don't think a bit of mold and bacteria bothers them, but if you want to keep their sprouts fresher feel free to rinse twice a day!
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Sprouted Grains for Chickens
4/ 5Oleh Mellow