We began sprouting seeds when Dennie first
talked with Bob Nelson on the phone. He simply made the directions and process
so simple, it was just obvious we must begin. It was a decision we should have
made long ago. But Gail Worth had contributed to an Article in Parrot Magazine,
and that was the clincher--we were going to sprout seeds and begin feeding them.
We went to Whole Foods and bought what we could find, and began the process
using the recipe below, or the two day process, and beginning with hot water. We
liked Marcy's ideas of not having to use one certain seed. We use the hulled sun
flower seeds, mung beans, horse oats, buck wheat, brown and wild rice, millet,
and have the 3/1 ratio on sun flower seeds.
Sprout Mix & Directions
3 parts –
Black Oil Sunflower Seed
3 parts – Hulled Sunflower Seed
½ part –
1 part - Mung Beans
1 part –
1 part - Horse Oats
1 part –
Red Winter Wheat
1 part - millet seed
½ part –
unhulled “patty” rice
1 part - wild & brown rice
the seeds in the bleach solution for 20-24 hours. I use the hottest water I
can get from the tap, and we keep the water heater as hot as it will go.
use any unit of measure for the seeds. For fewer birds you can use
a cup or a cottage cheese, or butter tub, or something like that. It doesn't
have to be exact, because each pair will have their preferences. Also, you
need to remember that in the wild these birds will seldom eat exactly the same
thing two days in succession. That is the reason I believe all birds need a
varied diet. I think it can have psychological benefits, as well as
soaked seeds are then dumped into large colanders, and rinsed with the same
kind of solution. AGAIN, hot water is used from the tap, with the bleach
added. It is then left to stand for 10-12 hours before feeding.
don't have to be any sprouts actually showing for the seed to be nutritionally
improved by the soaking process. In fact, if you let the sprouts appear and
get a little length on them, they actually deplete the nutritional quality of
the seed....actually, when the birds eat them, they usually nip the sprouts
off, and just eat the seed, so it is wasted nutrition.
with chopped mix veggies and 1/4 cup good cockatiel/parakeet/parrot seed mix
(depends on species).
Diet HOME Birds
Mountain Valley Aviaries -- Egg
will feed 8 pair of breeding Lady Gouldian Finches, 20 young Gouldian,
and 7 pair of hook bills (Pyrrhura conures). It is also a good mix for
parrotlets and linnies.
Care Company Golden Label Feast Egg food
5 tablespoons of Feast
(Sometimes a tablespoon of infectious Feast—egg food with
One hard boiled egg with shell
Other added ingredients may be:
Bird Care Company -- Feather Up
-- Daily Essentials 3
Powdered Kelp 1/8 teaspoon
Calciboost or potent brew in the water once or twice a week.
SPROUTING SEEDS FOR BIRDS
(What works for me by Marcy
I feed about 1/3 of my bird’s
daily ration of sprouts (germinating seeds) and have tried most methods. I
don’t buy the expensive mixes any more, not when I can mix my own at less than
$1 per pound! I usually buy human grade bulk seed at Sun Harvest, and use the
raw striped gray sunflower seeds without shells (less messy), and lesser
amounts of mung beans and lentils (approx. ¾ SF, 1/8 mung, 1/8 lentil).
Sunflowers are the quickest sprouting, and when they germinate, are very
nutritious. They are also the favorite sprouts. I have fed these to birds as
small as the bourkes parakeets.
Here’s my method:
DAY 1 (evening):
In the evening, in stainless
steel bowl, put about a capful or teaspoon of bleach in 4 cups of cool
water, add 2 cups of seeds and stir. [Makes enough for 20
Conure/Ringneck-sized birds for 2-3 days, depending on what else you feed.]
Cover with saucer and leave
on kitchen counter overnight.
In the morning, pour into
plastic colander, rinse very well under faucet, set colander on saucer (for
drainage), and cover top with a towel, so there’s air circulation around and
under. Bleach breaks down very quickly (confirmed by an avian vet), and the
rinses are sufficient to remove residuals from seeds.
In the evening, rinse well,
and leave on counter to drain during the night. Some seeds will be
germinating at this point.
DAY 3 (morning):
Rinse the next morning, at
which time the seeds are germinating—tiny tips beginning to emerge from the
seed. This is when I begin feeding them. (My birds will usually nip off and
discard sprouted tips—they prefer the germinating kernel—and this is the
most nutritious part anyway.)
I make 2-3 days worth at a
time, and after the first feeding (about 36 hours from first putting them in
to soak in the bleach), I put them in the refrigerator, still in the colander,
on the plate, with a towel over. I rinse before I feed the next morning,
sometimes mixing with other soft foods, like fresh chopped veggies, and cooked
rice mix (another recipe). Time can be adjusted somewhat if the house is
cooler or hotter. If temperate and humid (with windows open), I will be more
watchful for mold. Misting with apple cider vinegar at steps 4 or windows
open), I will be more watchful for mold. Misting with apple cider vinegar at
steps 4 or 5 can be done, and that will discourage bacterial and fungal growth
I’ve had no problems with mold
or spoilage doing this. My house is air conditioned, and it is on the dry side
(my thermostat is set to 82 in the summer, and 72 in the winter). I have two
plastic colanders, and I wash each between usage and spray with a mild
disinfectant (like Parvo-Lan) and let sit for a few minutes, then rinse and
dry, or run it through the dishwasher. Note that if you use sunflowers in the
shell, the coloring from the sunflower shells may discolor the colander after
a while, but putting it through the dishwasher will help.