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Some general info on sprouting .. thought it might be helpful

Merlie

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This is a document I complied on Sprouting to use as a reference guide. This is not my original work .. most of it comes from Shauna Roberts who wrote a very informative article in Good Bird Magazine ... the rest is just various info. that I've looked up and included:

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Sprouting Reference List


1 – 2 Day Sprouts

Broccoli: Soak 8 hours, rinse 2-3 times a day, ready in 1-2 days.

Oats, hulled: Vitamin E. Good for immune system and skin disorders unless bird is sensitive to gluten. Soak 8 hours, ready in 1-2 days.

Pumpkin seed: B complex, E, phosphorus, iron, zinc, protein. Soak 8 hours, ready in 1 day.

Quinoa: Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, folacin, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and protein. Soak 3-4 hours, harvest 1-2 days.

Sunflower hulled: B complex, D, E, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and unsaturated fatty acids and protein. Soak 6-8 hours, harvest in 1-2 days


2 – 3 Day Sprouts

Barley, hulless type: Vitamins A, B complex, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus. Glucans to help lower cholesterol and build the immune system. Soak 6 hours, harvest 2-3 days

Millet, unhulled: Vitamin B, E, protein. Soak 8 hours, ready in 2-3 days.

Peas: Vitamin A, iron, potassium, magnesium. Contain all 8 essential amino acids and 22 percent protein. Soak time: 8 hours, harvest in 2-3 days.

Wheat: B complex, E, folacin, iron, magnesium, manganese, protein and omega-6. Flavor is sweetest when tail first appears. Soak for 12 hours, harvest in 2-3 days.


3 – 5 Day Sprouts

Adzuki bean: Vitamin C, iron, protein. Soak 5 hours, harvest 3-5 days

Amaranth: Soak 3-5 hours, harvest 2-3 days. Soak 3-5 hours, ready in 3-5 days.

Buckwheat, hulled: soak 6 hours (no longer) Harvest 3-4 days

Lentil sprouts:The richest source sprout of high quality protein, approximately 24 % protein. Folic acid, C, E, iron, phosphorus, potassium. 4-12 hours of soaking. Harvest in 3-5 days.

Radish:Vitamins A,C (more than 29 times the vitamin C and 4 times the vitamin A of milk), calcium and protein. Soak 6 hours, harvest 3-5 days

Fenugreek: Iron, phosphorus, trace elements. Soak 6 hours, ready in 2-5 days.


4 – 5 Day Sprouts

Mung bean sprouts: Vitamin A, C, phosphorus, iron. Soak 12 hours and take about 5 days to get those long tails. It may be best to avoid mung beans if a bird has candida or any other yeast type of infection.

Mustard seeds sprouts can add some zesty flavor but when seeds come into contact with water allyl isothiocyanate is formed. Mustard seed sprouts are likely safe but some people prefer to avoid them for their birds. Soak 4-6 hours and harvest in 4-5 days.


Misc Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are not only a good source of vitamin C but also beta carotene ( vitamin A). If you decide to sprout alfalfa be sure not to feed dormant seeds as the dormant seed contains canavanine, a natural toxin and carcinogen but when the seed sprouts, any amount is miniscule. Soak 4-6 hours and they should be ready in 4-6 days. Other sprout sources of beta carotene are sprouted peas and cabbage.

Almond:B complex, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, protein and fatty acids. Soak 8-10 hours, ready to eat.


CAUTION:Large beans: Anasazi, Black, Fava, Kidney, Lima, Navy, Pinto, Soy, are not suggested for sprouting. These legumes can cause toxicity and remain difficult to digest. Their raw flavor is also very bad. If choose to serve these to your bird they MUST be soaked for a minimum of 8 hours, water drained and beans rinsed well, and then cooked by bringing them to a full boil, boiling uncovered for 10 minutes, covered and simmered for another 20 minutes.



Let’s Sprout!!

Getting Started:

Now that you have some background information you can try some sprouting. There are different methods that you may want to try in order to find one that you are the most comfortable with or is the most convenient for you.

To start choose which sprouts you want to try. You can sprout one type of seed at a time or combine seeds. By looking at the list you may choose sprouts that have similar soaking and sprouting times. You can also choose items that may not sprout at exactly the same time and let those faster sprout tails grow a little longer while you wait for the slower sprouts. The easiest sprouting seeds to start for beginners are: wheat, sunflower, lentil, mung and quinoa.

Some possible combinations to try:
#1 Sunflower seeds and quinoa
#2 Mung, wheat, amaranth
#3 Buckwheat, quinoa, sesame seed
#4 Millet, sprouting pea, chickpea, wheat


GETTING STARTED

You may want to prove to yourself that your birds really will enjoy sprouts before you start. If so, before you go to bed tonight, place the seeds that you plan to feed your birds tomorrow in a colander and rinse very well. Then place them in a bowl or pan of pure water to soak overnight. The water level should be several inches over the top of the seeds. By morning, the seeds will have absorbed the water and plumped up to have a moist consistency much like fresh seeds. Rinse, drain until dry, and spread over the top of your bird's soft foods. Most birds show a definite preference for soaked seeds.

When you are ready to embark on your sprouting adventure, start with sunflower seeds, mung beans, lentils and wheat berries. Buy the seeds from a health food store and follow these easy directions for sprouting in a colander, a wide pan, or a glass jar with a mesh lid held in place by a rubber band. You may sprout one type of seed per container in order to become familiar with the amount of time that each requires to sprout, or you may sprout them all together.

SELECT seeds that have been grown organically or that are free of harmful chemicals.
MEASURE one half cup each of shelled sunflower seeds, mung beans, lentils and wheat berries. Measuring will become unnecessary once you become accustomed to sprouting.
INSPECT and remove broken and damaged seeds which will not sprout and can cause spoilage.
RINSE well until the water runs clear.
SOAK overnight in pure water (and antibacterial solution if desired). Water level should be well above the top of the seeds to allow for swelling. Houseplants can benefit from the nutrients in the soak water.
RINSE well in the morning.


SPREAD seeds in colanders, glass jars, or pans and place in a dark, well-ventilated area.
RINSE well several times a day.
HARVEST when small tails appear, usually in one or two days.
DRAIN UNTIL DRY before serving to your birds. Dry sprouts will continue to grow in your birds' dishes during the day instead of spoiling as wet or cooked foods often do.

Sprouts need moisture, proper temperature and adequate air circulation. As they grow, sprouts release carbon dioxide and other gasses and create waste that must be removed by rinsing. If sprouts ever have an objectionable odor or look moldy, discard them, sterilize the equipment, and begin again. Never feed questionable or spoiled sprouts to your birds. Sprouts smell earthy and should not have an objectionable odor. Leftover sprouts will keep for several days if refrigerated. Rinse and drain them daily until they are used.

If you have a surplus of sprouts, they can be dried in a dehydrator or in a warm oven. For the oven method, spread them on a cookie sheet and set the oven temperature at the lowest possible setting. When the sprouts are dehydrated or dry, store them in sealed Ziploc bags until you are ready to rehydrate them by using them in cooked soft food mixes or in birdie bread. Dried sprouts also can be served "as is" to birds.

TIPS FOR VARIOUS SPROUTS

Most seeds, grains and legumes can be soaked overnight but a few require less time as detailed here.

Amaranth: Soak for only 2-4 hours. The very tiny seeds are likely to flow through the screen in the jar method; line the strainer with cotton cloth or paper towel to retain seeds. Sprouts can be bitter.

Barley: Use only unhulled barley; "whole" hulled barley and pearled barley will not sprout. Hulls are tough but parrots do not mind.

Buckwheat: Soak for one half hour only. Use raw buckwheat that is white, green, or light brown; unsproutable toasted buckwheat is medium brown.

Field corn: Soak for 12-18 hours. Very hard corn and slow to germinate, but a favorite of most parrots.

Popcorn: Soak for 12-18 hours. Popcorn sprouts are very sweet. The use of popcorn saves washing several times as required to clean most field corn.

Millet: Unhulled millet is the best sprouter.

Oats: Must use unhulled oats. So-called "whole oats" or oat groats will not sprout.

Rice: Only brown, unprocessed rice will sprout.

Rye: If it molds, discard immediately; (ergot mold possible).

Triticale: Cross between rye and wheat.

Wheat, including Kamut and Spelt: Hard Winter wheat sprouts better than soft Spring wheat.

Almonds: Soak 8-12 hours. Use only unblanched almonds. Sprouting and storage time should not exceed two days or sprouts may turn rancid. Most almonds do not actually develop a sprout as such, but merely swell. One of the tastiest soaked seeds, especially loved by eclectus parrots!

Cabbage and Kale: Very strong flavored sprouts. Can also be grown into greens.

Fenugreek: Slightly bitter, fenugreek sprouts are a good digestive aid, good for the liver, and good for clearing up mucus conditions.

Mucilaginous seeds: flax, psyllium, and chia: Soak 2-4 hours. Can be sprouted alone but require a special clay saucer. Sprouts are not very appealing to most people, but birds do enjoy them.

Mustard: Available in three forms: black, brown, yellow. Brown seeds are smaller and harder to handle in mixtures; yellow or black recommended for mixtures. Can grow as greens also.

Teff: Soak 4 hours. Teff is a tiny brown grain usually found at health food stores. If not, ask the store to order them. Specify whole grain. Makes a small sweet sprout that parrots adore.

Pumpkin: True sprouting (developing a root) by pumpkin seeds is quite rare. Bacterial spoilage and rancidity can be a problem when you try to sprout them. Best to simply soak them and feed.

Radish: Very hot flavor much loved by parrots!

Sesame: Soak 2-4 hours. Must use unhulled sesame seeds for sprouting. Sesame sprouts are delicious at one day but continue to grow while refrigerated and start to get bitter by the second day.

Sunflower: Use hulled or unhulled, black oil or grey striped sunflower seeds. They have an earthy flavor and are very popular in the aviary.

Quinoa: Soak 2-4 hours. Very fast sprouter. White and black quinoa are available. This has become a favorite sprouting food of many aviculturists. Alan Lipsig says of quinoa: "I usually set it up for sprouting before I go to bed, 1/3 grain to 2/3 water, and by the time I wake up, the water is gone and the container is full of hairs (new sprouts). When I feed, I mix my soak with chopped fresh, and spread some sprouts on each bowl. My birds seem to like it, but they're raised on fresh from the time they start eating on their own."


LEGUMES:

Adzuki beans: Easiest to sprout of all beans.

Alfalfa and Clover: Use cotton cloth, stack trays, jar, or colander with paper towels to avoid tiny seeds falling through. Soak 2-4 hours. Alfalfa and clover are most commonly grown as sprouted greens.

Garbanzo beans or chick peas: Make enough to feed birds only one day at a time as they spoil quickly. Many birds prefer mung bean sprouts but most Eclectus parrots have a definite preference for sprouted Garbanzo beans or chick peas.

Lentils, brown, green and red: The brown and green lentils come in a variety of sizes; the smaller sizes generally sprout faster. Red lentils are usually sold in split form and for sprouting you must buy whole lentils. Lentil sprouts have a spicy flavor and are relished by parrots.

Mung beans: This is a favorite sprout of most parrots and people too.

NOTE: Many people have fed all of the beans in their sprouted form without problem. However, large raw beans such as Anasazi, Black, Fava, Kidney, Lima, Navy, Pinto, and Soy can cause problems of toxicity and digestive upsets for people and perhaps for birds. Except for soy sprouts (edible raw if grown long enough), these beans should be cooked to be digestible and are not recommended for general sprouting purposes. Soy sprouts, however, are high in isoflavones, SOD (superoxide dismutase), a very powerful and important antioxidant with essential fatty acids and lecithin.

SAFETY CONCERNS

With ordinary measures of safe food handling and hygiene, sprouts will grow without the risk of fungal contamination. If this is of concern to you though, Grapefruit Seed Extract (Citricidal by Nutribiotic or Agrisept) can be used to prevent fungal contamination. To make a solution for soaking seeds and beans before sprouting, use one tablespoon of GSE per gallon of pure water. To rinse sprouts, soak them briefly in a GSE solution and drain.



IMPORTANT INFO ON SPROUTING MILO


Warning on Sprouting Milo

Sprouting seeds is often touted as offering numerous
benefits. Milo provides an example where sprouting turns a
nutritious seed into a potentially deadly sprout.

At least 2,000 species of plants contain cyanogenic
glycosides. These are chemicals that may produce HCN when the
plant cells are disrupted. Young sorghum (milo) plants are one of
these, and the cyanogenic glycoside in this plant is dhurrin.
According to the abstract at:

Biosynthesis of the Cyanogenic Glucoside Dhurrin in Seedlings of Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench and Partial Purification of the Enzyme System Involved

"The seed and root contain neither dhurrin nor the
dhurrin-synthesizing enzyme system."

So, feeding the seeds is not a toxicity risk. However, the
germinated seeds very quickly produce levels of dhurrin that are
potentially lethal to birds. The above URL has a link to the full
paper, and on page 1556 Figure 5 (attached) indicates that when
the sprout is ~ 0.25" in length, the concentration of dhurrin is
high enough to produce ~21 micromol HCN/g of HCN (fresh weight).
That corresponds to about:

1000mg/g * 21e-6 mol HCN/g(fresh weight) * 27g HCN/mol = 0.57mg HCN/g(fresh
weight)

The LD50 dose of HCN for birds is ~10mg/kg[1], so half of a group
of 1000g birds will die after ingesting 10mg HCN (actually,
probably considerably more because the toxicities reported in the
reference below were determined with NaCN, and it's the CN ion
that is responsible for the toxicity. Thus the predicted LD50 for
HCN vs NaCN should be in the ratio of their molecular weights,
i.e., 27/49, so ~5mg HCN should be as toxic as 10 mg NaCN). This
NaCN LD50 would require ingesting ~ 18g of freshly sprouted
milo. This is less than 2% of the birds' body weight.

If I haven't blundered in the calculation, feeding freshly
sprouted milo is quite dangerous unless it's a very small part of
the sprout mix.

[1] _Journal of Wildlife Diseases_, 22(4), 1986, pp. 538-546
ACUTE ORAL TOXICITY OF SODIUM CYANIDE IN BIRDS
Stanley N. Wiemeyer, Elwood F. Hill, James W. Carpenter, and
Alexander J. Krynitsky
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center,
Laurel, Maryland 20708, USA

http://www.thegabrielfoundation.org/training.html
 
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Renae

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Great thread, thanks for posting it will definitely come as being helpful for a lot of people especially those new to sprouting or those that aren't sure what can or can't be sprouted.
 

Ming-Ming

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Great article! Thank you for sharing!
What happens when you soak your seeds too long?
 

rikkitikki

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Sticky? I just found this after doing a search for "sprouting" and I think this would be a good reference, I guess it was missed by most when it was first posted...
 

tammie

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Great Info! Thanks!
I'll have to print it out and save it and I am planning on doing some sprouting this week.
 

gritsinct

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Can anyone help me with some info about AFTER I've sprouted? I feed sprouts every day and I put them in a separate bowl from their regular food since they are still a little wet. Most of my birds go right to them and eat them pretty quickly, but I've got a couple that totally ignore them. :( I give sprouts in the morning and and would like to just leave them in the bowls all day while I'm at work. Is that safe?? If that is OK to do, in the evening when the sprouts are completely dry, would it be safe to then add them to their regular food in the hopes that they will eat them that way? I don't know how to get these two to eat sprouts and I hate to just throw them out if it's OK to add them to their other food once dry...
 

camelotshadow

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Wow,
this sounds really good.
 

marian

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I tried sprouting once before and failed miserably.This gave me the push to try it again.Thanks merlie this is great information.
 

Gen120

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wow, awesome!! I'm printing this as well! Thank you so much for the info- I've never had good luck with sprouts but after reading this I'm going to try them again. :)
 

Merlie

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Can anyone help me with some info about AFTER I've sprouted? I feed sprouts every day and I put them in a separate bowl from their regular food since they are still a little wet. Most of my birds go right to them and eat them pretty quickly, but I've got a couple that totally ignore them. :( I give sprouts in the morning and and would like to just leave them in the bowls all day while I'm at work. Is that safe?? If that is OK to do, in the evening when the sprouts are completely dry, would it be safe to then add them to their regular food in the hopes that they will eat them that way? I don't know how to get these two to eat sprouts and I hate to just throw them out if it's OK to add them to their other food once dry...
If the sprouts have been left out all day, I wouldn't chance it. You might be better off taking the sprouts, and mixing them with a bit of their dry food in a separate bowl to get them started. That way, they'd have their normal bowl of dry food, and a bowl of their dry mixed with sprouts.


I tried sprouting once before and failed miserably.This gave me the push to try it again.Thanks merlie this is great information.
Glad it may have helped!

wow, awesome!! I'm printing this as well! Thank you so much for the info- I've never had good luck with sprouts but after reading this I'm going to try them again. :)
I have sprouts going non stop .. always one container in the fridge for serving and another in my sprouter getting ready. You just need to be vigilant about rising. A few drops of GSE or ACV doesn't hurt either.
 

Gen120

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thank you for the tip about the ACV and GSE, I'll be using that when I rinse them just as a precaution.. :)
 

Annamacaw

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This is awesome Merlie!!!!!!!!!!!! Glad it is a sticky now!!
 

DidiBird

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I LOVE SPROUTING!

My favorite sprout website is sproutpeople.org. They have great prices overall, and have instructional videos that you can click and watch to make sure you're doing things right.

AND THE BEST PART! They have a section for pets! Here is the link:
Sprouts for Animals

Check out those bird blends!

Also, here is my favorite sprouting device:

Easy Sprout Sprouter

Sprouting is easy, DELICIOUS, and so much fun! I encourage all to do it, whether for yourself or for your fids!
 

southernbirds

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It's always great this time of year to read about sprouting. this is a wonderful topic and very helpful.
 

heirofslytherin123

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I was at costco and found some organic sprouted mung, adzuki beans, and green lentils but they are dried i wasnt sure how to use these for my caique or sun conure. does anyone have any suggestions? Do i need to rehydrate them? can i offer them dry?
 

TikiLola

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I think either way would be fine, but I'd soak some for a little while to see what happens.
 
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