Gainesville Cockatiel Rescue: Located in Gainesville Florida

Sprouting is for the Birds!

Rescue birds eating sprouts

Lucky, Sasha, Hope, Sarah, Whiley, Andy and Baby enjoying their nightly sprouts.

Why Sprout?

Sprouting seeds increases their nutritional value by an incredible amount. Not only vitamins but natural enzymes and phytochemicals as well. Sprouting is easy to do and birds usually love them. Sprouts should be fed when the tails appear, usually around 1/8th of an inch but for legumes they should be 1/4th an inch.

What to Sprout

Make sure to research any grain/legume/seed that you plan to sprout. Not all are safe to give to birds in their raw or sprouted state (especially true of beans).

Some Safe Seeds / Grains

Safe Legumes (sprout to 1/4 inch tails)

Start Slow

It can take a little work to get some birds to try sprouts. The first type rescued birds usually try is wheat berries. Mung beans are another favorite. Wheat berries can be soaked overnight and fed. The birds get used to them and they look like seed when soaked a short period of time. Once they are eating the soaked seed readily, the seeds can be sprouted. Introduce new types slowly until the bird(s) are comfortable with them.

How to Sprout

  1. Add a few drops of grape fruit seed extract to the soak water. The soak water should be 3 times as much as dry (so 4 oz of seeds would be added to 12 oz of water).
  2. Any container will do for soaking, although sprouting jars are the most user friendly since they already have as strainer built in (the lid).
  3. Soak any of the above seeds/grains/legumes overnight (8 hours).
  4. In the morning, rinse the seeds well with running water. Use a fine mesh strainer to keep the seeds out of the sink. Having to remove sprouts growing from the drain is not fun.
  5. Rinse 2-4 times per day. Sprouts will usually be ready to feed in 2-3 days depending on temperature. Seeds sprout quicker in warmer temperatures and slower in cooler.
  6. Always smell sprouts before feeding. If they smell bad, are slimy or are brown, do not feed as this means they have been contaminated in some way. Grape fruit seed extract usually prevents this but it can happen so always check.

Where to get seeds to sprout

In gainesville the best location is Mother Earth (either one). Organic seeds/grains/legumes online if necessary.