Sprout Seeds: Living Foods that Birds LOVE
Back to Sprouting or Bird Nutrition
Offering Sprouted Seeds gives your bird an array of natural nutrient choices that he'll love! Mixes, such as the organic Simple Sprouts, are readily accepted by both small and large birds. Sprouted or germinating seeds present the simplest method of providing your birds with fresh greens. They are a healthy food addition for all birds, but are absolute necessity for the feeding hen and for the newly weaned young.
There are two ways that you can feed "Simple Sprouts":
- Sprouting: Soak the Sprouts overnight, drain them, place them into a sprouting jar, and then rinsing them several times a day until the seed sprout (they usually start sprouting after about 24 hours) - at which time they are ready to feed. For the next days, the seeds will continue to grow. The different stages provide different nutrients to your bird.
- Germination offers an easy, clean and safe way to provide superior nutrition to your birds. Simply soak the seeds to the point where the root tips show and feed to your birds ....
- Process: Soak a daily portion of seeds, grains and legumes in pure, clean water overnight. If you keep the seeds at room temperature (on the counter, for example), the seeds start germinating after 12 hours. If you keep the soaking seeds in the fridge, it will take around 24 hours to germinate). Germination is safer as the process is shorter and the seeds or grains don’t have time to deteriorate - and yet, germinated seeds also offer superior "living" nutrition similar to sprouts.... Note: only germinate one portion at a time.
Sherry, the producer of "Simple Sprouts" provides the following valuable information pertaining to the feeding of sprouts:
Sprouts are by definition a great source of amino acids - the building blocks of protein - than other common parrot foods, but also excellent sources of other nutrients and, especially, phytonutrients. A high protein content in a bird's diet may trigger breeding behaviors, and could result in chronic egg laying or hormonal behavior. Excess protein can also result in kidney problems. On the other hand, sprouts are great for breeding birds and those raising young, and are overall nutritionally valuable and should be part of any bird's diet. The question is how much ...
The one variable over which we have no control is the rest of a customer's bird's diet. If a customer has a pet on a Hartz Mountain neon-colored seed diet (Avianweb comments: considered inferior by anyone with a basic knowledge of bird nutrition), then more sprouts are great - and probably necessary! If they're getting pellets, which already contain more protein than seeds, veggies, or other typical parrot food, then it's best to go easier on the sprouts, and offer veggies and greens (such as the Herb Salad).
The protein requirements also vary by bird species. Pionus hens, for example, can be prone to visceral gout and should have about 6-7% protein in their diet. For this species, Sherry mixes 3 parts chopped veggies / greens to one part chopped Simple Sprouts (in a slaw).
Her cockatiels, greencheek conure, and poicephalus parrots get about half and half - but they get lots of flight exercise. Sherry's african grey parrot gets a lot of whole sprouts and veggies to pick through, mixed with his 50/50 slaw. And the little lovebirds get the 50/50 slaw. Active birds can handle more protein in their diets than those that are mostly stuck in their cages.
Sprouting or germinating seeds presents the simplest method of providing your birds with fresh greens. They are a healthy food addition for all birds, but are absolute necessity for the feeding hen and for the newly weaned young.
Where to buy / Sources of Sprouting Mixes
- Simple Sprouts: www.ittybittybirdiebites.com
- Best Bird Food Ever sprouting mix (includes one wheat-free mix): http://www.bestbirdfoodever.com/home/wp/index.php/products/birdsexotics-products/best-bird-food-ever-100-organic-sprouting-blends/