Sprouted Seeds & Pulses – Advice from Happy Bird
Everyone’s talking about sprouting but what is it?
Sprouting is the natural process by which seeds, legumes and grains germinate to become very young plants.
What is the difference between sprouts and microgreens?
Microgreens are grown in soil; sprouts germinate in water.
The leaves and stems of microgreens can be eaten; the “stem” and seed of sprouts can be eaten.
Microgreens take around one to three weeks to grow, depending on the variety; sprouts take under a week to grow.
Microgreens are packed with flavour and are often used as garnishes; sprouts are great for crunch.
How does sprouting happen?
The germination process usually begins with the seeds, legumes and grains being rinsed thoroughly and then soaked for several hours (typically overnight) to activate them.
This soaking process helps to break down phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, which makes the nutrients a lot more readily available and easier to digest.
After soaking, the seeds, legumes and grains are drained and placed in a sprouting jar.
Once in the sprouting jar, they should be rinsed thoroughly(*) 2-3 times a day until they start to sprout. Many varieties sprout after just 1-2 days, while some take 4-5 days.
Once small shoots can be seen (tiny tails) they are ready to receive a final rinse and be harvested.
(*)Allowing the sprouts to stand for 5 minutes in a GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) water mixture as part of each rinsing process, is generally good practice to inhibit any microbial growth.
In simple terms, sprouts are packed full of goodness and supply your parrot with super-charged nourishment that isn't readily available in commercial seed mixes or most pellets.
The process of soaking and sprouting makes seeds, legumes and grains much easier to digest, and therefore the minerals, vitamins and enzymes that are so essential to your bird’s health more accessible.
Healthy fresh sprouts are full of antioxidants and nutrients that stimulate digestive and skin health and tissue repair.
Sprouted seeds, legumes and grains are often more easily accepted by ‘seed junkies’ than fresh fruits and vegetables.
They add variety, texture, flavour, interest, excitement and enrichment to your parrot’s diet.
They taste delicious – so give them a try!
Is sprouting difficult?
There are many people who find sprouting intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Sprouts are a healthy option for your birds’ diet and are easy to prepare with a little bit of knowledge and some basic kit:
GSE; Apple Cider Vinegar
Parrot Safe Organic Sprout Blend
Happy Bird’s Organic Soak and Sprout blend comes with simple, step-by-step instructions that will give you the confidence to serve up safe, nutritious and delicious sprouts to your parrot every time.
When and how to feed?
Typically, fresh whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts and soaked items should be fed in the morning, when birds are hungriest.
I don’t have time!
It's not as hard as you might think. Here's a quick suggested timetable for you...
Day 1: Evening
Spoon some seeds, legumes and grains into your sprouting jar, rinse and then leave to soak overnight.
Maximum time = 5 minutes
Day 2: Morning
Rinse and drain. 1 minute
Stand in GSE water solution. 5 minutes
Maximum time = 6 minutes
Day 2: Evening
Maximum time = 6 minutes
Rinse, drain and serve.
Transfer to a sealed plastic container and store for up to 3 days.