Add Something Different to Your Chickens’ Meals–Fresh Sprouts
Having chickens is a fun way to add wonderful fresh eggs to your meals, great for eating bugs in your yard and garden and they provide lots of entertainment. If you can’t allow them to free range, give them some treats like fresh sprouts. Sprouting grains for your chickens is so easy, gives them something different to their daily routine and will give you more nutritious eggs as well.
Advantages to Feeding Sprouted Grains to your Hens
- Vitamins, minerals and proteins are more bioavailable
- More easily digested than non-sprouted grains
- Gives you more nutritious eggs
- Gives your hens some entertainment
- Allows them to eat fresh greens
- Fun project for the kiddos
Getting Started with Sprouting Grains
Supplies Needed-clean all of your jars, trays or other vessels and if you can, purchase organic grains from a reliable supplier
- Glass jar, tray or bowl
- Kitchen towel or cheesecloth
- Wheatgrass tray
- Grains - wheat (favorite of most hens), barley, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds, alfalfa, lentils, rye, clover, mung beans or peas are just a few suggestions.
- Rinse your grains with fresh water before starting.
- I like to use a wide mouth large 2 L jar, and fill it about half way with the grain to be sprouted. The grains will expand so you want to give them room for that.
- Fill the jar with water.
- Cover the top of the jar with cheesecloth, or a towel
- Place in a pantry or leave on the counter covered with a towel.
- Ambient temperature should be between 45-69°F
- Allow to soak overnight
- After the initial soak, drain the water and rinse your grains twice a day and drain
- Place back in a dark place and keep lightly covered with the cheesecloth or towel
- Sprouts should be big enough after about 5-6 days.
- If you want them to green up a bit, just leave them out near a window.
- Finished sprouts can be fed to your hens for a fun treat.
- Spread them out in a tray or scatter on the ground
- If any mold develops on the seeds, do not feed them to your chickens. They should be tossed in the compost bin.
- If you want the sprouts to grow longer into fodder (more than 4" tall), put them in a wheatgrass tray and just keep moist. They can be fed to your chickens at any point.