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Sprouted seeds are a very healthy treat for birds, provided that
this fresh food has been properly prepared.
Please note that sprouted seeds spoil quickly, and may cause severe damage to your birds' health if fed in
a spoilt state. For this reason, some experts and breeders advise against feeding sprouted
seeds at all, which in my view is an over-reaction. If you prepare the seeds carefully and
do not store them for too long or inappropriately, they are a very tasty supplement to
your birds' menu without being a risk to its health.
Which seeds can you use?
Quite a few specialised dealers offer special mixtures for sprouted seeds for budgies and other bird species. You can buy these mixtures on the internet and can be sure that the grains are suitable for sprouting.
First and foremost: Hygiene!
Also, never leave sprouted seeds in the cage for more than 4 hours, particularly in summer, as they will rot quickly. After consumption, clean cups thoroughly with hot water and/or an appropriate disinfectant to eliminate potential bacteria, mildew etc.
Preparing sprouted seeds
After max. 8 hours, rinse the seeds again in a sieve under the tap. Let the water drip off, then suspend the sieve over the pot. Cover the sieve lightly with the pot's lid to keep dust off. Now leave the seeds to sprout for 24 to 48 hours at a constant temperature. A plastic sieve is the best choice, as a metal sieve may oxidize, although most metal sieves are made of "stainless" steel. But experience has shown that most "stainless" steel sieves do not pass the "sprouted seeds test".
To avoid mildew, I rinse the sprouting seeds about every 12 hours under the tap. After sprouting und repeated rinsing you can feed the sprouted seeds to your birds. Mine prefer seeds that have sprouted between 24 and 36 hours. They don't like seeds that have sprouted longer as much. Apparently "over-sprouted" seeds don't taste as good as seeds with tiny, barely visible sprouts. At the latter stage the seeds have the highest content of vital substances.
Storing sprouted seeds
Prepare the right quantity
Tip: Shortly before serving, sprinkle fresh, chopped herbs on the sprouted seeds. Dried herbs are a tasty option, if you don't have fresh herbs at hand. My birds relish herb-flavored sprouted seeds. For those who don't want to go throught the trouble to prepare sprouted seeds as described above, check specialised dealers for sprouting devices.
Attention: This chapter was translated (German - English) by Claudia Neumann.
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