How we grow our sprouts for the birdies!!!



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Growing sprouts is a simple and easy process...and the birds LOVE them!!! LIVE food is one of the healthiest nutrients for your bird.

In the wild, most of a parrot's diet consists of live food. Most parrot owners are feeding their fids "dead food." When we serve live foods, the cells are still alive and functioning despite that the plant is removed from the parent plant. The cells die in time or when the food is cooked or frozen.

I disagree strongly with veterinarians who tell their clients to only feed pelleted diets. I do feed some pellets, but they are in no way a main part of the diet. Read about Belleek who was only eating pellets. Read also about Hoppy who suffers from Perosis due to malnutrition.

Live foods contain beneficial enzymes that are so good for your birds. Sprouts are among one of the main things we feed our birds every morning. We grow them and are very successful! All you do is buy a bag of Racing Pigeon will want to leave the bag in the sun for a few days before bringing it in your yard because the sun will then kill any diseases on the bag. We always buy Royal brand due to the cleanliness of the seed. To see the ingredients and guaranteed analysis of Royal Racing Pigeon mix, click here. You can grow sprouts from any clean seed and don't have to limit yourself to this pigeon mix. In the Phx area, I buy our Royal brand at Deal's Town and Country Store at Waddell and Litchfield. I have been told it is also available at The Stock Shop. If you are in the North Phoenix area, Mike Miller Feeds also makes a pigeon mix called "Don's Pigeon Mix."

Lately, I keep getting told to sprout Sunflower Seeds. I just tried it for the first time in May, 2007 and got a kick out of the result. They sprouted!!! I have begun adding these sunflowers to my Racing Pigeon Mix and sprouting them all together.

Pour a bit of seed into a dish and soak it overnight. In this soak water, you will need to add something to deter the bacteria and fungus from growing. Some use Bleach, some use GSE, some use apple cider vinegar, some use Iodine...I use GSE or Bleach. I add about 1/16 of a teaspoon to my soak water.  The next morning, dump it into a strainer and put the strainer's bottom into the dish (I put the strainer over a dark dish). That way, all the water goes in the dish...not the counter! Three times a day, run water over the sprouts in the strainer so that the little guys get water. They do not need sun, just air. Keep them in a warm dark spot (We cover them with a dark towel). After 1-2 days, little tails will grow off of each seed and that is the perfect time to feed them to the birdies!!! Click here to read about a company who sells sprouting materials.

Sprouts should smell nutty and not rancid at all.

Here is a picture of the sprouted Royal Racing Pigeon Mix. These sprouts are actually too long and need to be bagged right when the tails emerge.

I have found out that you don't have to sprout them for as long as I was when I took this picture. Just sprout them until the tails barely, barely begin to emerge. If you soak them overnight and rinse the next morning really good, then again in the evening, your sprouts should be good to serve.


Sprouted Lima Beans and sprouted Navy Beans can be toxic to birds. Beans that are good to sprout are: Adzuki, Alfalfa, Clover, Garbanzo (chick peas = a favorite), Lentils, and Mung Beans.

Seeds and grains are also good to sprout such as: Sunflower, Barley, Sesame, Buckwheat, Popcorn, Millet, Whole oats, Unprocessed brown rice, Rye and Wheat, Radish, Mustard, and Quinoa.




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