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I'm putting together a new auto sprouter

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

After looking at my old one, I have concluded it's not worth rebuilding.

I'm also feeling too cheap to go buy new materials. After looking around, I found an old refrigerator that I think I can repurpose for the project.

I'll post pics as I go.

Stay tuned! This may be my best one yet.

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

First I needed to get the door reattached. Done.

Next to get the coolant out. These propane fridges are filled with an amonia liquid/gas.

I made a cut in the tubing, and ran for the hills. The amonia is very STRONG!

I t took about 20 minutes to bleed out. And a while longer before I could go back into the shop.

Next I needed to remove the cooling coil out of the freezer compartment to make room for the waterer.

First lesson learned, there is more than one area where the coolant resides. I had took a sawsall to the cooling coil and got sprayed in the face with a huge blast of coolant.

Good thing I always wear safety glasses in the shop.

It almost dropped me.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

This gonna be tough. My camera got a mind of its own. There are 18 hundred bajiion mega tons of pixel thingys on my camera, and it forgot what date it is. Nothing is in order, and I've spent some time hunting, and might have to do more, but here's where I'm at on this project.


This is the old auto waterer. It's wee over 10 years old and has been out of service a little less than that.


I reworked the frame and replaced the old rusted pan with a hub cap off an extinct vw bus. I cleaned up the old pan, and repainted it. It took awhile to get the weight ratio right. It took a bunch of various washers.


Once I got the waterer dialed in, it was time to attack the inner workings.


I pulled some of the shelves and stuff apart, and found this huge freezer coil that had to go. This is the one that sprayed me in the face when I cut it




Again, these coils.



Coil removed. The bottom of the freezer had a slant forward, which wouldn't be good for water flow.



Using a dremel, I cut the bottom out, and found foam insulation. It too needed to come out.

Lots of scraper and putty knife work.




After getting most of the insulation out, I traced the pan and cut a hole for it to fit. The cooling fins posed a bit of a problem. There's too many rivets and stuff to remove it. So they'll have to stay, otherwise, I'd have to completely remove the whole cooling system, which in hindsight is what I should have probably done.





Checking the drip pan and the waterer for fit. Looks good.



I'm running out of steam, and have to locate some more pics on this camera. I painted over the insultation to seal it.

I also gathered the old sprouting trays, repainted them, and will attach stainless steel screen to them tomorrow.


I took a five gallon bucket, some fittings and ferrels, and attached a 1/4 inch copper tube to the bottom of the bucket after drilling.


I then drilled a hole in the top of the fridge, fed the tubing in, and attached a valve that will allow me to adjust the drip. I'm aiming for a watering every three to four hours. It will take some patience and time.



More tomorrow.


Stay tuned, or go feed your birds. I'm going to finish and have this running tomorrow. That's just how I am. I get started on a project, and won't give up until it's done.

Maybe I might tell you about last weeks dune buggy rework some time.


Goooooooooooooooooood night you crazy chicken people!

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ok I got the fridge all cleaned out. I then painted and rescreened the sprout trays. I used and indoor outdoor high gloss latex.



The dripper is installed, and the sprouting trays in place, and the veggie drawers will work just fine to catch the used water.

I wonder if that would be just as good or better for filling their waterer?






All done, and ready to go. I started some wild birdseed in jars, but probably left them soaking too long.


I'll start a fresh batch of birdseed tomorrow, and in another tray I'm going to sprout some pinto beans, all for my birds.


The wife will be going to town sometime soon, and I'll have her pick up a few packages of spicy sprout mix at the heath food store for us.


I just need to move this by the coop now. More pics to follow when things start to sprout!

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I started some wild bird seed two days ago, and it is already sprouting. I also started some pinto beans and they are starting to sprout too.

Today I started a 3 part spicy sprout mix for myself. It has alfalfa, radish, and broccoli.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Here's the first batch coming right along.


This is wild bird seed for the birds.





This is alfalfa sprouts for me. You can see the roots from the bird seed hanging down from the top tray.







And these are pintos for the birds.

post #7 of 9

It looks good. I do have a small multi-tray sprouter for humans, but even that is too small and sprouts do not have the space to develop fully. I have been thinking along similar lines for industrial sprouting. No feed gives them that level of enzymes and B vitamins.

post #8 of 9
Very interesting project, I may just try it! I've not done any sprouting because I have 34 birds and couldn't figure out how to sprout enough without totally filling up my kitchen! I actually have an old refrigerator I've been wanting to haul away, maybe it will get a second chance, now I just have to sneak this to the top of my Honey-do list. smile.png
post #9 of 9



Curious as to how the pinto bean sprouting is going and whether or not your chickens are liking them.  I have 20 pounds of pinto beans that my family isn't interested in eating and thought I might try to sprout them for my 4 hens.  I've never sprouted before so I have no idea what to expect but I thought starting with a free and almost expired food already on hand would be the right way to go. 

I had read elsewhere on the internet that sprouting larger beans were not healthy for chickens but I haven't found any type of justification for why that would be.  Any insight?


Also, love your "new" sprouting set up!  A little imagination and elbow grease can turn any trash into something functional!  :)



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