For those of you who do this, do you mind if I ask what kind of substrate you use? Peat moss/vermiculite/perilite?potting mix? I would like to use something that is safe for my hens, but am not sure what to use.
Sprouting wild bird seed?
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If all your looking for is the sprouts, you can just use water. I give my hens wheat sprouts all the time. I put them in a pan, covered w/ water. I soak for a day, drain and rinse. Soak for a second day, drain and rinse. Then I just leave them in the pan. You should rinse them everyday at least once. By the 3rd day they are usually starting to sprout. I start feeding them on the 3rd day, sprouted or not. They are usually very swollen and soft by then. My girls love them. I feed it to them in an old 9"x13" pan. When they see me with the pan, they get very exicited. I usually get 4-5 feedings from one batch. By the last day, the sprouts are usually about an 1" long. Sprouts are very nutritious and benificial for their imune system. I have also noticed eggs are a bit larger.
Goodluck! Hope this helps.
Sprouts are not a substitute for greens. The nutritional value of a sprout is not the same as a green. Sprouts are high in protein that is very digestable. As seed starts to grow, protein are partially broken down into amino acids. Sprouts are also high in thiamin, niacin, and a ton of vitiamin C. Amino acids are great for eggs and Vitiamin C is for the imune system.
Greens have a completly differnt make-up. They will have chloraphyl and Omega 3 fatty acids. They are also great for chickens, but not the same.
Alfalfa, Barley, Chickpeas, Corn, Lentils, and Peas to name a few. I stick with wheat because it's cheap, easy, and I know my girls like it.
Yes, I get it at the feed mill where I buy my feed. I get the uncleaned variety because it's the cheapest ($4.50/50 lb bag).