feeding sprouts

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by the simple life, May 7, 2008.

  1. Hi everyone,
    I am new to chicken raising and I stumbled across this article while I was searching for coop plans.
    Any thoughts on this? It sounds easy enough and economical and I want to raise my chickens organically so this would make sense.
    I don't want to make any mistakes on what I feed my babies so let me know if you think this sounds like a good idea.Thanks. (the pic of the mung beans did not transfer over, sorry)
    Reduce the amount of grains you need to feed by sprouting grains. Pick up our 12X12 coop heater and set your sprouts on top. The warmth will have your sprouts sprouting in half the time!
    Sprouting seeds and beans for your chickens is an easy way to supplement their diet. If you are a homesteader, you will be relying less on crop erosive farming, and allow you to reduce feed and grain consumption.

    Pictured here are some mung beans, which take only 2 days to sprout. Simply take mung beans and rinse them. I set them somewhere warm or under a lamp, and in a few days they will be extremely nutritious protein packed sprouts.

    Mung Beans

    Some helpful ideas, to help you sprout from a very good article titled, "Feeding the Homestead Flock."

    This feeds around 75 chickens, so you may want to adjust accordingly.

    You will need the following:

    6 Buckets

    Seeds and grains to sprout (peas, whole wheat etc)

    Use six, 5 gallon plastic food grade buckets, two of them are for soaking, and the other four are drain sprout buckets. You can drill some holes in the drain/sprout buckets, in the bottoms or half way up the sides. (small small holes)

    Day 1 Soak 3-4 lbs whole wheat grains and 1-2 lbs whole oats in one of the soak buckets.

    Day 2 Pour the small grains into one of the drain sprout buckets, and rinse thoroughly, allowing them to drain through the holes in the bucket, before returning. Set the same amounts of small grains to soak in the soak bucket. In a second soak bucket, set 3-4 lbs of whole peas to soak.

    Day 3 Pout the small grains into a drain sprout bucket. Pour yesterdays soaked peas into the grains from day 1. It takes different grains different lenghths of time to sprout. Both drain buckets get rinsed before returning.

    Day 4 Repeat this time putting soaked peas into the bucket containing grains started day 2.

    Day 5 Again Repeat- all contents ar in all four drain/sprout buckets

    Day 6 The most advanced bucket of sprouts is not ready to feed. Note that the grains are five day sprouts and the peas are four day sprouts.

    Scatter around the pasture and you are set to go. Put yesterdays soaked grain into the bucket you just emptied, and the cycle goes on. Every day the buckets get rinsed or the sprouting grains get bacteria and smell.

    Birds will be eager to eat these sprouts, and will not put on excessive fat this way.
  2. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    My only thought is that while it is probably very nutritious for them to eat sprouts, I don't agree that you will use less feed or that it will help them fatten up faster. I don't think sprouts are a significant source of fat. What sprouts will provide, over and above the equivalent amount of grain, is a greater quantity of vitamins.
  3. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Oh, nevermind, I just noticed that it said they won't get fat. I thought it said the opposite at first. My bad.
  4. As long as it can't hurt them it might be something to try.
    But I am not sure how often you would give this to them, I know they need what is available to them in the layer pellets so I am not sure if giving them the sprouts too much would be taking anything else away from them.
    How often would you supplement them with something like this?
  5. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    You might want to consider it a "treat" and feed a little every day. Start small. While it isn't a lot of work to grow sprouts, it is one extra thing to do every day.

    I imagine they could eat maybe half or more of their food intake as sprouts every day without any ill effects, but I also think it is good to get them accustomed to grains as their regular food source.

    I know they really like sprouts. [​IMG] Have fun!
  6. hoosier

    hoosier Songster

    I sometimes give mine sprouts during winter as a treat.
  7. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    We sprout almost all our grains for chickens. We just use the big plant starter trays with the clear tops. Works really well for us. I set 25 at a time for our flock here and it does cut feed bills significantly. Buy all the trimmings from a local butcher for next to nothing as a protien source.

    We make cheese here and all the whey goes to the chickens also. Overall our feed bills are less than half of what many people pay by doing things the way we do it.

    Check out feeds and feeding here: http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/ppp/pppToC.html#toc
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Oat sprouts were considered a particularly good green feed a hundred years ago. Back then, they were a bit too labor intensive to be profitable for the large poultry producer, BUT FOR US HOBBYSITS all sprouts are a great deal.
    They are highly nutritious and give a 4:1 return in quality feedstuff per quantity of seed.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Mung bean sprouts! I'd eat those! Birds can have the heads and tails. mmmm....
  10. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    I grabbed a bag of sprouting beans/seeds from the healthfood store. The chickens don't go as crazy for them as they do other things... but they do enjoy them as a treat. [​IMG]

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