Sprouted Grains - Slight sprouting versus fodder; nutritional trade-offs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by douglasstewart, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. douglasstewart

    douglasstewart New Egg

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    Nov 15, 2014
    Sprouting grains has nutritional benefits. However, there is conflicting information as to how far one should sprout them. Opinions range from when the root is half the length of the seed, to a fully developed root and green shoot a few inches high.

    I guess the answer depends in part on what one is looking for. For example, development of a green shoot will mean more chlorophyl, which helps give more color to the egg yolk. However, getting to this point will consume certain other nutrients.

    I guess the answer also depends on what one is sprouting (grains, peas, etc.)

    Can anyone clarify what the trade-offs nutritionally of sprouting to an early stage, versus the later stages?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I think you're on the right track with your train of thought.
    Many nutrients will increase with sprouting but as you say, the more growth, the more some nutrients are consumed by the young plant.
    One benefit of sprouting is that anti-digestive components of the seed are broken down.
    Taller fodder is good for ungulates and such but not necessarily for chickens. Sometimes I just sprout or if I go so far as fodder, it's only in winter when nothing else is growing and then just till it's about an inch tall.
    Primarily, I sprout barley, wheat, sunflower, peas and buckwheat in that order and all at the same length of time.
     
  3. douglasstewart

    douglasstewart New Egg

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    Chickencanoe,

    Thank you for your response.

    For sprouting sunflower seeds, does one do this with hulled or un-hulled seeds? If both are possible, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the two options?

    Regards, Doug
     
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Horticulture defines sprouts as from the point when "first" root (radicle) and plumule emerge from the seed, until the seed coat falls off.
    Seedlings from when the seed coat falls off to when the first true leaves (not the cotyledon leaves) emerge and open.
    Young plants are when the true leaves emerge.

    Most of the "fodder" that I have seen on this site and some others also is when the plant is in the seedling/young plant stage.

    Length of "plant" and or roots plays no role in determining if the "plant" is a Sprout, Seedling, Young Plant or Fodder.

    Chlorophyll wont make dark egg yolks, you need Carotenoid (Beta carotene).
    Carotenoid is the Yellow/Red/Orange pigment that is in plants where as Chlorophyll is the green pigment.

    I myself feed sprout, they are more nutrient rich than fodder and less fiber.
    Fodder is good for grazers like cattle, sheep and goats but not the best thing to feed poultry.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    It's very easy to sprout the SS with the hulls intact. The advantage of dehulled would be higher protein. The seeds with the hulls have a lot of added fiber which cuts down on the protein. Otherwise the benefit of sprouting is the same. You may have a higher percentage of sprouts with the hulls intact since there would be no damage to the germ.
     
  6. jailerjoe

    jailerjoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd read that chickens can have issues with fodder because as the sprout get's taller it can get caught up in the chicken's crop. When chickens forage this isn't an issue because they snip bits off the plant whereas with fodder they're likely to eat the whole sprout and the seed. Is there any truth to this? Would snipping the green shoots into smaller pieces prevent this?

    I've been growing oat fodder and am about to start feeding it to my hens so this is a timely discussion.

    Joe
     

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