Monday, February 24, 2014

Sprouting Seeds For the Chickens

You probably thought you had heard the last of it  --sprouting seeds for the chickens.  (In case you missed the first experiment you can read it here.

Hardly, I have quite a few things I want to try on the subject. When I used chicken scratch to sprout, I learned that because of the corn in the mixture it had a tendency to want to mold. I had to rinse the grain three times a day but filled the bucket and drain more times than I am now with wheat to keep the mold smell away. The chicken scratch grain stays fairly moist so it didn't seem like it needed the rinsing as much for moisture level as mold retardant.   

You can see experiments coming can't you? Yup, since I figured the scratch grains were a bit slow to sprout and the corn was causing molding I should try grains singularly.

First bucket of wheat started at the same time as the second bucket of wheat. More wheat is in this bucket. Not by a great deal.
I brought in wheat and began the same process. With this grain it is imperative to rinse three times a day as the seeds absorb the moisture quickly and dry out more so than the chicken scratch. They also sprout quicker by a couple days. I like the wheat better but there is less nutrient variety of course because it is simply one grain. The chickens aren't as fond of just wheat either. They know a good thing when they see it but I can't keep the counter full of grain buckets waiting on the chicken scratch mixture. I would like to do a combination of grains sprouting to keep a steady supply. In the new place I will stack the buckets by the back door to the garage and in the garage when it is warm enough but for now it is just experiment time.

Second bucket of wheat started at the same time as the first bucket but with less wheat to begin with.
The other thing I had a suspicion of was that it seemed like the less that was in the bucket the faster it sprouted but I was keeping the amounts fairly consistent so I couldn't be sure. The first wheat sprouted in two buckets were of approximately the same amount. This came out with the knowledge that they sprout faster than the scratch grain combination.

With the second two batches of wheat sprouts  I put less wheat in one bucket than the other and sure enough the wheat swelled up to almost the same as the other bucket with more wheat in it initially. The bucket with less in it sprouted quicker also. Once again less was more. So more is not better. A wider container might be helpful if I want to sprout more grain per bucket. I will be looking for new buckets.

I have some dried beans from my parents which I have no idea how old they are and how they were kept. I am going to attempt to sprout them for the chickens also. Why should chickens be fed grains only? I also want to try growing wheat grass probably next winter in the sun room of the new house.

Last but not least. I see some lovely colored water coming off of the grain when I rinse it. I'd bet it would be good for the house plants and the like. Too bad I don't have any right now but in just a few weeks I will be starting some for the garden. Will have to save the water to use it on them.

Yes this is not the last you will hear on this subject.


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