Why sprout you say? We all know that birds love seeds, but they are not very healthy for them. We can change this problem by sprouting. When you sprout seeds, nuts, grains or legumes, the nutrients change, it becomes a living food.
What happens during sprouting? Unsprouted seed and grains contain virtually no vitamin C. With sprouting, these levels can increase vastly. For example sprouted oats have 600% more vitamin C than unsprouted. On average most sprouted seed is 300% more nutritious than their dry unsprouted counterpart. Dangerous fats are converted to healthier soluble fatty acids and lipids, starches change to simple sugars, protein is broken down to their basic amino acids and vitamins are formed.
Food that requires very small amounts of energy for digestion is the perfect choice for parrots. Sprouts supply the body with high-quality nourishment, not only do they contain the many trace minerals, vitamins, and enzymes necessary for tissue repair for injured or sick birds, this "pre-digested food" frees the body from a large part of the task of digestion and speeds up the metabolism which can assist to overcome challenges to the immune system.
But won’t it take too long? Not true, sprouts may be harvested in only one day or up to five days after the first tiny tail peeks from the end of the seeds. They are at their peak of nutritional value and best fed when the sprout first appears, or when the sprout is around 5mm in length. After the fifth day of growth, the enzyme level of sprouts declines and it starts to get a bitter taste.
Sounds awesome but how do I sprout? When you are ready to embark on your sprouting adventure, start with Brookfield Produce’s sprout mix or a specialty sprout mix from Parrot Supplies Australia. Follow our easy directions for sprouting in a glass jar with a mesh lid held in place by a rubber band. Sprout mixes are made taking into account germination time, so please don’t just throw a regular seed mix into a sprouting container unless it is only one type of seed. Sprouts need moisture, proper temperature and adequate air circulation. As they grow, sprouts release carbon dioxide and other gasses and create waste that must be removed by rinsing.