Sprouted seeds can be offered to most parrots such as conures, macaws and lovebirds, provided they’re not fussy eaters. Unlike the traditional bird seed mix, sprouted seeds are a healthier option as they are low in fat. During the germination process, fats are converted to vitamins and minerals. Therefore sprouted seeds offer great nutritional value with loads of protein, antioxidants, vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin B.
Ironically, sprouted seed are popular amongst younger parrots as they are easier to digest. After an overnight soaking, they become soft and scrumptious, similar to the consistency of regurgitated food. Additionally, you can use this awesome method to wean your fussy birds off an all seed diet.
Sprout Seed Varieties
Some distributors or pet stores may offer premixed sprouts that only require you to soak and germinate. However if you prefer to have control over what you feed your birds, you can select any of the following seeds:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Rape Seed
- Canary Seed
- Faba Bean
- Mung Bean
- White Millet
- Grey Stripe
- Green Peas
- Wash seeds thoroughly under running water to remove any dust
- Fill a clean jar or container with the seeds – ensure the container is 3 times the volume of the seeds
- Fill the jar or container with fresh water (all seeds should be submerged)
- Rest the seed & water mixture for 24 hours or until all seeds have softened and swelled
- Remove the seeds from the jar and rinse under running water (use a strainer)
- Spread the seeds on a flat tray or sieve
- Allow the seeds to rest at room temperature for 2-3 days
- In between, rinse and toss the seeds with water every 18-24 hours so seeds remain damp
Within 24 hours sprouts will begin growing and dinner is served for the next 2-3 days for your birdy companions!
You must discard the seed mix if you detect any of the following (as it will be harmful to your bird):
- Spoiling (bacterial/fungal/yeast growth)
- Rotting or foul odor
- Sprouted seed mix past 3 days
However there are some steps to take to prevent spoiling of your sprouting seed mix. During the rinsing phase (step 8) you may add 20mL of 3% hydrogen peroxide to every 470mL of water. Alternatively add 2 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract to the rinsing water. This should kill off any pathogens present on the mix.