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Save Money on Chicken Feed by Sprouting Garden Seeds



Your garden's been planted, the season is almost over, and more than likely you've got some partial seed packets, or packets that never got planted. 

Maybe you have some seeds from previous years that you've been hanging on to but haven't planted either. 

Likely the germination rate won't be great if you hold onto them until next spring.

But wait! Don't toss them! 




It's so easy to sprout them for your chickens!

The chickens will love them, and sprouted seeds are so nutritious for them.

It's a great way to use up leftover seeds... and save a little money on your chicken feed bill.

And when you sprout a seed, you unlock nutrients from that seed, making them more available to the chickens, so there's a lot of nutritional power packed into those sprouts than there is even in the veggie! 

What you Need

The best part? 

You don't need any fancy equipment.

All you need is a glass jar. 

Something like a quart mason jar works great.

And then you need a rubber band and a small piece of cheesecloth.
Oh, and some seeds.

And water.
 
And that's it.

You can sprout almost anything. 

Beans, grains and legumes are commonly sprouted (or fermented), but things I sprout due to having leftover seeds from my spring planting are radishes, cucumber, broccoli, beets, carrots, melons and some of the herbs like parsley or basil.

I mean who really needs 50 cucumber plants? Those little packets usually have way more seeds in them than I really want - or need - to plant. 

So I save them all up and at the end of the season, I start sprouting!

What you Do

Since different types of seeds can sprout faster, while some take a bit longer, I usually like to do one variety at a time in a jar, but feel free to experiment and mix it up! 

Just pour up to 1/2" of seeds into your quart mason jar and then cover the seeds completely with cold water.

Put the piece of cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and secure it with the rubber band.
Let them soak overnight, then drain them.

Leaving the cheesecloth on, refill the jar with cold water and swirl it around so all the seeds get wet. 
Then drain the water out. 

You don't want any of the seeds sitting in water, so you can set the jar upside down in a bowl or your dish drainer rack.

Continue to refill, then drain, the jar twice a day so the seeds stay moist.

Within a few days, you should see the seeds begin to sprout. 

Set the jar on a partially sunny windowsill and continue to rinse and drain twice a day until you see some little leaves begin to form and the sprouts start to green up a bit.

Give them one final rinse, then serve 'em up to your chickens.  



Find this plus 100 more tips and tricks to help you raise chickens more easily and economically in my book 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks.


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Further reading:
https://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2012/10/growing-sprouts-for-your-chickens.html
https://wholefully.com/sprouting-101/
https://www.rimolgreenhouses.com/blog/pre-sprouting-seeds-101

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