Sprouting Methods

Several ways offered by different listmembers Doing sprouts is pretty simple with some attention to detail. Clean area, good water and fresh air are three important factors, plus you must have clean and fresh ingredients to start with. We use 1/2 gallon wide mouth jars for ours, but you can buy smaller sprouting kits at most health food stores.

For your sprouts there are many ways to go about it. You can buy pre-mixed formulas of grains, seeds and legumes or mix your own. We have done it both ways. China Prairie has a very good mix, plus most any other item you would need to do your sprouts. Most bird stores or feed stores will have a sprout mix. If you feed a seed mix to your bird you can use it, if it does not have coloring or pellets in it. If your seed mix does not sprout then it is old and should not be fed in any form to your birds.

This is a list of the ingredients in China Prairie’s sprout mix: Hulled Sunflower seed, Whole Yellow Corn, Whole Oat, Brown Rice, Hi Pro Wheat Berry, Whole Green Pea, Garbanzo(chickpea), Mung Bean, Buckwheat, Millet, Fenugreek, Pumpkin Seed, Sesame Seed, Quinoa, Radish Seed, Mustard Seed, Red Clover Seed.

When we buy and mix our own we get them in bulk at a health food store. We pretty much buy what ever they have. Some of the items we use are: Adzuki Beans, Mung Beans, Lentils, Raw Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Millet, Sunflower Seeds(with and w/o shell), Pumpkin Seeds, Wild Rice, Wheat Berries, Quinoa…..etc, etc.

Since about August of 98 we have been using a Pigeon Mix. A typical mix will have the following ingredients: Milo, Canadian Peas, Wheat, Oat Groats, Austrian Peas, Corn, Rice, Canary Grass Seed, and Red Proso Millet. To this we will add Popcorn, Adzuki Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Mung Beans, Wheat Berries, Sunflower Seeds and Quinoa. One big advantage of the Pigeon Mix is the cost. We pay about .25 a pound at the local feed store.

Using the 1/2 gallon jar, I place about 2 1/2 cups of dry sprout mix into the jar and rinse several times. Cover with water generously and let soak. I usually let soak for 4-8 hours with a couple of rinses along the way. At the end of the soak, rinse a few more times real good and place container at a very steep angle so it may drain thoroughly.

We place them in the Sprout tower available from China Prairie. Every 4-6 hours or so rinse and place back into tower. Depending on how warm the area is you will have sprouts starting in 12 hours or so. You do not want the sprout to grow very long. If they get much more than 1/4 inch they will start to get bitter. When you feel the sprouts are of sufficient length place about two or three drops of bleach into jar and fill with water. Let soak for 15-20 minutes and once again rinse thoroughly and drain. You can use GSE instead of bleach. You can now place the jar in the refrigerator. Use as needed, they will store like this for about 3 days.

I know it seems like a lot of rinsing but it works. We make a batch almost every day like this and we have never had one go bad. Ginny B&G Birds

I drill twenty holes through the bottom of a stainless steel dog bowl. I use the gallon size. I gather my seeds, corn, Chinese red peas, green peas, mung, sunflower seeds and some mixture of smaller seeds. I scrub as I’m washing clothes on a washboard as much as five times. I do all of this in that pan. I fill a gallon Tupperware Square pan with water and mix 6 cc’s of Nutribiotic in this water. Pour my mixture in that square pan and cover very lightly with the cover. I do not seal the cover…just lay it over to avoid anything getting into my solution.

I leave at least 18 hours…..then pour into the stainless steel pan as the water from my faucet runs through this mixture and out the bottom into my sink. I have a corner sink with a high faucet as I can set the pan on the middle shelf between my sinks as the water runs through the mixture for a good rinse. I do this several times and let drain set this drain mixture pan into the square Tupperware and still allow to drain and sometimes take a 60 cc syringe and suck up the puddle that it may make. I slightly cover again with that same cover just to avoid anything getting into the mixture. I rinse twice a day..however by the end of the second day…my mixture of sprouts are eaten.

I do put over Howard Voren’s green mixture especially if I have females laying eggs.  Cherane

I sprout the Pigeon mix and add everything to it I have a large trash can that I mix everything up in a friend of mine showed me this and she has the most beautiful birds perfect feather and have big beautiful babies…. Pigeon seed mix lentils mung beans field peas popcorn green peas and anything else that I see I just add it right on into the mix and just take out by the handfull so that I have a good mix to sprout…..

Hope this helps you… my birds seem to really like it…


From: “joey” Mung beans, barley, buckwheat, wheat berries, corn, peas and a few other miscellaneous ones. In the winter, I sprout different beans. Summer time, I don’t use as many beans. They spoil too quickly Joey

I wanted to add my favorite type of sprouting grain, quinoa (prounounced kee-wah). This is an absolutely amazingly healthy grain, and it sprouts in 4-10 hours to boot! I have some information on quinoa if anyone is interested. It’s a tiny thing, but my birds all seem to love it. I also use it served as is, or in birdie bread. My sprouting method is also to use GSE. I sprout in a conventional sprouting jar with the screen lid. I use China Prairie, with quinoa, and add some organic shelled sunflower and hard winter wheat (human grade, organic, on all these seeds/grains). I wash/rinse this well in cool water. I then fill to a few inches above the sprouting mix with 10 drops GSE and water. I let this soak for about 6 hours 4-6 is fine, drain well for about an hour, and let them sit for the night and the next day with just turning, no rinsing.

That evening I rinse and rinse and rinse the sprouted mix, fill to cover sprouts with water and 10 drops of GSE. I let this sit for about an hour, drain completely and immediately pop it in the refrigerator. I use this up in one to two days, but it will stay just fine if kept cold for 3-4 days. I feed sprouts with the soft food in the am, and these bowls are removed and washed after 2 hours, 3 hours max. Most of my birds have eaten all the sprouts by that time anyway. The only birds that get sprouts for the afternoon and evening meals are those that are feeding babies. In the heat of summer I may shorten the sprouting time, and not give it a whole night and day out. I’ve not had any problem with sprouts spoiling, but I am very cautious and smell and taste them myself. If I accidentally leave the sprouts out more than the one night, I throw the whole mess away, because its just not worth the chance of any problem.

My understanding is that you shouldn’t sprout soy beans because of some enzyme contained in the bean, but I cannot remember *exactly* why. Wild Prairie

It only takes me about 24 hours to sprout – perhaps that’s because it’s pretty warm right now and things move faster. I start in the morning – I rinse the beans/seeds very well under cold water (I can’t remember if I read that hot or cold is better). Then I put them in a bowl and cover with water. I add a few drops of GSE (again, I’m sprouting on a smaller scale than many). About 12 hours later, I rinse the mix in a colander, let drain for a bit, then put the colander in the bowl (I actually use a pie pan). I place a wet washcloth over the top. I am a night owl and usually up pretty late, so before I go to bed, I give another rinse and replace the washcloth. In the morning, I re-rinse before feeding. At this point, most of the beans and seeds have a little tiny tail. This is how I do it – if anyone has any suggestions as to how to make it safer, I’d appreciate it! I’m thinking, as I am probably going to be “outgrowing” my colander and bowl soon, of using one of those lift and sift cat pans (new, of course), with a layer of screen at the bottom. This way I could add GSE to the rinse water, as well.

I usually mix about 50% sprouts and 50% mixed vegetables and feed mid-morning. I then pull bowls right after lunch. I would say the longest they stay in the cage is probably 3 hours, not even that long for the birds I have outside.


I feed sprouts year round. All my birds are outside. Here in Virginia Beach it gets very hot (we’ve had quite a few 100 degree days already this summer) and humid. I fight mold all the time, even on apparently dry pellets. However, I am able to put out fresh sprouts on a daily basis and have them remain sweet for 24 hours. (not that there are usually many left)

I make mixed sprouts daily from well washed organic seeds/nuts/beans. My soak is distilled water with hydrogen peroxide, as is my twice daily rinse.

I use food grade h2o2. Not sure why that’s important, but apparently the kind you get in the drug store may have impurities. You can get food grade at the health food store, which costs a fortune ($18 for 16 oz) where I shop, anyhow, or order it from someplace like http://www.oxytherapy.com, and get it for $50/gallon. What you get is 35% h2o2. You then water it down to a 3% solution by removing 10 oz of water from a gallon of distilled water and then adding 10 oz. of the 35% h2o2. Then you have your gallon of base solution. For sprouting seeds, you add 1 oz 3% to each pint of water. That works out to 1 cup of 3% per gallon of distilled water to make your sprouting water.

Anyhow, I ordered a gallon of 35% h2o2 in sept of 98, according to my notes, and have a little more than half of it left still. (I make about a gallon of sprouts per day.) Keep it in the freezer.

I gather that you do not rinse it off prior to feeding?

No, I don’t rinse it off.

In this weather the sprouts are usually ready by the second day. I don’t mix anything with them when I feed, just top dress with a sprinkle of seeds, and I am careful to feed them in a bowl which is relatively wide and flat, so that there are no deep dark damp corners where mold would thrive. Also, I am very careful that the sprouts are “dry” when I feed them. They are still fresh, but they just aren’t wet. Since they have drained for twelve hours since the last rinse, only the ones on the bottom of the sprouting container are damp or wet, and those don’t go to the parrots. This is the first summer when I have fed sprouts almost exclusively, and so far I have had no problems. By comparison, when I feed fresh corn on the cob, if I leave it twenty four hours, it will start to get moldy.

A couple of notes: Garbanzo beans and corn, both of which make great sprouts, both seem to sometimes harbor mold. Now and then I will lose a whole batch to mold (just a tiny bit and the whole batch goes to the guineas!) and when I dig through to see where it started, it is almost always centered around a garbanzo or corn.

You can tell if you have mold by smell…your sprouts should always smell wonderfully fresh. Your nose will tell you right away if there is a problem. And if your sprout container is warm when you handle it, warmer than the surrounding temp, so that you notice it, there is mold growing somewhere in it, I promise.

Some folks advocate adding orange juice or ascorbic acid to the sprouts before they feed them to retard spoilage. Haven’t tried it so can’t comment. You could probably also add GSE. I do know that when I have tried a final extra rinse with my hydrogen peroxide solution, thinking that would give extra “last minute” protection, that in fact what I got was moldy clumps in the corners of the bowls twenty four hours later. So I don’t do anything that adds moisture to the sprouts when I serve them.


Sprouting Flax, Chia, Psillium Terra Cotta is great for sprouting Flax seed and Chia seed, without having the mess and goo from the jar method. A simple way to sprout Flax (or Chia, Pysllium, and Cress) is to use 1 large terra cotta plate (saucer shaped, and UNglazed) and two large dinner plates…these are the basic *tools.*

Soak the unglazed terra cotta saucer in water for 15 min. or until it stops bubbling….this is to saturate the terra cotta with water.

This water saturated plate is set on a dinner plate. Lightly sprinkle a layer of seed into the terra cotta saucer. The bottom layer of seed will stick to the terra cotta, shake off the excess seed. Pour a little water into the dinner plate. This will be absorbed to the seed. Cover the terra cotta saucer with the remaining dinner plate. What you have is a *sandwich* of plates with the dinner plates on the outside.

After a day or 2 check and change the water in the bottom plate. Also check the progress of the seeds/sprouts. IF the sprouts appear to be growing unevenly or appear dry, lightly mist them with water, using a fine mister. IF they appear to wet, remove the water from the bottom plate for a day. Check the sprout daily for the next 4-5 days. ***They are always covered during this time**

On the 4th or 5th day remove the cover and expose the sprouts to sunlight (on a windowsill or partial shade outside) to green the leaves. You will still maintain water in the bottom plate, and also mist the sprouts once a day.

After the sprouts are the desired height, you can *harvest* them by pulling them from the terra cotta. They will come out in *Mat* form, and then you can put them in a zip lock and refrigerate, and use over the next few days.

Scrub down your saucer in a light bleach water solution, and allow to fully dry (preferably in sunlight) before re-using.


I take the jar and now use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the mixed seed mix (both the larger and smaller seeds that I get from CP as I have all the way from Finches now to the Toos and Macaws) and put it in the jar.. I rinse it well with water, and then drain… I make up a gallon ( the good water that we go out and buy, not the tap stuff….ick) of the soaking solution at a time. The CP directions are to use 8 cc of the solution they send you to 1 gal of water. I then fill that water to a bit over the seed level and keep the jar in the pantry ( dark and cool area of the house) for about 12 hours….. I usually do this in the morning so that I can take it out in the evening to be ready for use the next morning. When I get it out., all I do is drain it…………… Shar