Here on the blog, we’ve talked before about the problems associated with a feeding your parrot a seed-heavy diet. We’re proponents of feeding pellets, which are less fatty and more suitable for domestic parrots.
This being said: we also think seeds have their place. Especially sprouted ones! Let’s go into sprouting seeds for parrots and why you should be doing so.
Why sprout seeds for your parrot?
Dried seeds, like those in a parrot food mix, are mainly high in fats. Luckily it’s very easy to turn a seed mix (with no added pellets) as well as many other types of seeds into a nutritious snack for bird.
The secret is in the sprout. Freshly germinated seeds shoot up in nutrient density. And the best thing is that you don’t have to buy expensive sprouts: you can just germinate seeds at home.
Sprouting seeds for parrots step 1: Gather necessities
To sprout seeds for your parrot, you won’t need much.
- Seeds! This works with a very wide range of grains and legumes. For a nice variety, you could consider a special parrot sprouting mix.
- A sprouting tray, sprouting jar or just a mason jar with a mesh top.
- Some patience. Not a lot, though, as some seeds sprout very quickly!
Sprouting seeds for parrots step 2: Soaking
Although soaking isn’t a necessity for smaller seeds like millet, it does help. For sprout mixes that contain larger seeds, like lentils and corn, it can really speed up the process.
Soak small seeds for a few hours and large seeds overnight.
Sprouting seeds for parrots step 3: Time to sprout!
Once the seeds have finished soaking, prepare your sprouting tray or jar according to the instructions. If you’re just using a normal mason jar, give the seeds a rinse and pop them in there.
Lay the mason jar at an angle, pointing down. Re-rinse and drain the seeds twice a day or so. With the smallest seeds, you’ll notice the first roots popping out the next day.
Sprouting seeds for parrots step 4: Feeding
Once the first leaves pop up on your sprouts, it’s time to offer them to your parrot. Most parrots will recognize them as food right away, because they still resemble seeds.
You can keep sprouts in the refrigerator for a day or two. Do check carefully for mold or funky smells before feeding again!
To keep in mind
If you’re interested in sprouting seeds for parrots, a few things to remember are:
- Seeds increase in volume when they sprout. Don’t sprout too much or you might end up having to toss a lot!
- Sprouts are quite susceptible to bacteria and mold, which is why you rinse them twice a day. Use your eyes and nose to inspect them before use.
- Some parrots don’t know what to make of sprouts. Try mixing them in with your bird’s normal food or even dab a bit of peanut butter on them to make them more interesting.
Sprouting seeds for parrots has many advantages. Not just because sprouts are nutritious, but also because they make for an easy way to add variety to your bird’s diet, providing enrichment. It’s also a fun project to involve kids in!