Do you grow sprouts?
If you do, are they for your own use—salads, stir-fries, crunchy sandwich toppers?
Or, have you grown them for your chickens?
Last winter, I was asked to try growing fodder for my chickens. I discovered that the green fodder mat became a healthy addition to the flock’s daily diet. They knew that the blue dish that came to the coop with their fresh water every morning contained something special, and it didn’t take long for every morsel to be gobbled up. It seemed to me that feathers were a bit shinier, eyes a bit brighter—and it’s a fact that there was no illness in the coop last winter.
So, a few weeks ago when I was offered, by a representative from mercola.com, an opportunity to review their sprouting seeds, I was eager to give it a try. The box came just before the holidays, and it’s been sitting under the bench in the front room until the decorations were down and the majority of the houseguests had departed. This box contained some other items in addition to a 3-oz. package of organic sprouting seeds (broccoli). I decided to review the sprouting seeds, and offer other products to you as a giveaway.
The instructions told me to begin with a wide mouth quart jar and a sprouting lid. I have plenty of quart jars, and since I sprout various grains and seeds here in my kitchen quite often, I already have sprouting lids in graduated sizes. If you do not have sprouting lids, here’s an article showing a clever way to make your own lids at home.
- Step 1: Put 1 tablespoon of the seeds into the jar, add cool water, cap with the sprouting lid, and soak the seeds for two hours.
- Step 2: Leaving the cap on, drain, rinse and repeat. Turn the jar on its side at an angle (so it will continue to drain). I leaned the jar in a bowl. Cover the jar with a towel to keep it out of the light. You could also just put the bowl with the jar into a dark cupboard.
- Step 3: Repeat the rinsing and draining every 8 to 12 hours over the next 3 to 5 days. Return the jar to the bowl and cover again. You’ll notice each time that things are happening to the seeds.
First, tiny sprouts will start showing, then more and more,
eventually the first little leaves will arrive. And this all in less than a week!
- After the last rinse, remove the towel and put the jar in a sunny spot. The sprouts will turn green in the light –and they are ready to eat.
I started the sprouting on Monday, put them on the windowsill Saturday morning, and Sunday morning took them out to the henhouse for the ladies.
It has been quite cold for the past few days, and the ground here in Western New York has been covered with snow for a week or so longer. Other than kitchen scraps of lettuces, carrots, cabbages and apples, the hens have received no fresh produce in a while. My hens are a curious lot, anyhow, and the moment I entered the chicken coop with the blue treat bowl in my hand they began crowding around and discussing amongst themselves what it might contain.
As soon as I set the bowl down, the chickens jostled for positions and began to sort through the sprouts. They had them half finished by the time I had cleaned out the nests, refilled the feeder and swapped out water jugs. As a chicken treat: the broccoli sprouting seeds from mercola.com were a success!
I did try a couple of the sprouts myself, I’ll confess, and found them refreshingly crunchy. I have two more jars soaking right now, and I think a handful of those will go on my lunch next week.
Sprouted broccoli seeds are an easy to prepare, obviously tasty treat for chickens.
I like the fact that the seeds provided to me by mercola.com were organic, non-GMO verified. I’m fussy about feeds and seeds.
I did research the health benefits of broccoli seeds, and found that they contain
sulforaphane – a potent compound responsible for boosting cell enzymes to help protect against molecular damage. Additionally, I just like the idea of feeding living greens to my flock.
Will I continue to use sprouted seeds for flock treats? Yes, I am certain I will. In fact, I’ve discovered that I can purchase three types of sprouting seeds from mercola.com right HERE, so if I decide I want to try something besides broccoli sprouts with my flock, I can do that, too. (This is the link so you can purchase them, too!)
DISCLAIMER: I was provided with sprouting seeds (broccoli) from mercola.com, but the opinions in the review are entirely my own—and that of my flock of 17 hens.