How to Sprout Seeds for Chickens February 7, 2018

When the winter comes and the cold sets in, there are fewer fresh greens for our chickens to forage. Fresh greens, grasses, and sprouts are a huge part of their foraging diet most of the year… that is, until winter. That’s why we love giving the chickens something fresh over the winter, a treat to keep their spirits and energy up. So we sprout seeds for chickens from some of their favorite foods, to spoil them over the cold days.

Beans are a good choice!

Sprouting seeds for chickens is a quick and easy project for your home kitchen. In fact, you only need a couple of things…

All you need is a jar, screen and seeds!

What you’ll need to sprout seeds for chickens

Aside from the seeds you’re sprouting, here’s all you’ll need:

  • Mason jars
  • Jar rings/lids
  • A piece of screen or cheese cloth
sprout seeds for chickens - materials

Materials needed

For your seeds, you’ll want to choose seeds from plants edible to chickens. Beans are easy to get at the grocery store, but you might also choose alfalfa seeds or even grass seeds. (If you choose grass seeds, make sure they are NOT chemically treated with fertilizers or pesticides!)

How to sprout seeds for chickens

  1. First choose your seeds you’d like to sprout.
  2. Pour the seeds into a jar, enough to cover about 1/4 of the base of your jar. Once they sprout , they’ll fill up the entire jar, so don’t over fill. If it’s not enough for your flock, add a second jar rather than overcrowd the one.
  3. Now fill the jar/s with water—just enough to cover your seed—place a screen or cheese cloth over the mouth of the jar, and screw on the lid ring. Set aside for at least 12 hours, but no more then 24.
  4. Flip your jar over the sink and drain all the water out you can. (Seeds should be damp, but there should not be standing water.)
  5. Set aside until tomorrow. Anywhere on your counter is just fine. They don’t need sunlight.
  6. Each morning refill your jar with water, swish it around to moisten, and then dump the water out immediately. You only want to keep your seeds slightly damp from now on. Do this step daily until your seeds have sprouted.
  7. When they get their first tiny green leaves—about a day or 2 after you see the root emerge—ta-da! You have just learned how to sprout seeds for chickens!). Depending on the seeds you’re sprouting, this will take approximately 7-10 days in total.

Soak your seeds no more then 24 hours to get them started.

Sprouting seeds forĀ  chickens – My schedule

I personally sprout seeds for chickens in my flock in a couple different jars a week, each a few days apart so we have a fresh jar of sprouts to give the birds regularly. We also switch up the seeds we do so they have a yummy new treat each time.

The My Pet Chicken Salad seed packets are my favorite because they are non-GMO mixed seeds from common plants chickens love. AND I can get 2 jars of sprouts per pack!

Sprout seeds for chickens -- jar of sprouts

Seeds have sprouted and will be ready to feed to the chickens tomorrow!

Do you sprout seeds for your chickens? Or do you have a different special treat you make for your chickens to help them get through the long cold days of winter?

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