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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There are several different ways to sprout. Here's the technique that I use, and everyone is welcome to add their techniques too.

I sprout in a mason jar with plastic canvas mesh in the lid. Like this:


although I'm actually using the smaller jelly jar size now.

Mason jars can be found in large grocery stores, sold in multi-packs. Plastic canvas can be found in the needlework department of craft stores like Michaels. The standard size seems to be #7 (the size indicates the number of holes per inch), which is fine for bigger seeds. But for small seeds like millet it’s best to use a finer mesh (#10).

At night, put the seeds/grains in the jar and put the lid on. Rinse them a few times by pouring water in, swirling it around a little, and draining. Don't drain the water the last time; let the grains soak overnight. I add a little apple cider vinegar to discourage mold and bacteria.

In the morning, rinse and drain. It's recommended that you leave the jar tilted downward so it can continue draining, but I live in the desert and simply laying the jar on its side works well for me. Rinse and drain again in the middle of the day (optional) and once again at night (not optional). In the morning rinse it one last time and give it to the birds. Right before feeding you can add red palm oil, chopped veggies, or other supplemental items if you want. Total prep time: about 36 hours. Total time actually spent working on it: about three minutes.

I start a new batch every night. So I have two jars going every night: the one that was just started, and the one that was started the previous night and will be served in the morning.

I use human-quality grains from the bulk food bins at the local whole-foods grocery. Stuff like wheat, kamut, spelt, barley, rye, etc - anything that looks like a seed. Quinoa is a great addition. So is your regular birdseed. Lentils, mung beans, garbanzos, and adzuki beans are good, but other beans are best avoided unless you're willing to cook them after they've sprouted. Even the acceptable beans need to have the tails sprouted out to a length of 1/4" to 1/2" to neutralize toxins. Grains don't have this issue, and are considered to be at their nutritional peak when the root is just barely starting to stick out of the seed. For bigger birds you can include bigger items like pumpkin seeds and popcorn.

You can do the same thing with other types of equipment, like the bowl and strainer technique. The strainer (or colander, coffee filter, etc) should fit comfortably inside the bowl. Everything is the same as above, except that you put your sprouting seeds in the strainer, which is put in the water-filled bowl. When you're ready to rinse you just lift out the strainer. Several commercial sprouters are available, and the Easy Sprout seems to be the most popular.

It's possible to store sprouts in the refrigerator for a few days, although it's so easy to make a new batch that I've never attempted to store any. Other people can probably offer better advice on doing it. You can't just put them in the fridge and ignore them because it takes some vigilance to avoid problems with bacteria etc. The technique that I've seen recommended the most is to continue rinsing them daily, drain them well, then store them in the refrigerator in a covered container with a paper towel in the bottom.

Some vigilance is need after the sprouts have been served too. Like any moist food, they provide a nice environment for mold and bacteria. So you have to make sure to take them out of the cage before they go bad. The amount of time that they stay good will vary depending on the humidity and temperature in your house. It could be anywhere from a couple of hours to all day long, and the safe period will fluctuate from day to day and season to season.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I like the look of the jars with the mesh, i don't think i've seen jars like that here.
The jars are probably available in Australia - they're canning jars for people who preserve their own fresh-picked vegetables. You might have a different brand though, and I don't know where they'd be sold. You have to get the mesh separately since the jar manufacturers didn't plan for sprouts!
 

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Mung Bean Sprouting and Nutritional Value

Here is my simple set up. Below that are the Nutritional details I have collected. There are more details that can be found on line.

So Rinse and Soak 4/6hrs Drain. Place in the dark,with good air flow.
Seeds need to be fresh and not treated. Mine come from Human Bulk Store.

Day 1 Rinse and Drain Put back in dark. You can start using them from now.



Day 2 Rinse and Drain Put back in dark.



Day 3 Rinse and Drain Put back in dark.



Day 4 Rinse and Drain Put back in dark. As you can see 100% strike rate.



I like to use sprouts fresh.
Mold is a big danger and if in doubt do not use them for your birds.

Now this is what is in the goodies. There as several References below

Good points
Low in saturated fat
No cholesterol
Low in sodium
Very high in dietary fiber
High in iron
Very high in manganese
High in magnesium
High in niacin
High in pantothenic acid
High in phosphorus
High in potassium
Very high in riboflavin
High in thiamin
High in vitamin B6
Very high in vitamin C
Bad points
Very high in sugar

Another:

Vitimins A. B1. B6. B17. C.

Zinc. Minerals. Amino Acids. Protein. Phytochemicals.

There are a few other sites that list other trace elements.
 

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I just use a small strainer and a bowl. Rinse well in warm water in the strainer, into the bowl of warm water overnight (warmth kicks off the process). Here there is little humidity so I loosely wrap in glad wrap. Leave overnight. Rinse and serve next day when just germinated.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, soaking them overnight is enough to soften them up. You don't have to mash them up, those sharp little beaks can really do a number on the grains. Sprouting is healthier than cooking because more of the nutrients are retained.

Birds that are accustomed to only dry foods may be offended by moist foods at first, although they'll learn. But if your birds are used to cooked grains they'll probably take to the soaked/sprouted kind right away. They look almost the same as the cooked.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The more I read about vinegar, the more I get the impression that it's all pretty much the same and the claims about the special benefits of ACV are hype. I used to use ACV for sprouting but now I use white vinegar and I haven't had any problems.
 

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I serve sprouts as distinct meals and I don't leave them in the cage. If I do leave them out it's for an hour or two max. Any longer at room temperature and they start to sour and grow bacteria. Once sprouted I leave them in the fridge in a container for up to 2 days. They start to sour if left to sprout for too long also so it really is a matter of keeping an eye on them and smelling them. If they smell sour or go gluggy, bin them. I sprout a new batch every couple of days, only a couple of tablespoons at a time so I don't waste too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
how long do you guys keep your sprouts available for the bird?
Sprouts will spoil eventually and several factors affect how long they stay safe. Warmer temperatures promote the growth of bacteria and mold more than cooler temperatures do. More humidity favors the growth of the bad stuff more than less humidity does. The pH and general quality of your water may have an influence. So you just have to be alert at first and do a sniff test several times a day to figure out how long you can leave them in the cage. This may vary with the season and weather factors.

The sprouts will keep on growing in the bowl for a while. But they will stop growing when they dry out.
 
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