During the winter months, it can be a bit more difficult to ensure your animals get all the nutrients they need to stay happy and healthy. Scratch and Peck Feeds out of Bhrefington, Washington has the answer with their line of organic whole grains and easy-to-follow instructions on how to safely sprout them. Your chickens and other livestock will love it.
All About Scratch and Peck Feeds
The folks at Scratch and Peck Feeds take a hands-on approach to their products. In addition to the whole grains, they produce treats and feeds for chickens and livestock. You’ll find a wide range of their products at Coastal.
Growing Sprouts or Fodder is Easy
Offering your chickens and other livestock macro- and micro-nutrients is an easy 4-step process.
Step 1: Get the Right Grains
You’ll want to use quality, whole grains to produce your sprouts. Freshness can also play an important role in creating quality sprouts and fodder. Older grains will not germinate as well.
Step 2: Sanitize Everything
Water-soaked grains can quickly mold, especially if your hands, jars, or trays are dirty. Be sure to sprout grains in clean containers and always remember to wash your hands beforehand.
Step 3: Rise, Soak, and Drain
First, fully submerge your grains and soak them for 24 hours. The container you use should be able to fit all the whole grains plus 2-3 times the amount of water along with room for the grains to expand. For smaller amounts of grains, a mason jar with a mesh lid is often large enough. Use a tray with adequate drainage if you’re growing a lot of sprouts.
After the initial 24 hours, rinse the grains and drain thoroughly. Excess water will encourage molding, so it’s important to ensure there’s no standing water in the container. Set the container in a windowsill or anywhere where it will get some light. Try to avoid intense, direct sunlight.
Every 24 hours, rinse and drain the grains again. The whole process usually takes upwards of three to five days, depending on the grains and whether the goal is sprouts or fodder. Sprouts are ready to feed as soon as white sprout tails appear, which is great for chickens and ducks. If growing fodder for monogastric and ruminant animals, the sprouts can continue to grow into 2” greens before feeding.
Coastal tip: Offer sprouts to chickens before the gains reach the fodder stage. The longer grasses can block the crop.
Step 4: Feed Your Animals
This is the easiest part of all. Either add sprouts or fodder to their feeder or toss on the ground.