Speaking For Parrots

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Just Sprout It! Part 2: Get Sprouting

There are several methods for sprouting, lots and lots of different equipment, and scores of opinions. The following is my method, which I think is the best. Although it might be easier to purchase a sprouter, spending a lot of money is not necessary. All you need are:

  • a stainless steel colander/strainer
  • a stainless steel, glass or ceramic bowl that can hold the strainer (I like using these whenever possible because they’re not porous and easier to disinfect)
  • a glass or ceramic bowl with lid
  • organic seeds, beans, nuts, grains, etc.

Sprouts 1 Dry1. Measure enough sprout mix to fill up about 1/3 of the bowl. Put all the mix into the colander and rinse under the tap for 30 seconds.

Sprouts 2 Soaking2. After rinsing, place colander and sprout mix in bowl and fill to top with water. You can use bottled water for soaking, but I use plain tap water. Soak for 6-24 hours. There’s really a lot of leeway on this, but I usually soak while I’m at work or overnight.

Sprouts 6 Last rinse

3. After soaking, lift out the colander with the sprout mix, and empty the water out from the bowl. Rinse the sprouts with cool tap water for 30 seconds using the sprayer attachment on your sink. If you don’t have one, I’d get the kind that attaches to the mouth of the faucet.

After rinsing, be sure to drain out as much water as possible. You can do this by flipping the mix within the colander, like you would strain pasta. Because water has surface tension the water tends to gather on the inside at the bottom of the colander. If the sprouts are left to sit in water, they will get moldy, so I take my finger and place it on the outside of the colander while tilting it. This lets whatever water that has gathered run down my finger, and this usually gets most of the excess water out of the colander.

Sprouts 3 Drain and Rinse

I then put the colander back in the empty bowl and let it sit until the next rinsing, which will be within the next 12 hours. The sprouts should be rinsed at a minimum of twice each day. The more you rinse and strain, the less likely it is you will develop mold.

When you don’t rinse, you are depriving the growing sprouts of the water needed to live and grow, and this defeats the purpose of feeding a living food to your birds. Also, more frequent rinsing lets the sprouts grow faster, so I try to rinse three times each day.


Although not yet done, this is about all you need to know in order to sprout. From this point on, you can feed at anytime, but I usually wait until at least when I see the little tails starting to show.

After soaking and two rinsings, from clockwise at top:

Sprouts 7 Ready for fridge

  • mung
  • black lentil
  • assorted wheat berries (hard, soft, winter, spelt)
  • sunflower (2)
  • adzuki (red)
  • green lentil

And after three days in the refrigerator:
Sprouts 10 Days in fridge

I’ve kept sprouts in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. What’s great about making extra is you don’t have to make them everyday, and there are different nutritional values for each growing period. I keep them in a glass bowl with a lid. And that’s it. If you mess up, just try again. I’ve had to throw away my share of mix that went bad. Sprouts should smell fresh and airy. If it has moldy, musty, or sour smell, toss ’em and start over. This can happen to anyone.

Sprouts 9 In bowl

7 comments on “Just Sprout It! Part 2: Get Sprouting

  1. Babs
    February 11, 2013

    They look like aliens!

  2. Patricia Sund
    February 20, 2013

    Beautiful commentary and nice photos. Very well explained!

  3. Julie Hamilton
    January 15, 2014

    Thank you Shari. I agree with Patricia Sund! 🙂 I only leave sprouted seeds for a duration of 2-hours feeding. What is the longest available time you leave sprouted seed for your birds?

    • Shari Mirojnick
      January 15, 2014

      I leave them in for the whole day. They get them in the morning, and I’ll leave them in until I get home, maybe sometimes 10 hours later. They’re still living in the bowl, so they’re not decaying. I imagine after a time they die in the bowl, but I think it takes much longer than two hours to die and start going bad.

  4. Julie Hamilton
    January 16, 2014

    This is interesting, Shari. I have always been concerned of them going bad very quickly due to room temperature, especially during winter when central heating is on.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      January 17, 2014

      I’ve never had this experience. If you were to fill a bowl with sprouts, I’d think the ones not getting air would grow mold; however, I give two tablespoons to each of my greys at breakfast (along with other items). I’ve never, ever had a problem with the sprouts in the bowl. They really just dry up slowly over the course of the day. For the past year, my parrots have been on a second-floor screened-in balcony in South Florida. Summers are hot and humid, yet the sprouts did fine. It really does take a while for them to die, and until they do, they are not decaying.

  5. Phol0395876268
    January 12, 2017

    Good on you Shari. Funny my cocky is called Shari too

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This entry was posted on February 11, 2013 by .