This is an update of the sprouting project on our farm. Like I said before in a different thread, we went for five years without any litters. Since feeding sprouts we now have 14 new bunnies and are well on our way of building the population up once again for the dinner table.
We have been sprouting a lot of different seeds to see which ones sprout the best and which ones the rabbits like, we rotate the different ones so they get used to them all. We have fed barley, red wheat, white wheat, sun flower, safflower, oats and soon will be getting some millet from organic growers near by. The rabbits seem more content, and less depressed hopping around more and drinking more water. We also put apple vinegar in the water still and the sunflowers seem to give the tocopherols they need for vita. E, for reproduction and good winter coats. We start with 3/4 # of the seeds to sprout and once sprouted it weighs 1.5# and cost us about .80 cents a day to feed 5 adults and 14 little ones and takes about 15 minutes longer to care of the sprouts and feed. We start the seeds indoors for 3 days and then in the green house for 3 days it seems the last three days in sun light is the most important. We feed the sprouts at 2 inches and green. This is just the thing our farm needed in the winter months until we can graze and have the fodder from other sources but we may still supplement all year just to see how things go, compared to last year.
I have a wikipedia link to sprouting seeds. and pictures but cant get the pictures to work here.
We got the seed from a feed store that sells it for the birds and its organic. Its a little different to spout because of the hard shell. We had to rinse it 2 time during the process to get the hulls out of the sprouts so they didn't mold. but they are big thick sprouts once sprouted, almost the same as sunflower sprouts. the grains are a lot easier because they don't have hulls to mold.
I have been wanting to grow sprouts for my rabbits and chickens. I researched the subject on the 'net and found out you could do it without all the rinsing and so forth by using a damp terra cotta clay saucer like you would use under a potted plant.
Here is one of the links I found. The post about using saucers is close to the end of the page. http://www.holisticbird.org/pages/dsprouts.htm
I just bought two 10" saucers and I am going to give this method a try. I understand from reading some other posts that gelatinous seeds like flax don't work very well with this particular method. Nearly all the types of seeds that you would normally give to chickens and rabbits should work though.
I have sent an e-mail to them! Hopefully they will write back and I can share the information here.
This is the response I received - I am not sure why TOP's said this, accept it apparently was a problem. Milo (also known as super millet or sorghum) is a seed that contains cyanide. It appears to be OK in the dry form but when you add water and the seed sprouts, the cyanide content increases and is potentially fatal.
When you purchase the cheaper wild bird seed mixes, the bigger orange seed is usually Milo. Interestingly enough, my wild birds never ate the stuff, it was always on the ground uneaten. We started buying a finch mix at the feed store instead so there wasn't any waste. I am so glad we did this now that I know about this because inevitably what fell to the ground would start to sprout.
Thanks again, Tracie
I will have to say that when I have given my rabbits and my chickens mixtures that contained milo they usually leave it behind too. Must be something about it they don't like and I would trust an animal's judgment when it comes to food more often than the corporate mentality.
I imagine that milo is the livestock equivalent to all the corn syrup that is added to our food supply - Cheap filler.
I think I will avoid milo containing feeds even more so than I did before.
I've been feeding milo heads to my bunnies and they are thriving on it. Their coats seems plusher (Rex) and they are excited to eat and really go after them. We had excess heads on the ground after harvest, so my Mom was kind enough to gather them up and bring them to me for free feed. I was mixing it in with my alfalfa pellets, but I've been feeding it straight for a couple of weeks. Like what I see. They also get free choice brome hay.
do the rabbits eat the hole head of the milo or just the seed off the heads. I wonder if all the milo produces this toxin and if it was sprouted then cooked or dried if it would reduce it . some legumes cant be sprouted because of toxins one is kidney bean, and cant be eaten until cooked. but it sounds like I wont be sprouting milo. to bad there's ton of it here. in kansas I don't know if they have a gmo version maybe thats the reason for the cyanide??