Sprouting or Germinating Seeds, which is better?!

This information is beneficial to the new breeders who do not know the benefit of giving canaries soaked seeds as a daily diet. Also, to remind the experienced breeders that molting is the time of season when our Canaries need to be fed with Sprouted or Germinating seeds.

Note: Always smell sprouts before feeding. If they smell bad, are slimy or have become brownish, do not feed as this means they have been contaminated in some way.

Sprouted or germinated seeds  are a healthy food addition for your Canaries.

To be considered: Sprouted or Germinating seeds have been described as “a chemical vitamin factory in high gear, cranking out antioxidants and chlorophyll, and repackaging minerals and trace elements in a more bio-available form.” All of the stored food and enzymes needed for the growth of an entire new plant are mobilized as the seed sprouts. Protein, carbohydrates and fats are broken down (predigested) to free up amino acids, simple sugars and soluble compounds. Essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium are supplied by sprouts in “chelated form” for better assimilation.

Sprouted Seeds:

  • Sprouting Process: Sprouting is the practice of soaking seeds overnight (1 part seeds to 5 parts water), draining them, placing them into a sprouting jar (a sieve propped up in a bowl to allow the water to drain will do just fine); and then rinsing the seeds several times a day until they start to sprout (they usually start sprouting after about 24 hours) – at which time they are ready to feed. For the next days, the seeds will continue to grow. The different stages provide different nutrients to your bird. For a few birds, a few tablespoons of seeds are sufficient.  If properly attended to, the sprouted seeds will last for up to 5 days. Discard if a foul smell can be detected. If early spoiling is an issue, adding a few drops of Hydrogen Peroxide or GSE added to the rinsing water will prevent early spoiling. In most cases, this may not be necessary.Sprouted seeds are more nutrient-dense as they are high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll
  • Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process – thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds
  • Sprouted seeds are especially important for breeding or molting birds.
  • Sprouted seeds also serve as a great weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.
  • If a foul odor or mold develops, discard the sprouted seeds


Germinating seeds:

If you do not want to go through the trouble of longer and riskier process of sprouting, then use Germinating seeds.

  • Germination offers an easy, clean and safe way to provide superior nutrition to your birds. Simply soak the seeds to the point where the root tips show and feed to your birds ….
  • Germinating Process: Soak a daily portion of seeds in pure, clean water overnight. If you keep the seeds at room temperature, the seeds start germinating after 12 hours. If you keep the soaking seeds in the fridge, it will take around 24 hours to germinate
  • Germination is safer as the process is shorter and the seeds or grains don’t have time to deteriorate – and yet, germinated seeds also offer superior “living” nutrition similar to sprouts….
  • Only germinate one portion at a time

Common causes for sprouts to turn out inedible:

  • Seeds are allowed to dry out
  • Seeds are left in standing water
  • Temperature is high or too low
  • Insufficient rinsing
  • Dirty equipment
  • Insufficient air flow

Ways to Keep Sprouted Seeds fresh longer and prevent spoilage:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Add 1 ounce 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1 pint of water and soak the seeds overnight. Add the same amount of hydrogen peroxide each time you rinse the seeds. (It prevents bacterial growth)
  • GSE: Alternatively, adding a few drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) in the soaking and rinsing water will also prevent pathogens from developing. As an additional benefit, GSE also has good anti-parasitic properties.
  • Buffered, Powdered Vitamin C  (example Nutricology or other brand): A little powder added to the sprouting water should keep it fresh.
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: ACD alters pH and so is effective in killing many pathogens
  • Rinsing and draining well is very important
  • After sprouting commenced – keep refrigerated. Any surplus sprouts may be refrigerated up to two weeks

I hope this information will be helpful to everyone.

Yours in Fancy ,

Arben Bebeti