Let’s look at the process of preparing and soaking bird seed, because over recent years there has been a growing appreciation of the fact that in the wild, virtually no birds feed only on dry seed.
All pet birds can gain a lot of benefits from being fed either soaked or sprouted seeds from time to time.
Many of the pulses such as mung beans, which are popular for human consumption are now often used as bird food, especially for parrots, alongside more conventional seed like millet and canary seed.
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Preparing And Soaking Bird Seed
You can start the process by washing the seed in a sieve under running water to remove any dust that may have accumulated during storage.
Tip the rinsed seed into a heatproof container and cover with hot water. Leave it to stand overnight. I use hot water to speed up the results, but you can also use cold water.
This treatment of the seed triggers the germination process, causing the protein levels in the seed to rise, and increasing the level of Vitamin B.
The seed also changes in texture when it is saturated and it becomes soft and more digestible.
Soaked seed is especially valued during breeding season when there are chicks in the nest. Soaking bird seed can also prove a lifesaver for sick or weak birds, especially small finches that don’t have the strength to crack the dry seed. If they can get the soaked seed into their systems they have a significantly improved chance of recovery.
After being left to stand, the soaked seed must always be washed again very thoroughly before being fed to the birds. It will now be perishable, so any seed left uneaten at the end of the day must be thrown out before it becomes contaminated with molds. This is especially likely during hot weather.
The same applies in the case of sprouted seed, which is prepared in the same way as for human consumption. First, wash off the sprouts thoroughly in fresh water before offering them to the birds.
You will soon be able to gauge the amount of seed needed by your birds to avoid unnecessary wastage.
What Types of Seed Can You Soak And Sprout?
These are some examples of perfect soaking birdseed:
- Japanese millet
- mung beans
- panicum millet
- canary seed
If you would like to purchase any of the seeds online, simply click on the pics below.