Our friends over at Scratch & Peck shared this great article about sprouting seeds during the winter months to provide your flock (and your family!) with some extra fresh greens, not only for the health benefits but also to reduce your feed costs. We think this would be a great, family-friendly activity to do with the little ones.
"Each fall as the weather gets colder, free range opportunities become limited and the availability of fresh greens decreases. For domesticated livestock, this time of year means becoming more and more dependent on grain-based prepared feeds. Not only does the overall cost of caring for animals increase over the winter, but many plant sourced nutrients become difficult to access.
An easy way to provide fresh greens and reduce feed costs is to grow sprouts or fodder. When it comes to sprouts, the more the merrier! They are easy to grow, able to be used for a wide range of animals and livestock, and are a great addition to a salad or wrap for human consumption as well. By sprouting seeds before consuming, the overall content of vitamins A, C, E and B complex, minerals and protein increases (up to 20 times!) and becomes more bioavailable and digestible. Allowing the seeds to germinate creates an inexpensive source of concentrated nutrients. All sorts of grains and greens can be sprouted: Peas, barley, wheat, oats, sunflower seeds, beans, etc. Compared to dry grain, sprouts produce a much larger volume of feed. Just be sure to research which sprouted seeds are appropriate and safe to consume for the animals being fed."
To read more about how to sprout your own seeds, visit Scratch & Peck's website by clicking here.