One of the first things we discovered after buying our 12 hens is that they REALLY like to eat. If you are like us, we want to feed our laying chickens the best possible food to enable them to produce healthy, nutritious eggs in a few months so I went on the hunt for alternative food items that I can use to pack in the good stuff and not kill our budget.
Going non-GMO, Organic, non-soy isn’t cheap when you are looking at Chicken Starter. Sure you could head to your local feed mill and buy the cheap stuff but you don’t know what’s in it. Genetically modified grains and pesticides have no place in my home so I set out to learn new alternatives.
One new endeavor that I’ll be starting in the next couple of weeks will be sprouting barley to be used as fodder for our chicks. I’ll post about that with pics once we get our system in place. Until then, I needed something else so three days ago I decided to try my hand at sprouting lentils.
To be honest, this was WAY easier than I thought possible.
Items needed: organic lentils (i used the greenish/brown version and they worked great), masonry jar or another container, a mesh lid.
Day 1: Add a couple tablespoons of lentils (add more if you use a larger container like the one on the left show above) to the bottom of your masonry jar and cover with water. Let sit for 8-12 hours. Some people recommend adding a little vinegar to help disinfect any mold spores. This is optional.
Day 2: Rinse and drain all of the water out, keeping the lentils out of direct sunlight. Rinse and drain again in the evening.
Day 3-4: Rinse and drain twice daily. You can move the lentils closer to sunlight but not direct light. A southern exposure window would work well.
That’s it. It really is that easy. Be careful to make sure that you do not allow any standing water at the bottom of the jar which will increase the chance of mold.
I have seen online where you can use needlework plastic mesh cut to the size of your lid to create a perfect draining system but for my first attempt I literally just cupped my hand to catch any loose lentils. I will most likely switch over to the mesh or cheese cloth for ease when I begin rotating jars on a regular basis but for my first attempt, my hand worked just fine.
Tomorrow these sprouted lentils will become a treat for my chickens as an addition to their regular Chicken Starter.