Most any whole seed can be sprouted. This includes grains, beans, legumes, and other seeds (such as sunflowers). There are several benefits to sprouting grains. By sprouting the seeds, they become more nutritiously available - this means that when consumed, the body is able to absorb and use more of the nutrition from the same amount of seeds, than if those same seeds were consumed in their unsprouted form. Sprouting seeds also increases the content of some nutrients - the specific nutrients and level of increase will depend on the specific seeds being used. Additionally, feeding sprouts to livestock, such as chickens, increases the diversity of their feed. The chickens are able to consume both the seed/grain and the green sprouts they produce.
Sprouted fodder can be fed to most types of livestock. If you would normally feed the grain to a particular animal, then you can feed the same grain as sprouts to that same animal. As an example, whole oats can be fed to chickens, goats, and rabbits. Sprouted oats can also be fed to chickens, goats, and rabbits. The ability to feed the same feed to multiple species can be very convenient, and can also save on feed costs!
Growing sprouts can be as simple or as sophisticated as you want to make it. There are sprouting kits of all sizes available from many different resources. You can also make your own "kit" with basic items such as a canning jar for the initial grain soaking, and a shallow plastic tray or bowl for growing the sprouts.
I intend to experiment with feeding sprouted grains and seeds this year. Since this is not something I have tried yet, I will leave the more specific "how to" information for a later post that I will share with you once I have actually done it a time or two. It will be a learning experience, but hopefully a good one! If any of you have experience in feeding this way, I would love to hear from you!
Here are some great websites with more information on the benefits of sprouting seeds/grain, both for human and animal consumption.
A video from Joel Salatin on sprouting grains for chickens
None of the information contained on this site is intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise substitute for the care and advice from a qualified human or animal medical professional. Please consult the trusted medical professional of your choice before using any of the information contained on this site.