Chapter 1 – Why Feed Sprouts?

“I want to provide the best nutrition possible for my birds”, says Gail Worth, the owner of Aves International located in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Three of her staff members provide 1,000 birds with sprouts daily.

In Waco, Texas, Jane Thomas at Hillside Aviary has been breeding birds for 25 years raising macaws, cockatoos, African greys, Amazons, cockatiels, budgerigars, ring-necked parakeets, and Senegals. In October of 2001 she converted her 65 birds to sprouts. Thomas says, “ Feeding sprouts is more nutritious than cutting up fruits and vegetables, and it takes a lot less time.” After only six months of having her birds on the sprout-based diet she described their feather quality as, “Shimmering, they look like they’re ceramic.” She’s convinced it’s the only way to go.

Even avian rescue organizations have recognized the benefits of feeding sprouts to the birds under their care. Jill Bell, at The National Parrot Preservation and Rescue Foundation in Humble, Texas, says that, “The biggest change in feather condition I have ever seen in my birds
was the first complete molt after I started seriously feeding sprouts. And I still believe that today—many years later. I am a tremendous proponent of sprouting, as you can tell! “

What led Worth to convert her extensive aviary and why did Thomas change practices that she had employed for 25 years? And how was Bell convinced to feed sprouts to the birds under her care?

Their Superior Nutrient Content

When any nut, seed, legume, or grain is sprouted the chemical makeup changes. The sprout has two unique qualities. First, it is the only food that is fresh up until the moment it is eaten. And secondly, because it is a living food it contains life force energy.

Sproutable foods have between seven and 40 per cent protein. According to Brian Clement in Living Foods for Optimum Health during germination starches are converted into simple sugars, protein chains are broken down into their basic amino acids, fats are converted into soluble fatty acids, and vitamins are produced.

Sprouts are a rich source of vitamins A (beta-carotene), C, E, B, and antioxidants. In oats vitamin C increases 600 per cent after sprouting. Several sources including, Handbook of the Nutritional Content of Foods, prepared by the USDA state that while dry seeds, grains, and legumes are rich in protein and complex carbohydrates—they completely lack vitamin C. However after sprouting their vitamin C levels escalate to approximately 20 milligrams (mgs) per 3.5 ounces.

At Yale University Dr. Paul Burkholder studied the nutritional value of sprouted oats. His research determined that sprouted oats contained 10 percent more thiamine (vitamin B1), 1300 percent more riboflavin (vitamin B2), that pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) had increased 200 percent, pyridoxine (vitamin B6) had multiplied 500 percent, and biotin levels had raised by 50 percent.

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