Have you seen the cost of chicken feed lately?!? Not to mention any produce at the grocery store. If you're anything like me, you're always looking for ways to cut costs.
So I thought I'd share this post on how to grow lentil sprouts.
This post is about sprouting lentils for your family's lentil recipes as well as growing lentils for chickens.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
So I LOVE green lentils, red lentils, and brown lentils too. They're cheap, delicious, and pack a nutrition punch!
That's why lentils are one of the items we buy in bulk to stock our prepper pantry.
And I love the earthy flavor and crunchy texture of lentil sprouts (and bean sprouts too.)
If you want to reduce the cost of your chicken feed and provide your chickens with an extra burst of nutrients, start sprouting your own healthy legumes and grains like these sprouted lentils.
They are so easy to grow at home in mason jars. And they store well in the fridge for up to a week once sprouted.
They're also a great way to provide a nutrient-dense fresh greens, especially throughout the winter, for people and chickens alike.
Raw lentil sprouts are low in fat and have many nutritional benefits.
Lentil Sprouts for Chickens
A cup of sprouts is an excellent source of protein, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, b Vitamins, and antioxidants. Adding a few cups; of lentil sprouts to your chicken's weekly diet can help you stick to your homestead budget goals too.
When you germinate seeds, the nutrient level can be increased by as much as 300% Plus you can get a pound of lentils for around $1, making them an incredibly cheap addition and treat for your little egg producers!
WARNING: please remember that uncooked or unsprouted lentils can be toxic to your chickens.
Supplies for Sprouting Lentils
You can purchase sprouting lids online.
And you can make your own sprouting lids using mesh or plastic canvas for just pennies.
How to Grow Lentil Sprouts in a Mason Jar
There are several ways to sprout lentils, depending on the amount of sprouts you want and the supplies you have on hand.
We've used a wide mouth mason jar without a sprouting lid.
I used a paper coffee filter instead of a wide mouth mason jar lid. And then held it in place with a rubber band.
Pour dry lentils into the mason jar.
Cover completely with clean water and replace the lid.
Allow your lentils to soak all day or overnight.
Flip the jar over the sink and allow it to drain; you may need to move it around a bit to different tilts so it can drain properly.
Set the jar in a warm spot out of direct sunlight.
Two t three times a day, run cool water over the lentils to rinse them and then drain them well to remove excess water and prevent mold growth during germination.
Once the sprouting jar is full, transfer the jar to the refrigerator, and you can keep them for up to a week.
How Many Lentil Sprouts?
You can either half or double the number of lentils when you are sprouting lentils for chickens and for your family.
Use a wide-mouth mason jar or any other smaller glass jar.
You could even use a sprouting mat or multiple jars to increase the amount based on your flock or family size.
I recommend sprouting a jar and then starting another one three or four days later, rotating this way to keep your flock and family in the green.
FAQs on how to grow lentil sprouts
Here's a look at the questions we often get on growing tiny sprouts at home.
How long does the sprouting process take?
This depends on several things, including the variety of lentils, indoor temperature, time of year, and light. It usually takes us about 4-5 days to sprout fully.
However, my daughter says we once grew sprouts indoors in 2-3 days. But that might have been our mustard seed sprouts...
Can I sprout the regular lentils I buy from the health food stores?
Yes. We have had success growing raw sprouts from dry lentils and a pack of special sprouting seeds. So give lentils and lentil seeds a try.
We have had great luck growing kidney beans and growing black beans indoors over the winter; I'm up for trying it. (I'm also going to give mung beans a try, although Dan says he won't eat them.)
What happens if I forget to rinse the sprouts?
You could end up with moldy sprouts. Check them carefully, rinse them thoroughly with cold water.
I don't have a sprouting lid or a quart jar. What should I do?
No problem. Use any clean glass jar. Then you can use a damp paper towel, coffee filter, and rubber band instead of the lid. You could even use cheesecloth, but the key is good air circulation.
I found that the coffee filter gave better results. Maybe it had better air circulation.
How should I store my sprouts?
We use a plastic container with air holes -I think it had store-bought berries at once. Otherwise, I found the sprouts get pretty moldy.