Monday, March 17

Lentils for Chickens

A little bit ago I posted about an idea I found about giving my hens a treat of sprouted lentils as I winter treat. After following the directions I successfully sprouted half a bag of lentils and the chickens gobbled them up like candy on Christmas morning. It felt so nice to be able to offer them a fresh treat in the middle of winters chill. Their main winter treats are bread scraps and carrot peelings and up until this point it has not occurred to me to 'prepare delicacies' for the ladies.

But that is how things seem to be going for me lately. I find myself saying "I never thought of that" quite a bit. And mostly it concerns a subject that should be blatantly obvious.

 
Here are the instructions as written by Rachel Hurd Anger in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of Hobby Farm Home:
 
"First, fill about 20 percent of the canning jar with dry lentils, then secure the cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar with a length of yarn. Cheesecloth makes it easier to wash the lentils without losing any of them down the drain. I rinse the lentils several times just like I wash dry beans, and then fill the jar with water and let the lentils soak overnight.
 
By morning, the lentils absorb enough water that they take up about half of the jar, leaving enough room for the sprouts to grow into the rest of the jar. I rinse the lentils a few more times, pour out all the water and usually find that a few have already begun to sprout overnight. Then I place the jar upside down on a plate to keep the lentils moist and cover it with a kitchen towel to keep them in the dark.
 
I leave the sprouting lentils at room temperature for 48 hours, rinsing them three times per day to keep them clean. After a final rinse, finished lentil sprouts store best in the fridge where the chill will slow additional growth and knock out any bitterness. casting out a few handfuls of lentil sprouts can keep cold, bored chickens happily chasing after those little snacks as if they'd sprouted legs."

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