Microgreens are super fun and easy to grow for your birds. They're also a nutritious addition to their diet.
Why feed microgreens?
Microgreens are tiny, young greens that are harvested when they are only a few inches tall. Despite their small size, they pack a powerful nutritional punch. These miniature versions of vegetables and herbs are incredibly nutrient-dense, containing higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants compared to their mature counterparts. With their concentrated flavor and vibrant colors, microgreens add a delightful burst of freshness to a parrots chop while offering an array of health benefits.
Grow them with just a small amount of counter space.
You can grow them in pots, trays or specialty microgreen containers using soil, coconut coir or hemp felt for the growing medium.
Some common seeds you can grow for parrots are wheat berries, clover, peas, sunflower, arugula, beets, broccoli, kale, rye berries, barley, endive and radish.
Typically seeds are soaked before growing. This gives them a head-start and eliminates some of the compounds in the seed that aren't necessarily good to eat. Raw nuts and seed contain an anti-nutrient called phytic acid which keeps the seed safe until conditions are right for it to grow. It's super important for the seed to have this protection, but it makes them hard to digest and interferes with our parrots ability to absorb nutrients when eaten. Soaking decreases the amount of these anti-nutrients, making it easier for your bird to digest and absorb nutrients from them.
Most vegetable seeds grown as microgreens are ready for harvest in about 2 weeks, though brassicas (like radish) have a faster growth rate, while herbs tend to take a little longer than 2 weeks.
Once grown, just cut the plant right above the growing medium and serve to your parrots. You can mix them with your daily parrot chop or serve them on their own. They're a great way to add diversity to your parrots diet.
We're very excited to be finishing up ParrotUp Pantry Food COURSE that will give you LOTS of ideas for feeding, foraging and growing food for your parrot. If you'd like to be the first to know when it comes out, sign up for our email list below.
You'll also get our FREE "Survival Guide to a Picky Parrot" with lots of great tips and tricks to getting your parrot eating more healthy foods. Just enter your email in the box below and it will be delivered to your inbox.