💦I grow sprouts for my chickens in the shower!!

Yup – as my shower warms up it is washing the sprouts.

Sprouts are the best food for your chickens (and pigs) and you can sprout any grain loitering in the back of your cupboards. I have wheat in the fields so that is my main grain to sprout.

I have always been wary of food I cannot recognise as food (you all know this) and so feeding my flocks bagged feed full of mystery ingredients (no matter what it says on the label) comes under the same umbrella. Not to be trusted.

So in the winter when there is not as much green feed around for them to forage on, I sprout grains for chickens and the pigs.

fresh chicken feed, wheat and oat sprouts growing in cottage cheese container

Below are the wheat fields after yesterdays rain:

Winter wheat fields, under a blue sky in midwest, illinois

(You will see this view often because this is the view from my desk)!

The animals and birds are very well fed.

Healthy hog eating grain in old barn at midwest homestead.

This is John’s vegetarian plonker. (case in point)

I know there has been a lot of talk in the press about chickens not laying due to feed bought in the feed stores (I think this is media hype, in the winter chickens don’t lay much anyway) but making up your own feeds using grains from the local mill or co-op is a good idea.

🦋 You will be strengthening your local economy and have more control over what your chickens are eating.

Here is my chicken food blend:

💠25% whole oats

💠25% cracked corn

💠25% sunflower seeds

💠25% wheat grain

To this I add

💠sprouts: oats, wheat, black beans, legumes and am experimenting with sprouting rice).

💠 fresh vegetables: from the kitchen and the restaurant down the road.


🦋 Supporting our little local restaurants is also critical to the sustainable health of the local economy.

Open green gate to homestead field with fire hydrant in the foreground.

Just for the record there is a RABBIT trying to climb up into my book shelf as we speak!! Down Nelson!!

Fresh chicken feed sprouts of corn, sunflowers and wheat in buckets, in shower with blue tiles.

The shower is the best place for me to grow sprouts in the winter. I can wash myself and my grains at the same time!

Fresh food is the most important component in the feed for our chickens. Sprouting the grains fits the bill perfectly. The wheat is grown on our land. So I know it is good and organic, full of nutrients and filled with the fertility of our deep rich soil.

🦋 And feeding the farm from our own fields is the very essence of a sustainable food cycle.

To make your Sprouts:

💠Soak the grains overnight.

💠Pour into a bucket with holes in the bottom and wash three times a day.

The sprouts have their highest nutrient profile just as the sprouts emerge from the grain.

🦋 I use cracked and old buckets and also cottage cheese and sour cream pots. Just drill holes into them so the grains drain well. This reuses old plastic.

I experimented with some store-bought sunflower seeds and corn. The sunflowers grew but not the corn. Genetically modified grain won’t sprout – it has a genetic termination gene keyed in so a farmer cannot collect her own seed from her own crop. Another reason to buy or grow organic crops.

Attempting to sprout this corn proved that it was not organic.

I am even attempting to sprout rice. Just to see what will happen.


Jude and FreeBee arrive today!!! So exciting. I love pigs.

Old stock trailer as alternative hog pen filled with straw.

Their house is ready. They are 5 years old now so they will be big pigs.

Taking on more rescue pigs is not really fiscally sensible but I could not resist giving them their forever home. Let’s hope they settle nicely as John is not pleased about ‘more pets’!

Have a lovely day!


PS the lead picture is of SAGE sprouting on my window sill – waiting patiently for spring.

25 Comments on “💦I grow sprouts for my chickens in the shower!!

  1. What an interesting post. Can’t wait to see those rescue pigs back again! I’m sure John will come round when he sees them, AND you deserve them back again!x

  2. We are all waiting patiently for spring! Or not so patiently. I think I’ll try sprouting again for myself. It will be interesting to hear how the rice experiment comes out. Have a good day!

    • The rice is sprouting – so slowly! But I think it is going to work! I am rummaging through the cupboard looking for just about anything else I can sprout!

  3. Wise words indeed! 10 yars ago free range chicken and eggs tended to be organic, but feed prices sky rocketed and most organic chicken eat GM feed …and that’s at the farmer’s market where they charge a premium! I’m looking forward to the return of Jude and FreeBee.

  4. After much struggle with our horses’ feed and the companies repeatedly changing the formula without notice, we began mixing our own horse feed last fall. It was a great move–not only do they better without the constant changes that we were dealing with with the store-bought food, but they like it better too.

    On a sprouting grains note, my six year old got a terrarium where he sprouts grass seed among dinosaur models for Christmas. I have never been so happy for him to have this as I was when a few weeks later my kids found a wooly bear caterpillar crawling across the floor in our sunporch. I don’t know what the little guy was thinking up and about in Wisconsin this time of year, but he now lives happily among the grass and dinosaurs on a shelf in my living room.

  5. I love your method for sprouting! I sometimes use a Mason jar with a special lid to make sprouts, maybe I will get it out again and do some! Freebee and Jude are lucky to be coming to you for their forever home. It will be nice to see Jude again!

  6. I have never thought about sprouting seeds for my chickens. Thinking about it, I know they would just love them! You make it sound so easy. I grow a lot of things, just out of curiosity. I have a pineapple top that has been growing for two years now. It looks really cool. An unusual plant for me living here in the Midwest part of the country. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Have you every tried anything such as this? What does it take to say sprout barley?

    • I sprout: oats and wheat/ barley is good too but not as fast as oats. Also sunflower seeds. And organic corn if you can find it. Not rice though- that was a failure!!

      I might try a pineapple too! That sounds great!!

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