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Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

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Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

Postby pfinarffle » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:30 am

I know that with certain fresh foods you can't leave them in the cage for more than 3 or so hours due to the potential for bacteria/yeast/mold being ingested with the food. Does this rule apply to sprouts given they actually grow over several hours if not days? Haven't had luck finding an answer elsehwere. Thanks!
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Re: Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

Postby lzver » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:01 pm

I only leave fresh food in my birds cages for 2 - 3 hours.

You have to be careful with sprouts because they can spoil pretty quickly. Once mine have started to sprout, I put them in a sealed container and keep them in the fridge for 2 - 3 days. After that I don't take a chance and throw it out.
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Re: Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

Postby Crazy Bird Lady » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:51 pm

This is my routine with sprouts:
i will grow my sprouts for 2-3 days at room temperature, using apple cider vinegar and water to rinse them at least twice a day.
Then i put them into a container with paper towels at the bottom to absorb any moisture, which then goes into the fridge.
The next morning i take the paper towels out, so that moisture is removed. The sprouts will store for another 3-4 days.
I take out a portion to feed my birds, and rinse again with apple cider vinegar and water.
THEN i soak them in warm water for a few minutes, as feeding refridgerated food to birds is very bad for them - it can cause all kinds of serious digestion problems.
After the warm soak i put them into seed cups. i have normal seed cups, but also have mesh seed cups that allow things like sprouts to drain properly. these are great as they stop moisture building up and spoiling the seed.
In warmer months i will leave the sprouts in the cages for 1-3 hours, depending on the temperature. in the cooler months i leave the sprouts for 4 hours MAX - but it all depends on the weather - if its windy, sunny, calm, cold... Smelling the sprouts is often a good way to know whats going on with them.
I smell my sprouts from the time they have their initial soak, right thru to when i remove the seedcups from the cages - if they smell at all different from the usual smell, then they have been left too long, and you need to reduce the time in the future. the normal smell is hard to describe kinda sweet but kinda like nothing too. if the smell increases, or it smells sour the seeds have to go.
And, you can always taste the sprouts too! this is something im only just starting to do, but im finding it very helpful!
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Re: Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

Postby pfinarffle » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:17 am

I'd never heard of refrigerated items being bad for birds. What does it do to them? Generally if something is too hot or cold our bird can tell and avoids it. Am curious, though.
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Re: Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

Postby Crazy Bird Lady » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:24 pm

giving refridgerated food to birds can be quite harmful, and they will still eat the foods, just like they will eat spoiled food and get sick.
Typically "sour crop" (which is a broad term applied to a range of different afflictions in the crop, including both bacterial and fungal) occurs in hand reared baby birds, when they are fed soft food that is below room/body temperature. When a mother bird feeds its babies they regurgitate to the babies, and the food is warm.

Sour crop can also occur in adult birds, especially cockatiels, and quite often that is related to refridgerated food.

Birds have very delicate digestive systems, and sour crop can quickly affect other parts of the body, especially the liver and kidneys.

The RSPCA website in Australia reccomends against feeding birds cold foods - i found this info in their bird care section, but it had very little info on why not to feed cold foods, and this is the info i have found since then. Hope it helps!

If you store food in your refridgerator for your bird, you should always leave it out for at least 1 hour to warm up, or in the case of sprouts, let them soak for a few minutes in warm water.
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Re: Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

Postby Erithacus » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:17 am

I feed fruits taken directly out of the fridge to my birds. I guess I have to change this habit.
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Re: Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:28 pm

Can anyone explain WHY cold food would have any negative effect other than possibly lowering the body temperature too much if a lot was consumed all at once? It seems to me far more likely that room temperature fruits and veggies would spoil causing problems than that cold food would have to be left out for hours... that's way longer than it takes to come to temperature.
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Re: Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

Postby Crazy Bird Lady » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:11 pm

Why exctly i dont know - my guess is that its because birds are quite sensitive to a lot of things. From what ive read, birds body temperatures are much higher than humans, so cold food has a more pronounced effect. For baby birds, when they are given cold foods, it doesnt digest, and remains in the crop, which can lead to sour crop (and all of its associated problems) and crop impaction. I have 2 cockatiels and even as adults they are more prone to sour crop, so i take this precaution with all of my flock all of the time. The refrigerated foods still need to be washed before being given to the birds, so its easy enough to wash them in warm water rather than cold water - things like snow peas lose their chill quite quickly under a warm tap.

As far as spoiling goes, i dont refridgerate most of my fruit - apples, kiwi's, bananas, etc, and they usually last well over a week in the fruit bowl just fine. If the fruit has been cut, that would be different.

I guess the most important thing is knowing your own birds preferences and being observant of symptoms of illness. For me, i would rather take this precaution as the birds that i own wouldnt be eating refrigerated food in the wild.
parrots arent mere ornaments, and they're hardly "just a pet" they are intelligent and emotional creatures who want our companionship. As a bird owner, its a pleasure to make my parrots lives as happy, enriched and healthy as possible
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Re: Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

Postby Michael » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:20 pm

Does this apply specifically to food or water as well? I noticed my parrot's eyes pinning when I give her really cold water from the tap and she seems to drink more enthusiastically when it's extra cold.

I've always fed veggies straight of the fridge without a problem. I don't know if that was a bad thing all along. I'd like to see more information because I've never heard of this topic. So if anyone has read any articles about refrigerated foods being bad, can you please post them here.
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Re: Sprouts: How long can you leave'em out?

Postby TheNzJessie » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:02 pm

yea i have never heard about food out of the fridge is bad. my budgie has soak seed straight out of the fridge and fresh food out of the fridge and he is happy as Larry.
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