Sprouted Grains for Pigs
Is there any benefit to the extra labor involved to sprout grains for non-ruminant animals? Acres USA, an eco-agriculture publication out of Austin TX, posted research by Emily Harris of the Duchy College in Cornwall. The field lab findings of laying hens fed half sprouted barley grain and half commercial feed showed a significant increase in the total egg weight, yolk weight, albumen weight and number of eggs laid.
What is interesting here is that it seems that this egg is more then just an egg. Point being, the added weight could likely mean it has a higher caloric and nutritional value. From my past experience in Texas, feeding and consuming chicken eggs and pork from chickens and pigs fed sprouted grains, makes me believe it is worth the extra effort. Yolks from these eggs were brighter and the pork was a deeper red, not pink. Some consumers even would comment that they found this pork more digestible.
If you are familiar with the Weston A. Price foundation, you probably understand why sprouted grains would be beneficial. Sprouting brings grains to life. The sprouted grain provides the enzymes to break them down in the stomach instead of drawing on the body's own energy. Not everything is always black and white, but what if we look here in terms of negative, neutral or positive. An unsprouted grain although providing nutrition and energy could be a draw on some energy and life from the one consuming it in order to break it down and make it useful. A fermented grain would likely be neutral as bacteria have already broken the grain down making it easy to digest. A sprouted grain, depending on its stage, would likely be at least neutral if not a positive source providing its own live energy to help process it in the gut.
We strive to find the most sustainable regenerative practices that promote health, energy and flavor. These are the products we want our loved ones to eat. We will continue to sprout and research regenerative practices such as this.