How to Grow Wheat and Barley Grass for Pets
How to Grow Wheat and Barley Grass for Pets

10 Easy Steps to Growing Your Own Wheat or Barley Grass

In less than two weeks, you can create a nutrient-rich indoor edible garden for your pet.
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1. Soak 2 cups of wheat berries or barley grains in pure water for 9-12 hours. Purchase organic sprouting barley or hard wheat berries, either winter or spring, from a natural health food store or from a online or mail order sprouting seed supplier.

2. Drain off the soaking water and rise the grain well in fresh water. Germinate (sprout) the grains for two days. You can use jars made for sprouting, bags or a quart size glass canning jar with a piece of fine material netting or cheese cloth over the mouth of the jar and a rubber band to secure it in place. Rinse and drain the sprouting grain at least twice daily.

3. Fill a standard 11” x 12” plastic garden seedling tray with 1”-2” of soil. The best soil is light and airy. Use the typical deluxe potting soil mix available at garden stores. Do not use a brand that contains growing chemicals, fertilizer or plant food.

4. After 2 days of germinating in the sprouter, the sprouted seedlings are ready for planting. Healthy seedlings will have a single thick shaft emerging from the grain with white hairlike rootlets. Lay the seedlings on top of the soil spreading them evenly. Two cups of dry grain fills a standard 11x21 inch seedling tray. If you are using smaller trays, simply lay out enough seeds to thickly cover the surface one thickness deep.

5. Water the entire tray with pure water using a watering can that has a fine sprinkler head. If you are doing small trays or containers in your kitchen you can use a sink sprayer, etc. What ever method you use it is important to get a gentle and even shower. Be careful not to over water the trays if there are no drainage holes. No drainage holes and excess water will breed and create mold!

6. Cover the entire tray by laying a second tray on top. The top tray can be inserted down in to the second tray, or inverted and placed on top (green house effect). You could also use a dark black plastic garbage bag. Either method will keep moisture in and light out. If you use a bag, tuck it in loosely around the outside base of the tray. What every method you devise you do not want an air tight seal.

7. Set the tray in a shady spot away from extreme cold, wind or heat. Wheat grass grows best in cooler weather.

8. Check your trays daily to make sure the seedlings are not drying out. Only water if they are dry. A mister or spray bottle works very well for adding a small amount of water without overly wetting the soil.

9. When the sprouts reach approximately 2 inches high (around 3 days), start watering with a watering can. Water once daily if needed and use only enough water to moisten the soil. The soil should feel damp not slushy. When the sprouts are 2” high the plastic cover lies loosely over the plants. When the plants have grown to 3” in height, eliminate the use of any cover and expose the growing grass to normal light.

10. Cereal grass is mature and ready for your dog or cat to graze when it has reached 6-10 inches tall - usually between 9 and 12 days, this will depend on the climate in your area. Another way to tell when it is ready is when the blade develops a second stem.

Daily Maintenance

The trays should be tilted and the grass rinsed from the bottom of the blades to the tips using a strong stream or shower of water. This will keep mold from growing at the base of the grass. Water soil when needed.

Your pet can graze directly from the tray. As your pet chews the grass down it will grow again from the first mowing (just like your lawn). For optimum nutrition, after the second growth, replant a new crop.

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Is Wheat and Barley Grass Good for Pets?

Wheat and barley grass contains living chlorophyll, antioxidant nutrients, vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K, minerals and a complete set of amino acids. Cereal grasses are a source of powerful nutrients that provide the following benefits for your pets:

: : Vitamin A is essential for an animal’s night vision, the maintenance of soft tissues and mucus membranes, and normal growth.

: : B-complex vitamins are vital to the health of the nervous system.

: : Vitamin C is important in supporting a healthy immune system. It acts as an antioxidant nutrient in synergy with Vitamin E. Vitamin C also aids assimilation of essential minerals.

: : Vitamin K helps regulate blood clotting, and is essential for healthy kidney function and bone metabolism.

: : Antioxidant vitamins and minerals found in wheat and barley grasses help to protect fatty acids from oxidation.

: : Chlorophyll, or “liquid sunlight,” is the green pigment that acts as the blood or life force of plants, produced through exposure to the sun.

: : Vitamin E is the most wide spread fat soluble antioxidant in the body. It is important in helping maintain the function of oxidation susceptible fatty acids in all cell membranes. The more polyunsaturated fatty acids, like omega-3 fatty acids, in the diet, the more important it is to have adequate levels of vitamin E.

: : This powerful leafy green adds valuable fiber to help support healthy digestion. Wheat or barley grass is commonly used as a healthy dietary addition for cats, dogs, birds, reptiles and other small animals.

Does wheat grass have any wheat gluten in it?

No. Wheat grass is a leafy green vegetable harvested before it develops the gluten-forming grain.

How much wheat or barley grass should a pet eat?

Pets love wheat grass and may devour it quickly, but they should only ingest a small amount of this nutrient-rich treat at a time. Rabbits, pet rats, guinea pigs, or other smaller animals should be served wheat grass in moderation. Give small clippings per serving or remove the wheat grass after a few nibbles. You may want to consult your veterinarian for advice on proper feeding amounts for each of your pets.

How do I feed live wheat or barley grass to my pets?

Most pets will eat cereal grass straight from the container or growing flat. However, some cats and dogs may not know how good these greens can be at first. If your cat or dog doesn’t accept the grass right away, try lightly misting it with water. Your cat or dog will lick the water off and realize the greens are really tasty. If water doesn’t do the trick, try adding tiny clippings to your pet’s food.

Other Ways to Include Wheat and Barley Grass in Your Pet's Diet

Powdered supplements can be an excellent alternative source for green nutrients. Look online or in your local health food store for pet greens products that are grown organically and dried at low temperatures. Follow the dosage instruction on the manufacturers label.

Whatever method you choose, to include organic wheat/barley grass in your pet’s diet it will help to support their optimal health and longevity.

Recommendations:
For keeping pets healthy the natural way, we recommend using Pet Remedy Charts, a Step-by-Step Holistic Home Healthcare System that will enable you to naturally treat your pet at home (without drugs) using safe, side effect free healing methods for
dogs, cats, horses, or birds.
Disclaimer: The information herein is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to be used as a diagnosis, prescription or treatment, nor is it meant to replace the medical services of a veterinary professional. The remedies, approaches, and techniques described in these materials are not to be a substitute for, professional veterinary care or treatment. They should not be used to treat an ailment without prior consultation with a licensed veterinarian. You should always consult with your veterinarian before beginning any course of treatment.
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