Simply stated, germination is a series of processes whereby proteins, fats and starches are broken down into simpler forms which can be utilized by
the growing plant.
Among a multitude of other processes, all the vitamins required by the growing plant are synthesized in the correct proportion and starches are broken
down into sugars which can now be absorbed by the growing plant and used as a form of energy. Proteins are also broken down into their constituent amino acids
which can now be absorbed by the growing plant or the animal eating the germinating seed.
One would expect such a living kernel to be a desirable feed for birds and indeed this is the case. That may also be the reason why young birds
engorge themselves with feed that has just been vomited (hence also soaked), a feature of the dreaded "young bird sickness".
Selection of suitable grains:
A suitable grain should
be palatable to the birds. No matter how beneficial a substance could be for the birds, it will be of little benefit if they don't eat it.
germinate fast. The faster a grain germinates the less likely will mould grow, all other considerations being equal.
be free of mold spores.
be relatively inexpensive.
Grain which germinates as many mold spores as above is not suitable for germinating even though some of them can be inhibited by spraying vinegar
onto the milo after it has been soaked.
But clean milo could be such a grain.
It germinates rapidly at room temperature, is relished by pigeons and relatively inexpensive.
One can take a quantity of milo, immerse it in water
in a deep bucket and allow the lighter material to float to the top from where it is easily discarded.
This lighter material, much of which would get moldy, is not desired.
Once the floating material has been discarded,
the rest can soak for approximately 10 to 12 hours. Any other material which has come to the surface in the meantime can be discarded by decanting the container.
The other heavy kernels are poured into a sieve to drain for about an hour.
Once the majority of water has been removed, the milo is put into a covered tray where it can germinate for 1 day.
Should clean milo not be available, other seeds will do. Soak the seeds for 12 and germinate for 24 - 36 hours.