Yes, chickens can eat bean sprouts. Sprouts of any kind are very healthy for chickens, but these should be fed in moderation.
There are different types of beans, and not all of them are good for poultry. But, when it comes to bean sprouts, you can safely let your chickens eat bean sprouts. Sprouts have been considered a healthy food for humans for a long time, and they are excellent for chickens as well.
When sprouting seeds or beans, the nutrient density goes up. The sprout beans have certain active enzymes that remove the toxins found in dried beans. A seed or bean is at its healthiest when it has just sprouted. There is more to feeding bean sprouts to your chickens. Scroll along to know more.
Are Bean Sprouts Healthy?
Bean sprouts have been topping the lists of healthy foods for a long time. These offer the much-needed nutrition to humans who generally thrive on a high-carb diet. This healthy treat provides high protein to chickens as well.
The sprouting process increases the nutrient density of a seed or a bean. This tender sprout it as its healthiest when just germinated because it has a plethora of active enzymes to support its growth. It is also rich in antioxidants, and all the toxins are removed that are found in dried beans.
Sprout beans are easier to digest than beans that are moist or cooked. Efficient digestion means better absorption of nutrients. These nutrients include various vitamins, minerals, protein, and antioxidants. As a plant matures, most of these nutrients get lost. So, feed your chickens bean sprouts regularly to ensure health and wellbeing.
Nutritional Value of Bean Sprouts
Sprout beans can be sprouted garbanzo beans, mung beans, soybean sprouts, etc. But, soybean sprouts and mung bean sprouts are the healthiest for chickens. Let us decode the specific nutrient content in these.
Larger beans like lima or kidney beans are best avoided for chickens. Smaller legumes like peanuts, lentils, and garbanzo beans are best for your poultry.
Nutrients found in 104gm (1 cup) Sprouted Mung Beans:
- Carbs – 6gm
- Vitamin C – 13mg
- Calories – 31
- Iron – 0.9mg
- Protein – 3gm
- Folate – 61 mcg
You can see that just one cup of sprouted mung beans provides a sufficient amount of proteins. Feeding sprouted mung beans regularly is an inexpensive way to fulfill your birds’ daily protein requirements.
Benefits of these Nutrients:
The daily protein requirements of chickens range between 16g to 22g. Sprouted mung beans can be fed to chickens raw as they are already soaked and tender. Proteins are made up of amino acids that are used in the construction of tissues, cells, muscles, and cartilage.
Folate or Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is an essential micronutrient required for mental health and brain development. Chickens need a higher amount of folate, and the optimal intake should be 1 to 1.5gm per kilogram of body weight. Although sprouts can hardly fulfill this requirement, they add to their RDV.
- Vitamin C
Bean plants are high in vitamin C. This vitamin is important for healthy eggs and to boost their egg production capacity.
Can Chickens Eat Beans of All Kinds?
Never let your chickens eat beans that are dry. Dried beans have a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin that can prove fatal for chickens. Even if chickens eat as little as 3 to 4 dried beans, this toxin can kill them.
Kidney beans – moist, dry, or sprouted should be avoided at all costs. Other larger beans like lima should also be avoided, even if they are organic beans.
Sprout beans may get infected with bacteria like Salmonella and E.Coli because of the warm and moist conditions required for sprouting. These bacteria are harmful to your poultry. It is better to grow your bean sprouts than buying them from the market to avoid these problems.
How to Grow Bean Sprouts for Chickens?
Commercially available bean sprouts can be costly. If you want to give this high-protein nutritious treat regularly to your poultry, it is better to grow them yourselves.
These are easy to grow and economical too. Furthermore, homegrown bean sprouts are less likely to develop any bacterial infestations.
The process of growing mung bean sprouts is explained below. The same method can be used for growing sprouts of any other seeds, beans, or legumes.
You will Need:
- A Canning Jar (pint or quart size)
- A Rubber Shelf Liner
- One Rounded Tablespoon of Dried Mung Beans
- Take the shelf liner and cut a circle of a size that fits the ring part of your jar.
- Insert this liner inside the jar to enable air circulation.
- Pour one rounded tablespoon of mung beans into the jar and fill upto the brim with cool tap water for the beans to soak.
- Let them soak for 8 to 9 hours and drain them.
- After the water has drained, rinse the beans with cool tap water and drain again.
- Flip the jar upside down and let it sit until all the water has drained.
- Leave the jar with the drained beans in a place with low light.
- Rinse in the same way twice a day for 4 to 5 days continuously.
- Rinsing ensures that the beans are rehydrated, and it also discourages the growth of mold.
- When you notice the beans cracked open, place the jar in a sunny spot and not under direct sunlight.
- When you notice sprouts starting, monitor their growth and keep rinsing and draining twice a day for 4 to 5 days.
- Your sprouts will be ready in 4 to 5 days.
- Feed the sprouts to chickens raw and ensure that these are consumed within 5 to 6 days.
To sum it up, chickens can eat bean sprouts. It should be given to them in moderation and not as their main meal. Smaller seeds and bean sprouts such as mung beans, garbanzo beans, lentil sprouts are better for a chicken’s diet.
Do not feed chickens dried beans or large bean sprouts. Try sprouting the beans yourself to ensure hygiene.