Yes, chickens can eat beans, but it depends upon what type of beans you are feeding them. There are several kinds of beans – kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, cranberry beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, etc.
You can let your chickens eat beans, but they should be cooked and not dry or raw. Raw beans can prove fatal to your flock. Also, beans should be fed in moderation. You should never feed chickens undercooked beans either.
Despite beans being high in protein, there are several rules to follow before making chickens eat beans. So, as a poultry owner, if you are concerned whether chickens can eat beans, here is everything you need to know.
Are Beans Suitable for Chicken?
Chickens can eat beans that are cooked properly. As a chicken owner, you must avoid feeding raw or dry beans. Moreover, flocks should eat beans in small quantities only.
While commercial feeds provide the basic nutrients for your birds to grow, various other nutrients can be given to them via table scraps or leftovers. This is the reason why chickens’ treats should be nutritious and healthy as well.
Beans can be included in your chickens diet as healthy treats. Beans are legumes belonging to the family of plants known as Fabaceae. They are a rich source of nutrients, mainly proteins.
If you make your chickens eat beans, it can lower their cholesterol levels, reduce blood sugar levels, and also increase good bacteria in the gut. Chickens love to eat beans because they are delicious.
Beans provide an array of essential nutrients to your birds. Beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, potassium, and several other nutrients. Beans are also fat-free and sodium-free, making them excellent healthy snacks for chickens.
Health Benefits of Feeding Beans to Chickens
Properly cooked beans are a good substitute for red meat. Beans are the best plant-based proteins.
Nutritional Value of 1 cup(165gm) of Cooked Beans
- Calories: 168
- Manganese: 85% of the RDI
- Folate or vitamin B9: 70% of the RDI
- Fiber: 11,5 grams
- Iron: 27% of the RDI
- Protein:15.5 grams
- Copper: 28% of the RDI
Health Benefits of Beans
You can feed cooked beans to your flock to fulfill their dietary needs. Beans can help supplement them with various vitamins and minerals that their commercial feeds do not. Beans provide chickens with folate, iron, protein, and manganese.
- Beans provide complex carbohydrates
Beans are a good source of dietary starch or complex carbohydrates. They are also rich in fiber and proteins. Beans are examples of foods rich in low glycemic index and hence perfect for controlling diseases in chickens and humans.
Beans are also rich in complex sugars or oligosaccharides. These complex sugars can be broken down by good bacteria in the gut, thereby promoting a healthy gut environment.
- Beans are great sources of dietary fiber
Beans are rich in insoluble and soluble fibers. Soluble fibers trap dietary cholesterol in the digestive tract. This way, beans help in decreasing LDL cholesterol levels.
The insoluble fibers attract water to the stool, thereby preventing constipation and other digestive complications in your chickens.
- Beans are rich in proteins
Beans are great sources of plant-based proteins. Beans are the cheapest means of feeding chickens protein rich foods.
- Beans provide essential vitamins and minerals
Beans are rich in potassium, which helps to manage blood pressure. Other minerals like copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese present in beans help keep your birds healthy.
Beans are also rich in iron and water-soluble vitamins like folic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, and folate that promote the overall health of your birds.
Can Chickens Eat Raw Beans?
Chickens cannot eat raw beans as they contain hemagglutinin, which is extremely poisonous for them. Only a few raw beans can kill your chickens.
If you grow bean plants on your property, ensure that they are away from your chickens’ foraging area. Raw beans can poison your flocks.
Can Chickens Eat Raw Bean Sprouts?
Bean sprouts are a tasty addition to your chicken’s diet. They can easily make a healthy treat for your flocks in between meals.
It is better to avoid large beans like kidney beans for birds. Even kidney bean sprouts should be avoided.
Although bean sprouts are not cooked, they do not have the same dangers as raw beans. The process of sprouting beans removes all the toxins, making them safe to consume.
Can Chickens Eat Bean Leaves?
Chickens can eat bean leaves. Although these would not make a tasty treat for your birds, they are quite healthy and safe to consume. All the parts of the bean plant, including the stem and stalks are safe for chickens to eat.
The only precaution you should take is to remove the leaves and feed them and not let your birds forage near bean plants.
Can Chickens Eat Cooked/Baked Beans?
Chickens can eat cooked and baked beans. You can either cook the beans yourself or feed your birds canned beans.
How to Feed Beans to Chickens?
There are several ways of feeding cooked beans to your flocks:
- You can mix cooked beans with their commercial feeds to enhance the nutritional content.
- You can let your chickens eat green beans or cooked beans once or twice a week to boost their overall health.
- Bean sprouts can be given to chickens in between meals as a healthy treat.
- While choosing canned food for your flocks, ensure that you choose cooked beans with no added sugar.
Adding cooked beans to your chicken’s diet will boost the overall nutritional value and ensure that your chickens get all the essential nutrients.
To conclude, chickens can eat cooked or baked beans. Beans are high in protein and the best sources of plant-based proteins for chickens. Never feed your flocks raw or uncooked beans as they contain certain toxins that are fatal to their health.