Perhaps you’ve once cooked some green beans and asked, “can chickens eat green beans?” They’re healthy and tasty but if you’re planning to give your chicken some bean scraps, hold up!
There are things you should know about green beans before feeding them to your feathery flock.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- if chickens can eat cooked, raw, or canned green beans
- how to feed green beans to your birds safely
- and how can your birds benefit from this legume
So, without further ado, let’s verify how safe green beans are for chickens and how to serve them correctly.
Can Chickens Eat Green Beans?
Yes, chickens can eat green beans. Some poultry owners feed green beans to broilers to minimize the feed cost and increase their profit.
But there are things you need to consider before feeding them to your feathery companion.
Do Chickens Eat Cooked Green Beans?
Green beans are safe for chickens when cooked. So if you want to give your chickens some scraps with cooked green beans, you can definitely do that!
However, it’s worth noting that chickens don’t need as much salt and sugar for seasonings as humans.
So, it’s best to limit the sugar and salt and skip the seasonings or limit the green bean leftovers you feed them depending on the amount of seasonings you’ve used.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Green Beans?
Chicks can eat what adults can, but the green beans’ size can pose a choking hazard. So, we advise cooking the vegetable first and chopping and mashing them to ensure they won’t choke the birds.
And since chicks’ diet should be made of starter feed for their first six months, you must limit their green bean intake.
Can Chicks Eat Cooked Green Beans?
We recommended cooking the green beans earlier before feeding them to chicks because that’s the safest route to go.
You can break down the lectin content by cooking the vegetables and making them safer for consumption.
Do Chickens Like Green Beans?
Chickens can eat green beans, but only a few chickens like them. They’d likely ignore the green beans if you gave them as it is.
In this case, it’s best to take out the beans for them.
But each bird has its own food preferences. So observe what your birds like and offer it according to their liking.
Can Chickens Eat Uncooked Green Beans?
If your birds can eat cooked beans, can you feed raw beans to chickens?
Well, chickens can eat uncooked green beans, but we do not recommend feeding them to your chickens because they contain lectin, a toxic substance for chickens.
It’s a type of protein present in edible and inedible plants, including raw legumes like beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, soybeans, and whole grains such as wheat.
Legumes and whole grains have the highest amount of lectins. We eat many of those plants, so you may wonder why we don’t experience adverse effects after consuming them.
Well, lectin can be broken down by heat. Therefore, we can safely eat those foods when they’re cooked.
Some chicken owners feed their birds with raw green beans since the amount of lectin in this legume is not enough to harm your chicken in a single peck. But too much consumption can lead to poisoning.
So, you need to limit your chicken’s raw green bean consumption should you decide to let feed them.
However, we recommend avoiding feeding your bird with uncooked green beans since, no matter how cliche this sounds, we believe that “prevention is better than cure”.
Can Chickens Eat Other Parts of the Green Bean?
Many chicken handlers say green beans’ leaves and stalks are safe for chickens. But to prevent your bird from ingesting the toxins, it’s best to cook everything before feeding them to chickens.
It’d also help if you’d put up fences for your green beans to keep the chickens at bay.
This precautionary measure can save your birds’ lives and you from stress and further loss.
Can Chickens Eat Frozen Green Beans?
Chickens can consume cooked frozen green beans, but you should avoid giving them raw ones since they can become toxic for your birds.
Feeding them raw or uncooked frozen green beans will expose them to lectin, which is the last thing every chicken owner wishes to happen.
Can Chickens Eat Canned Green Beans?
If poultry birds can consume frozen green beans, can chickens eat green beans from a can?
We do not recommend feeding canned beans to chickens when organic and fresh green beans are easily accessible in the market.
Canned beans contain lots of preservatives that can potentially harm your birds. So, we suggest going organic to ensure your chicken is healthy.
Are Green Beans Healthy for Chickens?
We’ve already answered the question, “can chickens have green beans” but how can your bird benefit from this veggie?
Cooked green beans are healthy for chickens since they offer a wide range of vitamins and minerals that benefit poultry birds of all ages, including laying hens.
However, adding green beans to 16% of the birds’ diets will not significantly impact the chickens’ performance. Therefore, it can’t replace the main chicken feed and your poultry birds still need supplemental enzymes to boost their growth.
But when combined with other healthy treats, it can make a difference.
So, let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content of green beans to see how they support your chickens’ growth.
Green Beans’ Nutritional Content
Hens need carbohydrates to stay active and warm for better egg production, and green beans are good carbs.
Each cup of green beans contains 37mg of calcium, crucial for stronger bones and eggshells.
It also supports birds’ circulatory, nervous, cardiac, and digestive system of laying hens and improves health and productivity.
Green beans have 6% chromium, a mineral that enhances egg production. It also improves egg quality and supports weight gain in birds.
A cup of beans has 8% copper, which helps fight ataxia and spastic paralysis.
Green beans are rich in fiber which increases nutrient absorption in birds’ small intestines. It helps keep constipation at bay.
Green beans are also high in folate, producing higher rates in fertilized eggs and preventing anemia. It also helps support red blood cell production in laying chickens.
This mineral is one of the essential elements for poultry birds because it plays a vital role in transporting and storing oxygen, protein metabolism, antioxidant activity, and immunity.
Phosphorus goes hand in hand with calcium because it’s a binding agent that strengthens bones.
Potassium aids in laying eggs and provides hydration while regulating a chicken’s body temperature during summer.
This nutrient is crucial for egg production and achieving optimal egg size. Since green beans contain 5% protein, they can benefit your bird’s growth.
One of Magnesium’s roles is to support nerve functions and metabolism. It also helps chickens lose weight if they’re a little overweight.
In case you don’t know, niacin is also known as vitamin B3, which helps the chickens convert nutrients such as fat, carbohydrates, and proteins into usable energy.
This fatty acid is important for the egg yolk, and since green beans can provide 5% omega-3 fats, it’s a good addition to your bird’s meal.
Chickens require vitamin A not just for a stronger immune system but also for better egg production. Green beans contain 5% vitamin A, which may sound minimal but can help chickens over time.
Green beans are high in vitamin K, which plays an essential role in bone health and healing. This nutrient releases proteins that strengthen bones and improves blood clotting.
Poultry birds with vitamin K deficiency usually have poor blood clotting mechanisms, so they bleed excessively when wounded.
Chickens need vitamin C for the proper metabolism of amino acids and minerals and stress-resistant hormone synthesis and production.
It also helps strengthen the immune system and synthesize antibodies.
Green beans have minimal vitamin B1 but can still benefit from it. This nutrient helps build stronger immunity and improves chicken’s overall ability to stand.
This vitamin helps prevent clogged arteries and minimize the risk of heart disease in hens.
Green beans contain 4% vitamin E, which is critical for the growth, and physiological and immunological performance of chickens. It helps neutralize free radicals and reduce lipid peroxidation.
Older laying hens can also benefit from the zinc mineral green beans can provide because it helps strengthen eggshells. It also helps activate different enzymes in the hen’s body.
How to Feed Green Beans to Chickens
There are many ways to feed green beans to chickens, but the safest is cooking them by either boiling, steaming, or microwaving them.
You can also give your leftovers to your birds as long as the ingredients are safe for birds and you cook them correctly.
Green beans that are beginning to go rancid shouldn’t be served to your birds because that is when they begin to wilt and become sticky.
Don’t give your birds something nasty to eat. Otherwise, your bird may suffer from food poisoning.
Purchase organic and fresh, and wash the beans before preparing them.
After washing the beans, trim off the tips because they are hard and pointy. They contain little nutrients and could choke your chicken.
Then, cut the beans into thirds to cook more quickly and make them easier for birds to eat.
Adult chickens have powerful beaks which are strong enough to break up hard foods. But as for the chicks, you must chop them off to prevent choking.
After chopping them, boil the beans for 10 minutes in fresh water. Maintain the temperature at 212 °F. (100 °C) to destroy the toxins.
Then, drain the water from them, give them time to cool up, and carefully remove them from the water. Serve them to your chickens once they are sufficiently chilled.
What Other Beans Can Chickens Eat?
Chickens can taste other beans as long as they’re cooked. Some of the edible beans for your poultry birds include the following:
This legume resembles the human kidney, hence the name kidney beans. It’s one of the healthiest types, rich in protein and slightly less fat than other varieties.
As their name suggests, these black legumes are black in color and rich in antioxidants, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. But its carbs are slightly lower than pinto beans.
Navy beans contain a lot of folate, magnesium, potassium, and other nutrients that promote metabolism, aid in weight loss, and control blood sugar levels.
The light brown cranberry bean, commonly referred to as the borlotti bean, is a type of kidney bean distinguished by its purplish-pink dots. They have a light nutty flavor and a little sweet and creamy taste.
The cannellini beans are slightly kidney-shaped with squarish ends. They are creamy white beans originating from Italy. They have a fluffy texture after cooking.
These beans are one of the varieties of common beans. They are referred to as frijoles pintos, or “painted beans,” in Spanish.
Pros and Cons of Feeding Green Beans to Chickens
Green Beans Are Highly Nutritious
As we’ve discussed earlier, green beans are loaded with vitamins and minerals, which benefit every poultry bird. It can only be fed as a treat, but it’s one of the healthiest treats you can give to your chooks.
Green Beans Contain Toxins
Since these beans contain lectin, which is moderately lethal to chickens when served raw., one of the symptoms you should look out for are bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
They Aren’t Appealing to Some Chickens
Green beans are not for everybody because some chickens don’t feel delighted with their taste. But they may learn to like it when fed consistently.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chickens Eating Green Beans
Can chickens eat raw green bean ends?
Chickens can eat green bean ends if it’s fresh and cooked, but they’re sharp and hard, so they can cause choking birds.
The tips have little nutrition, so it’s best to cut them off instead of feeding them to your feathery companion.
Why can’t chickens eat beans?
Uncooked beans contain a compound called phytohaemagglutinin, which is toxic and highly fatal to poultry birds like chickens.
But cooking can destroy the compound. However, you should limit your bird’s bean intake even if cooked.
What beans are toxic to chickens?
Any beans or legumes which has not been properly cooked can be lethal to chickens, including kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, cranberry, and cannellini beans.
Even dried beans are toxic to your birds.
Are green beans bad for chickens?
As said earlier, chickens can eat green beans if they’re cooked. Raw green beans are bad for chickens because they contain a mildly toxic compound that will cause digestive and poisoning in the long run.
Can Chickens Eat Green Beans: A Quick Recap
Yes, chickens can eat green beans but make sure it’s cooked thoroughly.
You must avoid giving your bird raw and moldy green beans because they can be fatal to birds due to the presence of lectin.
Eating raw beans may not result in significant issues at first, but too much consumption can cause digestive issues such as bloating and discomfort.
So, if you have green bean plants in your garden, make sure your chickens can’t access them by putting up fences.
Now that we’ve answered the question: “can chickens eat green beans”, let’s move on to another question that bothers many chicken owners.