Beans and Chickens: Safe or Dangerous?

When you have an oversupply of certain fruits and vegetables, you might be searching for which of these are safe for your chickens to eat. During your search, you might ask whether chickens can eat beans.

Can Chickens Eat Beans?

It’s perfectly safe to feed beans to your chickens as long as they’re cooked. However, you must definitely avoid feeding your chickens raw or dried beans. 

Beans are generally considered an excellent source of protein, and this can be very beneficial to your chickens. Other health benefits of beans include their ability to reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system.

To add to these benefits, beans are also high in fiber and potassium, as well as containing many other beneficial nutrients. 

However, before you feed beans to your chickens, you need to understand that there are a variety of different beans available around the world and some of these may be ideal while others need to be treated in certain ways before they’re safe for your hens to eat.

Can Chickens Eat Baked Beans?

It’s perfectly fine to feed baked beans to your chickens because they have been cooked and do not contain any toxic compounds like dried or raw beans do. White navy beans are normally used to make baked beans, and these are full of nutritional goodness.

However, you need to also think about what is in the sauce. Ingredients will vary from brand to brand but might include things like sugar, spices, salt, herbs, and tomato sauce. While none of these are toxic to chickens, too much of any of these ingredients can cause health problems. 

Therefore, it’s essential that you only feed baked beans in moderation to your hens. Any treats fed to your chickens should make up no more than 10 percent of their diet.

You could even just wash the sauce off the beans before giving them to your hens.

Can Chickens Eat Black Beans?

Chickens can eat black beans, but only after they have been cooked. Never feed raw or dried black beans to your hens. After the required cooking, the black beans have a soft texture and a sweet taste that your chickens will love.

Can Chickens Eat Cooked Beans?

Cooked beans are perfectly safe for your chickens to eat as the cooking destroys the compound that is found in raw or dried beans.

Can Chickens Eat Dry Beans?

You should never feed dry beans (black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans) to your chickens because they can be highly toxic to your hens. Dry beans contain a compound known as phytohaemagglutinin. This is extremely bad for your chickens and can cause death in as little as an hour.

Can Chickens Eat Kidney Beans?

Boiled or cooked kidney beans are perfectly safe for your chickens to eat. However, never feed them dried or raw kidney beans, as this could be fatal.

Can Chickens Eat Lima Beans?

As long as the lima beans have been cooked, they are fine to feed to your chickens. It is only the raw or dried beans that are toxic to hens. The raw lima beans contain a compound known as linamarin. This is highly toxic to both humans and chickens. 

You’ll find that cooked lima beans are highly nutritious as they contain fiber, protein, and a complete range of vitamins and minerals. They are also low in carbohydrates and sugars. This makes them an ideal treat for your hens.

Can Chickens Eat Pinto Beans?

Pinto beans are commonly used to make Mexican refried beans. They can be fed to your chickens, but only after they have been boiled for around 2 hours. Never feed these in their raw or dried state to your hens.

Can Chickens Eat Raw Beans?

Never feed raw beans such as pinto beans, black beans, or kidney beans to your chickens because this can be fatal. These beans contain phytohaemagglutinin, which is extremely toxic to chickens. 

Can Chickens Eat Refried Beans?

It is certainly safe to give refried beans to your chickens but bear in mind that these will contain a high amount of fat because of the way that they’ve been cooked. Too much fat can cause digestive problems in your hens.

Therefore, these should only be fed in extreme moderation and only as a very occasional treat. You should also note that refried beans can pose a choking hazard for small hens. So, consider chopping them up into smaller pieces before feeding them to your chickens.

However, refried beans do have nutritional benefits for your chickens. They are an excellent source of fiber and protein. Plus, refried beans also contain essential minerals such as folate, iron, and manganese.

Can Chickens Eat Soaked Beans?

Chickens should not be given soaked beans unless they have also been cooked. You see, the soaking does not destroy the toxic compounds found in dried or raw beans. However, soaking the beans first means that you will cut down the cooking time considerably.

Ideally, beans should be soaked in cold water for a minimum of 5 hours. The beans then need to be rinsed thoroughly and boiled in fresh water for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Can Chickens Eat Green Beans?

Chickens can certainly eat green beans, but these, too, should be cooked. Like other types of beans, green beans are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. 

Like many other raw beans, raw green beans also contain a certain amount of lectin, and this can be toxic to your hens. However, green beans don’t need to be boiled for long periods or soaked and then boiled to make them safe for chickens.

You can cook the beans in the same way that you would cook them for human consumption. This can include boiling, steaming, or even microwaving. 

Can Chickens Eat Broad Beans Or Faba Beans?

Some experts suggest that cooked broad beans are safe for chickens, while others say that they are not. So, to stay on the safe side and keep your hens nice and healthy, you should avoid feeding broad beans to your chickens. 

In fact, there was a research study done by Cornell University that concluded that broad beans had a negative effect on the metabolism in chickens. It was shown that these beans had the capacity to stunt a hen’s growth and cause the liver to enlarge in young chicks. It was also found that when included in the diet, broad beans also decreased egg production.

Can Chickens Eat Bean Sprouts?

It’s now quite common for many people to sprout their own beans in their kitchen as these sprouts can have numerous health benefits and are also delicious when thrown into salads or added to a sandwich. However, are bean sprouts safe for your chickens?

Certain varieties, such as mung bean and soybean sprouts, are perfectly safe to feed to your chickens, and these contain numerous nutritional benefits. You see, the sprouting process destroys any toxins that are normally present in dried beans. 

However, there are certain bean varieties that should not be sprouted and fed to your chickens. These include kidney beans and lima beans. For some added variety, you could also sprout lentils or chickpeas and feed these to your chickens.

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