If you’re from the South, green beans are a mandatory side dish for every meal. It pares well with just about everything! And man, are they good. But after dinner, you might realize you have extra. And like most of us, you might be tempted to toss them to your flock. But can you feed chickens green beans? Let’s take a look!
Can You Feed Chickens Green Beans?
We are going to get right to the point and tell you, yes, they can. Green beans are a favorite treat among backyard chickens, and they provide a wide variety of nutrients. Here are a few of the best reasons to feed your chickens green beans.
Green beans are one of the few vegetables that have a relatively high protein content. Your chickens will gobble these up and, in return, give you protein-packed eggs. It’s also a great way to give your chickens a protein boost in winter when resources are scarce.
Obviously, green beans are an excellent source of fiber. This increases nutrient absorption in the small intestines and fills your chickens. Not to mention it keeps them regular. So you won’t have to worry about constipation with these beans.
One nutrient that most people don’t think of when they imagine beans is calcium. But every cup of green beans has 37 mg of calcium. So if you want strong bones and even stronger eggs, green beans are perfect. You couldn’t find a better tasting treat.
You can’t have calcium without a binding agent like phosphorus. This mineral helps bind calcium to the bones to make them strong. So not only will your chickens get the calcium they need. They also get the other minerals to optimize it.
Most of us think of potassium as a muscle cramp reliever. And while extra potassium might help ease laying eggs. It is also crucial for hydration and regulating body temperature during the summer. So a green bean treat is perfect for keeping your chickens cool and refreshed.
Another important nutrient that chickens need is magnesium. They need this to support their nerve functions and metabolism. And a green bean treat is a perfect way to get an extra boost of magnesium. It can also help your chickens lose weight if they are a little chunky.
Folates help your chickens form those beautiful eggs. The all-important folate is high in green beans. And if you breed your hens, it produces higher hatch rates in fertilized eggs. All hens also need folic acid to prevent anemia. With this snack, you are helping your hens support red blood cell production.
You can’t talk about health without talking about vitamin C. This pillar of nutrition keeps our chickens healthy, immune system strong, and powers everything. You really can’t get enough vitamin C. So if you have a weak and ill chicken, try a few green beans to perk them up.
And finally, we come to vitamin E. This oil is used in everything from skin and feathers to egg production. Without enough of it, your eggs won’t be up to your standards of quality. So a few beans every week will give them the boost they need to keep on laying.
Can You Feed Raw Green Beans To Chickens?
Can you feed chickens green beans is one question? But the most crucial thing to examine is how to provide them. Raw beans contain a toxic element called lectins. In small amounts, this will only give your chickens diarrhea. But in higher amounts, it could cause nerve damage and even death.
Now luckily, if you grow green beans in your garden, your hens will leave them alone. Uncooked beans aren’t the easiest to eat since they are hard and fibrous. So your free-range chickens should be safe in the garden. But once you pick them, a simple prep of boiling makes the beans tender and safe. It will cook out these lectins and leave your hens with all the benefits.
You can either throw some out for your chickens to forage. Or you could cut them up and put them in a bowl with other treats. The choice is up to you. And your chickens will love them just the same.
Can Your Hens Eat Canned Green Beans?
Canned green beans might be tender, cooked, and delicious. But they also contain large quantities of sodium. During the canning process, that liquid is filled with enough sodium to cause kidney damage to your chickens. And since those green beans have marinated in sodium, even draining and rinsing isn’t enough.
Are Frozen Green Beans Good For Chickens?
Most of the frozen green beans on our shelves today are blanched and then frozen shortly after being picked. This preserves the structure, color, and nutrition of the green beans. So since the manufacturer didn’t cook them thoroughly, you can’t feed them directly to your chickens.
However, the good news is that frozen vegetables rarely have added sodium or spices. So you could cook them before feeding them for a delicious treat. Or another good idea is to steam and freeze green beans yourself. Then you can pop a few in their drinking water in the summer.
How Often Can Chickens Eat Green Beans?
A handful of green beans for a small flock of 5 a few times a week is plenty. Beans of any kind might be healthy, but they are still a treat. And all snacks shouldn’t exceed more than 10% of your flock’s diet.
Are Beans Bad For Chickens?
Green beans are just one type of bean. You might have tons of other beans in your cupboard that your hens would love to snack on. But like green beans, you can only feed these cooked thoroughly. They should be tender and never canned to prevent toxic reactions.
What Beans Can Chickens Eat?
With so many beans, it can be hard to choose one to try. So here are a few of your chicken’s favorites:
- Lima beans
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Black eye beans
- Pinto beans
- Wax/ yellow beans
Your chickens will love any beans you give them. They are filled with so many good things that it’s a snack you can feel good about.
Can Chicks Eat Green Beans?
Once your chicks are old enough, you might get excited to start feeding treats. And green beans are a great place to start for a growing chick. They are soft enough to digest without problems, and they have a lot of protein. And with all the other nutrients they have, your chicks will be healthy and grow quickly.
It’s essential to wait until your chicks are four weeks old before introducing this treat. Since beans have lots of fiber, it keeps them full for longer. And we don’t want them to become malnourished. So only a tablespoon of finely chopped green beans is enough for five chicks.
What Scraps Not To Feed Chickens?
When it comes to beans, there are a few things you should avoid. Like we mentioned before, raw, dried, or undercooked beans are a big no-no. But if you also cook your beans in salt or other seasonings, it’s not safe. Another big one is cooking your beans in bacon fat, which is one of the salty foods they can’t have. And while fried green beans are delicious, the excess oils are a no-go for your flock’s health.
Your hens also should stay away from any bean plants. All parts of the bean plant contain high amounts of toxins that will harm your chickens. But don’t worry if you have beans already planted in your garden. These plants aren’t tasty, so your chickens should leave them alone.
What Is Poisonous To Chickens?
So other than dried or raw green beans, what else is poisonous to chickens? There is a pretty long list of things to stay away from. But here are a few to get you started.
- Apple seeds and cherry seeds contain cyanide that could kill chickens
- Avocado pits and skin contain persin that is highly toxic
- Moldy foods can give your chickens food poisoning, just like in humans
- Salt is also highly poisonous to poultry
- Leaves and stalks from the nightshade family.
- Green potatoes and tomatoes
- Coffee grounds will give your chickens heart problems
- And chocolate, just to name a few.
What Shouldn’t Chickens Eat?
There are a few things, of course, that isn’t toxic for chickens to eat. But that doesn’t mean that they can have them.
- Citrus fruits can inhibit calcium absorption. And even reduce egg production
- Butter, fats, and oils will lead to obesity in your flock
- Junk food and processed foods will also lead to obesity
- Raw eggs can lead to salmonella, and eating their own eggs
- Spinach is ok in small doses. But it contains high amounts of oxalic acid that inhibit calcium absorption.
Can you feed chickens green beans? Of course, you can. And they will love you for it! Even the most stubborn chicken will come around with a green bean snack. Your flock will think they are getting something as delicious as cake. But we will know that it’s all healthy and safe for them.
Below is a Pinterest-friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!