Can Chickens Eat Beans?

Cooked beans contain rich amounts of proteins, fiber, and components of minerals that are good for chickens. They also provide poultry with dietary starch, which keeps them energetic.

Chickens can only eat beans that are well-prepared and cooked. Poorly cooked or raw beans contain lectin, which is poisonous to chickens. Canned beans should not be fed to chickens because they contain too much sodium, which can be toxic to chickens.

If you want them to have canned beans, wash and cook them first to reduce toxic preservatives and compounds. If you open canned beans from the shelves, you will note a foamy or sticky liquid on top. That liquid is toxic to chickens because it contains too much sodium and starch that needs to be washed and cooked.

Can chickens eat beans?
Can chickens eat beans?

How to cook beans for chicken 

  1. Soak the beans in cold water for 3-5 hours.
  2. Wash the beans with adequate water.
  3. Boil to cook until soft.
  4. Do not cook with onions, tomatoes, pepper, or any spices.

Beans that can be prepared with the above steps include:

  1. White beans
  2. Black beans
  3. Lentils
  4. Kidney beans

It is also good to consider the size of a chicken. This will help determine if there is a need to crash the already-cooked beans into smaller sizes. Cooked beans for baby chicks should be smashed so they can eat easily without choking.

Can chickens eat raw beans?

Chickens should NOT be fed raw or dried beans due to a toxic component known as phytohemagglutinin, a lactic PHA found in raw legumes. This can kill them since it does not have a cure if they ingest it. This poisonous component can cause death in both grown and young chickens within 1-4 hours of consumption.

Even as research digs deeper into initiating raw processed beans into the poultry feeding diet, chickens should never be fed raw beans.

In some rural areas, beans are crushed into powder and mixed with flour to make porridge. Remember, chickens can always eat flour whenever they find it. Therefore, it is important to keep that away since it can have a negative impact on them.

Benefits of beans for chickens

Just like human beings require proteins for energy, so do chickens. A mature chicken requires at least 24% protein daily, while baby chicks need 20%. An adult/mature chicken requires a minimum of 18 % protein levels.

Cooked beans should only be given to chickens once or twice a week. Do not overfeed them with beans since they also need a balanced diet, like any other living creature.

1. White beans

The many other beans also contain nutrients like potassium and fiber in white beans. Both potassium and fiber are nutrients good for birds.

2. Soybeans

Soybeans are best fed when soft and whole. They are a good energy boost for young and mature chickens. It is a type of bean that is a good protein source for chicken.

Raw soya bean is among the few beans chickens should not consume raw unless prepared using the above procedure. 

3. Baked beans

Baked beans are not harmful to chickens as long as they are well-washed. However, baked beans contain too many additives, sodium or salt, which is unhealthy for chickens. Chickens do not need salt, so do not season food for them.

It has been observed that proteins in baked beans are significantly reduced to below 12%, which is minimal compared to the percentage required.

4. Green beans

Chicken gobble almost everything they scratch around. If they feed on these green beans, never worry. They can be consumed cooked and also freshly from the garden.

Nevertheless, it is best advised that you have the beans cooked to improve the content structure for better acquisition of nutrients for chickens.

Advice: It is okay for chickens to have beans. However, do not let them eat raw, dried, or crushed raw beans. The toxins in them can strain and kill them. Beans for chicken must be well washed and cooked. It should not be their main meal, and they should have it not more than twice a week.


“Potential alternatives are legumes, such as kidney beans, pinto beans, and dry field peas. These “legume grains” have protein levels around 25% but have high levels of anti-nutritional factors. Beans negatively impact chicken growth rates if they are at levels up to 30% of the chickens’ diet.”

Oregon State University

And now that we are all informed about beans, here is more about kale for chicken and how it should be prepared for them.

Beans vs. peanuts for chickens 

Peanuts can also be fed to chicken roasted but not salted. Salt increases sodium percentage during feeding, which is not a healthy component for your poultry. 

Peanuts contain a high amount of fats and vitamins and are good for amino acid provision. Nutshells also contain fiber that is very important to a bird’s organ development.

An active bird is healthy, so find Peanut shells and feed them. These shells also give the chicken vibrant and healthy activity of cracking before eating, keeping your poultry active.