Have you ever thought about how you can make your chicken’s diet better? If yes, then you are not alone. Many common foods can have harmful effects on a chicken’s health. You must know exactly what to feed them and how to feed them too. One of the most common questions people ask about poultry diets is if they can eat beans.
Yes, chickens can eat beans. However, the way you feed it to them matters a lot. For instance, did you know that you need to cook beans before you feed them to chickens! Never feed uncooked dried beans to chickens as they contain hemagglutinin, which is toxic for poultry birds. There are many other such things that you must know before feeding beans to chicken.
Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about this!
Nutritional benefits of beans for chickens
Naturally, you care about what your chicken eats. You probably already know what is good for chickens and what you must strictly stay away from. However, you need to know how good something is for your beloved pet.
Here is some nutritional information on beans and why it is good for chickens!
We have all heard about the benefits of carbohydrates in our high school biology lessons. They are extremely beneficial for our bodies and provide us with the energy that keeps us going all day.
Complex carbohydrates are also known as dietary starch. They are rich in fiber, and you can get them from beans.
These carbs are essentially just numerous sugar molecules bound together that form a chain.
Complex carbohydrates are a great source of oligosaccharides. These are non-digestive and fermentable fibers. So, they do not break down easily in the stomach. The good bacteria in your chicken’s stomach will break it down and produce flatulence.
Beans are also good for your chicken because they have a very low Glycaemic Index (IG). This is especially beneficial for your chicken if it suffers from chronic diseases!
As you know, beans are very rich in insoluble fibers. Even human beings consume beans to fulfill their daily needs of dietary fiber. This fiber has similar functions in a chicken’s body, too, and is considered an essential addition to their diets to keep them healthy.
Fiber is responsible for entrapping dietary cholesterol in the body. The body absorbs only the required cholesterol, and the rest is taken away by dietary fiber. It is great for keeping the LDL levels in the body in check too!
Your chickens will enjoy this dietary fiber because it will make their gut healthier. Beans are notorious for providing enough fiber to the body to make the passage of stools a breeze.
If your chickens suffer from constipation and other stomach issues, beans could be a cheap and easy solution to their problems!
Getting the right source of protein for your chickens can be difficult and most expensive. You need to find protein sources that can satisfy their needs and not drain you of all your money! So, the best option for you is to stock up on those beans.
Beans contain high amounts of plant-based proteins that are enough for your chickens. They have about 25% protein by weight. This is more protein than any other vegetarian option you can find.
Humans also substitute meat with beans to fulfill their protein requirements. If you want to give your birds a safe and healthy vegetarian alternative for protein, then beans are the way to go. They will keep your chickens healthy, help them grow in size, and keep their energy levels up!
Essential Minerals and Vitamins
One of the best parts about beans is that you can get them in various shapes and sizes. Beans contain a wide range of minerals and vitamins that you cannot obtain from other sources easily.
They are considered a great source of potassium. It is beneficial for people suffering from blood pressure issues. Moreover, beans also have a lot of other nutrients that keep your birds happy and healthy.
You will find that beans are also rich in manganese, copper, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium. Each of these has a very specific role to play in your chicken’s health.
Additionally, beans also have water-soluble vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, folate, folic, etc. These are essential for chickens and play a huge role in keeping your birds healthy!
What is the right way of feeding beans?
When you think of poultry feed, you probably imagine dry foods like seeds, weeds, grass, etc. However, if you want to make sure your birds are healthy and are getting the right nutrition, you must focus on how you feed them.
Knowing what to feed them will only take you so far. Having a clear idea as to how you should feed them makes all the difference. Here is how you can add beans to your chicken’s diet correctly.
Clean the beans
Once you get the beans you wish to feed your chickens, the first thing you should do is clean them. Beans are usually covered in dirt and other substances right off the bat. You need to get rid of them by washing them with water.
Just take your beans in a bowl or any container and pour water all over them. Rinse it out a couple of times until the water starts looking cleaner. After this, you are all set for the next step.
Soak in water
Once you have cleaned the beans, you need to soak them in water. They are generally very hard and have a tough outer coat. You need to make sure you soak them in water before cooking them.
All you need to do is take your beans and completely submerge them in water. You must soak these beans for about 5 hours before you cook them. This way, they are cooked thoroughly in the end.
Yes, you need to cook beans before you feed it to your chickens. Raw and uncooked beans are very harmful to birds and can cause high toxicity levels in them. Make sure you cook these beans for about 30 minutes by boiling them in water before you feed your chickens.
Precautions to follow while feeding chickens beans
As you may have heard before, everything is good in moderation. It goes without saying that when it comes to feeding your chickens, you need to be extra careful. Their mechanism is vastly different from ours.
So, if you want to keep them healthy, you need to be extra careful about what you feed them. Continue reading to find out what are some things that you need to pay special attention to when feeding your birds beans.
Always rinse them
You need to make sure your beans are free of dirt, pesticides, and other harmful material. Chances are even packed beans that are not free of such chemicals. So, make sure they are clean before consumption.
Feed your chickens beans in moderation
Beans contain high amounts of protein. Even though it is great for health, it can end up doing more harm than good when it comes to chickens. So, give your birds a balanced diet in moderation!
Cook them properly
Beans are nearly fatal for birds when they are uncooked. Uncooked beans have a high amount of hemagglutinin, which is very bad for birds. It is also toxic to human beings. Be on the safer side and cook the beans before you feed your chickens.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I feed my chickens per day? It is estimated that if you have 100 chickens, they will consume a total of 5.5 kg of feed in a day. So, a single chicken will have around 55 grams of feed.
Can I substitute meat protein for beans? Yes, you can give your chickens meat proteins if you are not satisfied with the plant-based protein they get from beans.
At the end of the day, it is important to give your birds a healthy and nutritious diet. There are many ways in which you can make sure your chicken’s dietary needs are getting fulfilled. One of them is feeding them beans in the right amounts.
Beans have all the right ingredients in correct proportions that will make your chickens healthier. You can try out different beans and see what works best for your chickens. However, be sure whatever you get, you wash it and cook it first!