Can Chickens Eat Green Beans?

If you enjoy eating green beans, you may wonder if your backyard chickens can eat them as well.

So, can chickens eat green beans? Yes, chickens can eat green beans. Make sure that it is fresh and plain. Also, it’s important to cook them first. Raw green beans contain a toxin, which could harm your chickens and can be fatal as well.

Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Green Beans?

Green beans are safe for chickens to eat, only when they are cooked first. Raw green beans contain a natural toxin known as lectins. This toxin is harmful to the chickens, even death can occur.

Therefore, it’s recommended to cook the green beans thoroughly first before feeding them to your chickens. When it’s cooked, the lectins are eliminated, and it will be safe for the chickens to eat.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Green Beans?

Green beans are a vegetable that is nutrient-rich, yet low in calories, fat, and sugar. This makes green beans a healthy food for your chickens to eat.

Nutritional Content Of Green Beans

Chicken Eating Food

One cup (100g) of cooked green beans:

  • Water 89.92 g
  • Energy 32 Calories
  • Protein 1.9 g
  • Carbohydrates 7.26 g
  • Fiber 2.8 g
  • Fat 0.2 g
  • Calcium 39 mg
  • Phosphorous 40 mg
  • Magnesium 26 mg
  • Potassium 220 mg
  • Folate 29 µg
  • Choline 15.9 mg
  • Vitamin K 44 µg
  • Vitamin C 10.8 mg

The above data is from the USDA

Produce Quality Eggs

Green beans are a good source of calcium. This mineral is essential for the hens to produce quality eggs. The eggshells are made entirely of calcium. This means hens that get enough calcium in their diet will produce strong and healthy eggs.

Also, hens need plenty of calcium as well to stay strong and healthy. During egg production, the hen is put under a lot of stress, especially its bones.

Improve Digestion

Green beans have a good amount of fiber, which is essential for the digestive system. Since fiber can’t be digested by the body, it helps bulk up the stool. This will prevent constipation in chickens and help moves the food smoothly through the digestive tract.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Green Beans?

Baby chickens can eat green beans once they are about 3 weeks old. When they are under this age, their digestive system isn’t developed enough to properly digest the green beans. This could lead to impaction, which will eventually be fatal to them.

Instead, the chicks should be fed a diet of quality starter feed. This feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to support the chick’s health. Also, the texture of the starter feed is small enough for them to eat and digest it easily.

Once the baby chickens are around 3 weeks old, you can start to introduce green beans to them. Make sure to cook the beans thoroughly to remove any toxins before giving the chicks any.

After it’s fully cooked, cut the green beans into small pieces. Then toss them to the chicks or place the beans in their feeder to let them eat from.

Can Chickens Eat Green Bean Leaves?

Yes, chickens can eat green beans leaves. The leaves are a bit tough for them to eat, so you’ll want to cut or tear the leaves into smaller pieces.

Also, since the leaves are not part of their staple diet, they should only be given to them in moderation.

Can Chickens Eat Canned Green Beans?

Chickens should not eat canned green beans. Like many canned foods, they will usually be preserved in salt or other additives. Salt is harmful to chickens in large amounts.

How To Feed Green Beans To Your Chickens

When feeding green beans to your chickens, always make sure that it’s fresh. If the beans are spoiled, they could contain harmful bacteria, which will cause your chickens to become sick.

Since the green beans are mildly toxic when raw, you should cook them thoroughly first. This means, place the beans into boiling water for about 10 minutes. The hot water will eliminate the toxin from the vegetable.

Then remove them from the hot water and let it sit to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cut the tips off of each green bean. It has little benefit and poses a choking hazard for the chickens.

Also, cut the green beans into smaller pieces, so it will be easier for them to eat and digest.

Then you can serve the green beans to them with the following options:

  • Toss them to the ground. The chickens will peck and eat them.
  • Place the green beans into their feeder bowl. This will make it easier for you to observe what chicken ate and how much.
  • Mix it with other treats. You can mix the green beans with other vegetables. This is a great way to give the chickens a boost in nutrition.

How Many Green Beans Should Chickens Eat?

While green beans have a lot of nutrition, they should only be fed to them in small amounts. The reason is that green beans are not part of their staple diet. It doesn’t offer complete nutrition to meet all the chicken’s dietary needs.

Therefore, for an adult chicken, you can give them a handful or two of green beans at a time. For each baby chicken, a couple of small pieces of beans is plenty.

How Often Should Chickens Eat Green Beans?

 Green beans should be fed to your chickens in moderation. This vegetable contains a good amount of fiber and water, which can essentially fill up your chickens. This will prevent them from eating their staple food of chicken feeds.

Green beans should be given to them a treat. This means the vegetable should only make up 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come in the form of quality commercial chicken feeds. These feeds have been formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary needs.

Therefore, to keep them healthy, you should give green beans to your chickens, once or twice per week.

Other Vegetables That Chickens Can Eat

Carrots

Carrots are great for chickens since it’s packed with nutrition. You can feed them the whole carrot, including the green leaves or tops. Also, the carrots can be served raw or cooked. Be sure to cut the vegetable into small pieces, so it will be easier for them to eat.

Cabbage

Cabbage makes an excellent treat for backyard chickens. It contains a good deal of nutrition that the chickens need to remain healthy and strong. You can either feed them cabbages, either cooked or raw.

Radishes

Radishes are packed with nutrition that is healthy for chickens. You can feed them the radish leaves as well. Since it’s a leafy green, you can feed them daily. As for the radishes, they contain a high amount of water, so it’s best to feed them in moderation. Too many radishes will cause digestive issues for the chickens.

Conclusion

Green beans are nutritious and healthy for the chickens to eat. Before feeding them any green beans, make sure to cook them thoroughly first. Doing so will eliminate all the toxins from the beans. To make them easier for the chickens to eat, you can cut them into smaller pieces.