Can Chickens Eat Lima Beans?

Lima beans are immature, baby butter beans. These beans are versatile and can be used in many different recipes. Lima beans are safe for humans to eat, but what if you want to feed them to your chickens as well? Can chickens eat lima beans and is it safe for them?

Can chickens eat lima beans? Yes, chickens can eat lima beans, but only if it’s cooked first. Raw lima beans should not be fed to chickens. It is toxic to chickens and can cause them serious harm, even death can occur.

Are Lima Beans Healthy for Chickens?

Like most beans, lima beans are typically a healthy food choice. It’s packed with nutrients such as fiber, protein, and iron.

This makes lima beans a good choice of treat for chickens. Below are some of what the chickens can benefit from eating this bean:

Improved Digestion

Lima bean is a good source of fiber. It helps aid in digestion by helping stool pass through the gut quickly. A good diet of fiber can help prevent constipation.

Strengthen Muscle

Lima beans are high in protein, which is important for the muscles in guinea pigs. Protein helps build, repair, and strengthen muscles.

By giving your guinea pigs a healthy diet of food that contains protein like those found in lima beans, they will have strong muscles and less likely to become injured.

Why Is Uncooked Lima Beans Bad For Chickens?

When it comes to uncooked or raw lima beans, they contain toxins that are harmful to chickens.

Depending on the beans, each will have its own level of toxins. Kidney beans, for example, contain a high amount of toxins. This is enough to kill the chicken even in small amounts.

Lima beans aren’t as toxic as kidney beans, but it has enough to be fatal to chickens if they eat enough of it.

According to HuffingtonPost, lima beans contain a toxin called linamarin. When ingested, the toxin will break down into hydrogen cyanide. This is the same as those found in peaches, plums, and apricots.

To prevent chickens from being harmed by lima beans, you should always fully cook the beans first. Cooking will destroy the toxins in the lima beans.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Lima Beans?

Baby chickens should not be given any lima beans. Their digestive system isn’t developed enough to be able to digest the legumes. At this age, they should be fed a regular diet of starter feeds. These feeds have the proper nutrition and texture that’s specifically made for chicks.

Once the baby chickens are about 3 weeks old, you can start to feed them lima beans. Make sure that it is cooked and then mash it. This will make it easier for them to eat it.

Also, have grits available for them. The grits will help break down the lima beans.

How Do You Prepare Lima Beans For Your Chickens

Before feeding lima beans to the chickens, it’s important to cook them thoroughly first. Never feed raw lima beans to them, or it will cause them harm.

Start by heating a pot of water. Once the water is boiled, drop the lima beans into the pot.

Cook it for about 15 minutes. These break down the enzyme and will make it safe for the chickens to eat.

Remove the beans from the pot and place them into a colander. Let it cool for about 20 minutes.

Once it’s cooled, place it into their feeder, or you can mix it with other foods.

How Many Lima Beans Should You Feed Your Chickens?

Feed only a small amount of lima beans to your chickens. This means for each chicken, you can give them 3-4 lima beans.

Since lima beans aren’t one of their staple food, you should not feed them every day. Doing so could lead to health problems for the chickens.

How Often Should You Feed Your Chickens Lima Beans?

While lima beans are a good source of many nutrients that the chicken needs, it’s best to feed them in moderation. Too much of it could cause harm to the chicken.

Lima beans should only make up 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come from quality commercial feeds. These feeds have been formulated with the right amount of nutrients to meet the chicken’s dietary needs.

Therefore, feed lima beans to your chickens, once or twice per week.

Other Legumes That Chickens Can Eat


Chickpeas are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This makes them a great snack for chickens to eat. When feeding them chickpeas, only feed them cooked chickpeas. Raw chickpeas contain toxins and substances that will make it difficult for the chicken to digest.


Peas are a healthy snack for chickens. It’s packed with nutrition that the chickens can benefit from. Unlike other legumes, peas are safe for chickens to consume whether they’re cooked or raw.


Soybean is a good source of protein. It also has a food amount of fiber, and vitamins, and minerals. Like other legumes, soybeans should be cooked thoroughly first. Raw soybeans are toxic and could cause harm to the chickens.


Lima beans are loaded with nutrition, especially protein. Before feeding them the beans, make sure to cook them thoroughly first. This will remove the toxin from the beans and make them safe for your chickens to eat.