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Can Chickens Eat Green Beans? Are They Healthy?

green beans

Chickens are curious creatures, getting into all the goodies around the barnyard. If you’re growing a garden and your chickens eat green beans, or you’re simply curious about whether they can have this long skinny green, we have good news. You and your chickens will be equally happy to learn that green beans are perfectly acceptable for your flock.

In fact, green beans pack an absolute wallop of nutrients but are best fed in moderation. Let’s learn all the details.

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Green Bean Nutrition Facts

Per 1 cup
  • Calories: 31
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Protein: 1.8 g
  • Potassium:
  • Fiber: 3.4 g
  • Vitamin C: 27%
  • Iron: 5%
  • Vitamin B6: 5%
  • Calcium: 3%
  • Magnesium: 6%

Green beans are a plentiful vegetable that grows in many gardens. These plants typically have bush and dining varieties, each with its own flavors and benefits.

Can You Feed Green Beans to Chickens?

Along with a laundry list of other garden vegetables, you can undoubtedly feed green beans to your chickens. The only thing to consider is the lectin in the beans. You might see some flock owners feed their chickens raw green beans, but it isn’t advisable.

Instead of feeding your chickens green beans raw, it is best to wash and cook them thoroughly first. Not only will they be easier to eat, they will also cook out the lectin in each bean.

Green Bean Benefits

green beans
Image Credit By: flockine, Pixabay

Green beans serve as a good source of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates. Your gals can have these tasty treats in moderation and will likely enjoy gobbling them up. However, they are never meant to be a primary diet source for chickens, as they lack vital nutrients needed to thrive.

But here's what they do have:
  • Protein – Protein is highly beneficial to your chickens to boost muscle strength and provide excellent joint and tendon structure. Protein is essential to their diet, especially if you raise them for meat.
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is notoriously good for your immunity, creating a healthy internal structure, so all systems operate at a healthy phase.
  • Vitamin K – Vitamin K is responsible for blood clotting in the body and crafting solid bones. It works with prothrombin and osteocalcin to enhance these functions.
  • Calcium – Calcium is an absolutely essential mineral in your chicken’s diet. They need calcium in their diet to form solid, hardy eggs and enhance production.

Green Bean Downfalls

chopped green beans
Image: congerdesign, Pixabay

It might seem okay just to pluck a couple of green beans from your garden and toss them to your flock. After all, you probably have an overabundance of them and don’t mind sharing.

While it is definitely a lot easier to do this, these veggies contain lectin, which humans and chickens alike have trouble breaking down. When the vegetable is cooked, it eliminates some of that, making it safe to consume.

The lectin won’t kill your birds, but it can be challenging to break down in the system and may lead to irritation. So, offering up cooked green beans is best for the safety and comfort of your flock.

Canned green beans might seem like a good choice since you know they shouldn’t be raw. However, green beans usually contain high sodium content, which isn’t natural or beneficial to their diet.

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Final Thoughts

So now you know that cooked green beans are a perfectly acceptable occasional snack for your flock to have in moderation. Green beans can provide a decent amount of vitamins and other nutrients in their daily diets. Although remember, since they contain lectin, it is advisable to cook the green beans before serving.

Even though chickens getting into green beans really isn’t that big of a deal, it can cause long-term problems if it continues to happen. Just be mindful of how you’re serving the green beans and the frequency in which they eat them.

Sources
 

Featured Image Credit: pixel1, Pixabay

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