Having chickens is a big responsibility. One of the most important aspects of being an animal guardian means you have to ensure these lovely birds are eating right. Chickens, like many creatures, are not known to be picky eaters, but that also presents an extra challenge for caretakers. If you aren't careful, your chicken could end up consuming something bad for them.
If you're new to the world of chickens, you may not realize that these birds eat quite healthily. They can eat a few different types of greens, seeds, insects, and more. But can chickens eat green beans? They are a vitamin-rich food option recommended for humans, but these birds might have other needs.
Can chickens eat green beans?
According to The Happy Chicken Coop, chickens can eat green beans only if cooked. Raw green beans contain a protein called lectin, which is toxic to chickens. It won't kill them, but Pet Keen says that it can irritate their insides.
If you let your chickens eat your leftovers, ensure the green beans aren't seasoned. Chickens don't need to eat salt, sugar, seasonings, or other flavorings to enjoy their food.
Regardless, you know your chickens best. The Happy Chicken Coop points out that some chicken parents still choose to feed the birds raw green beans with the idea that the amount of lectin isn't enough to be toxic in small amounts. But it's better to be safe than sorry, especially if you are unsure or if you are new to raising chickens.
HGTV points out that chickens will eat pretty much anything. So, you have several options if you would like to substitute something else for the green beans. Insects and seeds are things they can easily find on their own, and these other foods have health benefits like protein and various vitamins.
How should you prep green beans for your chickens?
If you want to feed your chicken green beans, we understand. According to the American Heart Association, these veggies have all kinds of health benefits, including vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, and more. Luckily, you don't have to do anything to green beans before you feed them to your chicken besides cooking them.
Additionally, you will want to avoid canned green beans because canned foods typically have higher sodium content than those in other packaging, and if you can, it's always better if you grow them yourself. That way, you have the ultimate control over what your loved ones eat and can make sure they are healthy.
Ultimately, just because chickens are willing to eat anything doesn't mean they should. Be sure to monitor each of your feathered friends to ensure they react well to new foods.
If there are any issues, take your chickens to the vet or get them medical care ASAP. You never know what might irritate your birds' stomach, and when it comes to the health of your beloved feathered friends, it's always better to err on the side of caution.