Can Chickens Eat Black Beans?


We can all agree that chickens are irreplaceable in our backyards. They help us so much with properly removing pesky insects from our land. Every animal should deserve an occasional treat for their service, and you might wonder what that snack should be for hens.

Let me help you out; in the realm of chicken enthusiasts, one of the main questions is: “Can chickens eat black beans?”

Many of them aren’t aware of this, so I’ll tell you a secret: they definitely can!

I can understand if you are skeptical about this. We all know that lectin is present within all beans. So how can chickens eat it? Isn’t that dangerous for consumption? Is there a way to avoid that toxin? How can chickens even benefit from such a small veggie?

All of these questions are answered below. Be courageous and scroll down as you’ll undoubtedly discover a phenomenal treat for all hens, that being black beans!  

Chickens’ Diet

What can you possibly not like about chickens? They are fun and intelligent creatures that provide us with eggs every day! Now, for them to hatch healthy eggs, some criteria need to be fulfilled. Food is the primary source of energy for every living being, so that is where it all starts.

Chickens require a diverse diet so that they can adequately function both physically and mentally. 

Take a note and write the following stuff that they need to eat:

  1. Seeds
  2. Vegetables
  3. Fruits
  4. Nuts

Maintaining optimal food intake for hens is relatively easy. As long as you provide them with the stuff above, there won’t be any problems. Some of you that have a sharp eye might have recognized that some stuff is missing on the list.

Although chickens can live just fine with just eating the things above, they regularly encounter some other stuff in their daily lives. And how could they not? You don’t keep chickens in the center of the city, don’t you? 

Chickens require lots of free space for them to travel and discover new things every day! With a large yard filled with grass, you can be confident that the food above isn’t the only thing they eat. Whenever hens stumble upon some insects, they won’t hesitate whether to eat them or not.

Insects are rich in protein, so you can probably guess why they eat them all the time! Stuff like ants, beetles, and caterpillars all make an excellent treat for your hens! Those and many more insects are scattered all around the yard, so don’t worry; there is plenty for every chicken!

The only bugs that are troublesome for your hens are flies. They are disease-ridden and aren’t a healthy snack for chickens. Every chick makes this mistake once in their life and consumes a fly. 

You shouldn’t concern yourself with that as chickens learn shortly after not to eat them anymore! Most of the time, they know what’s best for them, and they will tend to avoid any unnecessary risks. Unfortunately, that sentence began with “most of the time.” What does that mean?

Well, some treats are irresistible for them to try out once in a while if given the opportunity. And of course, most of them can be found in the garden where (I assume) you grow various types of edible plants. 

Apples, cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes, or any other plant, I assure you, every single one of them is a target that chickens aim to get. Some plants grow out to be large trees, but most of them will remain on the surface level.  

Trees have fruits that grow high, and those aren’t easily accessible by hens. The ones that you have to worry about are the plants that remain below. If chickens get too close to your plants, be sure that they will try to eat them!

You can’t blame them; chickens are attracted to plants’ various smells. Many of them don’t pose a significant threat if consumed by hens, but not all of them are safe. This is where we have the first glimpse of black beans.

How To Properly Introduce Black Beans To Chickens?

If you are from Latin America, it is safe to assume that you have some black beans planted in your backyard. As those beans originate from there, it isn’t far-fetched that people who live there have a high chance of nurturing them.

The same can be said for every part of the world, as black beans are found worldwide! With its dense and meaty texture, it’s a fan-favorite bean for many people. If you are fond of eating burritos, you’ve undoubtedly come across some black beans in that snack!

Unfortunately, chickens can’t (or rather mustn’t) partake in black beans the same way we can. Engrave this into your brain: If a chicken somehow consumes a single raw black bean, it will inevitably die! I hope this reaches you deeply because any mistakes are fatal.

If you grow black beans in your backyard, you must build a fence around that place for starters. As I’ve said earlier, hens tend to ravage every kind of food that they stumble upon. Plants in your garden are special delicates from them!

Consider making it a high fence as chickens can and will try to jump over it to reach the plants potentially. They can’t fly with their wings, but they can jump high! They may not like that obstacle, but safety comes first in every situation, and this one is not something to joke around!

If insects are the number five on the list above, I would say that occasional snacks are then ranked sixth. There are plenty of wonderful treats that you can give to your hens. Many of them aren’t as healthy as they should be, so let me recommend you to offer them some black beans as they undoubtedly are!

So, if you can’t offer hens with raw black beans, what is the correct form of beans you can offer them? As a matter of fact, only cooked black beans can be served for chickens. Raw beans have lectin in them, a potent toxic lethal to both hens and humans!

To neutralize that toxin, black beans need to be boiled in hot water for at least 30 minutes. Of course, before boiling them, you should adequately wash them in cold water. After that, cook them for 2 to 3 hours. Then, let it rest for several minutes, drain the excess water, and let the beans cool a bit.

There is no scientific answer as to how much beans you should offer per hen. 

I can only suggest what worked for me; if you give them no more than 150 grams of cooked black beans per meal, there won’t be any problems. Twice a week is sufficient. Any more than that can cause specific problems for your chickens.

How Can Chickens Benefit From Black Beans?

You might ask why should you even consider giving some black beans to your chickens if it’s such a struggle even to prepare them? Bare with me; when you find out just how much black beans can help chickens, you won’t ever consider that preparing them is troublesome again!

For starters, take a look at the macros of black beans:

Calories132
Carbs23.71 g
Sugar0.32 g
Fiber8.7 g
Fat0.54 g
Protein8.86 g
Water65.74 %
Vitamin E0.87 mg
Potassium355 mg
Sodium237 mg
Phosphorus140 mg
*nutritional value per 100 grams of cooked black beans

Nothing short of brilliant, if I may say myself! If you wondered how to hydrate your hens additionally, offer them some black beans. With a whopping 65% of water present inside them, these beans will make sure to provide your chickens with the additional water.

As hens tend to overfeed, they sometimes closely grasp the realm of obesity. You can’t prevent them from eating all the time if you let them roam around your yard all day long. A solid solution is to close them in the cage, but that is cruel, isn’t it?

By offering them some black beans, you can fix that problem. With a high amount of carbs, you can count on beans to appropriately fill up hens’ bellies whenever they eat some! 

You just know that you are on the right track to finding out a perfect snack for chicks when it doesn’t even have a gram of sugar in it! Don’t be shy and offer them some!

Can Chickens Eat Black Beans? – Final Thoughts

If for any reason, you still have some doubts as to can chickens eat black beans, I can assure you that those doubts are unnecessary.

It is an excellent snack for your birds, as long as you offer them the cooked variant. Never try to experiment with the raw or dried beans, as digesting even a single piece will be fatal for your hens.

Always make sure to wash them before offering some to chickens. One hundred fifty grams of cooked black beans twice per week is more than enough for them. Any more than that will undoubtedly lead to some digestion problems.

If you have, for some reason, any problems with properly hydrating your chickens, offer them some black beans; they are fully packed with water. Not only that, beans help them with properly maintaining food intake as they have a sufficient amount of carbs within them.

Present your chickens with some black beans, and you’ll shortly notice that the quality of their eggs has suddenly improved! 

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