Can Chickens Eat Green Beans?

Can Chickens Eat Green Beans Featured Image
Chickens can only eat fresh, canned and frozen green beans when cooked without fat or seasonings. Raw green beans contain lectic which is toxic for chickens to eat. 

Green beans are often a favorite vegetable for people because not only do they taste good, but they are nutritionally dense and available fresh, frozen, canned, and even dried!

Chickens are omnivores and appreciate having a variety of food in their diet. People often wonder if they can feed green beans to their backyard chickens because green beans are typically available year-round and are cheap to buy and preserve.

The answer may surprise you!

In this article, we will cover the different ways that green beans can be prepared, and which of these are safe for chickens.

Green Beans Are Safe for Chickens

Green beans come in 130 varieties but nutritionally are about the same. Green beans can be safe for chickens to eat – it just depends on how it is prepared.

Green beans of all varieties contain lectin, so it is vital that lectin is removed before offering green beans to your flock. Lectins are toxic to chickens and if fed in large amounts can poison or even kill your birds.

So it is vital to know how to prepare green beans the safe way before you give them to your chickens. Boiling or steaming your green beans is the safest way to preserve their nutritional value while removing lectins.

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pot of boiling green beans
It only takes around 5 minutes to boil green beans for your chickens

Other Foods that You Should Never Feed Chickens include:

  • Dried beans as they contain hemagglutinin (deadly for chickens).
  • Uncooked Beans (especially kidney beans) contain high amounts of hemagglutinin.
  • Apple Seeds contain cyanide which can cause disruption of the nervous system.
  • Rhubarb and rhubarb leaf have oxalic acid in high amounts that can lead to calcium absorption issues.
  • Avocados contain persin which is a poison.
  • Green potatoes are a member of the nightshade family and contain solanine, a toxic compound that can kill chickens.
  • Coffee grounds contain caffeine, which can cause heart problems.
  • Moldy foods should never be fed to chickens as mold is toxic.
  • Junk food is highly processed, full of carbohydrates, fats, and seasonings that are not good for chickens

Can Chickens Eat Raw Green Beans?

Chickens should avoid eating raw green beans because they contain the most lectin, which is toxic to them.

If you cook the beans first, you effectively remove the lectin which makes them safe to eat.

Can Chickens Eat Canned Green Beans?

Chickens can eat canned green beans but it is better for you to offer them freshly cooked green beans.

Canned green beans usually have extra additives like salt which can dehydrate your birds in large amounts, so it is best to avoid them.

Can Chickens Eat Frozen Green Beans?

Yes – chickens can eat frozen green beans as long as they don’t have extra salt or flavoring added to them.

It is best to allow them to thaw, cook per the directions on the package, allow to cool, and then feed to your chickens.

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Are Green Beans Healthy for Chickens?

The health benefits of green beans are highly regarded because green beans contain several important vitamins, minerals and enzymes that chickens need.

Green beans contain:

  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin K
  • Phosphorus
  • Folate

Green beans offer good nutritional value and are effective in boosting the immune system and helping with bone and skin health. Feeding high-quality foods is important to maintain the overall health of your flock and be sure to allow your chickens time to free-range so they can forage and diversify their diets.


A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

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