Edamame is soybeans picked when they are still green. It’s packed with a lot of nutrients that have a lot of health benefits. This legume is a tasty treat that can be eaten fresh or cooked. For humans, it’s safe to eat, but what if you want to feed them to the chickens too?
Can chickens eat edamame? Yes, chickens can eat edamame, including the pods. This legume is rich in protein and packed with other vital nutrition. Like most other legumes, edamame contains toxin when it’s raw. You will need to cook them thoroughly first to remove toxins before it can be fed to the chickens.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Edamame?
Edamame is a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Some of the other elements include calcium, vitamins C, B5 & B6, Iron, Magnesium, Lysine, Methionine, Tryptophan, and Choline.
Below are some of the health benefits of feeding edamame to chickens:
High in Protein
Edamame is a quality protein source, which is a decent amount for plant food. This mineral is crucial for the development of many parts of the body. Chickens need protein to help build and repair muscles, and it’s an important building block of cartilage, skin, and blood.
For hen to lay quality eggs, they need plenty of protein to do so. Pullets seven to eighteen weeks of age should be fed 17% to 18% protein. After nineteen weeks, the hens need about 16% protein.
High in Calcium
Edamame has a vast amount of calcium, which can help improve bone health. Chickens need plenty of calcium to strengthen their bone tissues and help prevent brittle bones.
Also, calcium will help strengthen their beaks and nails. This will keep them from getting brittle and breaking too easily.
For hens that are laying eggs, calcium is very important to the development of the eggs. The more calcium that the chickens eat, the stronger and healthier the eggs will be. The result will be more flavorful eggs for people to enjoy.
High in Fiber
Edamame has a high content of fiber. This is important for a healthy digestive system. Chickens that are fed a good amount of fiber will usually not have any digestive problems such as bloating, diarrhea, and upset stomach which is common among backyard chickens. Also, fiber will help with regular bowel movement and keeps the food moving smoothly along the digestive tract.
Can Chickens Eat Edamame Pods?
Yes, chickens can eat edamame pods or shells. However, the pods are too tough to feed to them as a whole. You’ll need to cut them into small pieces before feeding them to the chickens.
Some people will toss the entire edamame to the chickens. The chickens will peck and eat the edamame inside but will leave the pods alone. However, it’s best to split it open and take out the beans inside so it’ll be easier for them to eat it.
Is Edamame Bad for Chickens?
Edamame contains a small amount of toxin when it’s raw. Feeding them raw edamame can be bad for chickens. However, the chickens will need to eat a lot of the legume to have any side effects.
To be on the safe side, always make sure the edamame is cooked first so the toxins will be removed. This applies to cooked, raw, and frozen edamame.
Another thing too, the legume is usually cooked and seasoned with salt. Salt is not very good for chickens when in large quantities. Therefore, you’ll want to feed them edamame that is raw without any seasoning.
Also, avoid edamame that’s sold in grocery stores as these are processed and they contain sodium and other additives.
How To Feed Edamame To Chickens
Chickens can edamame fresh, frozen, or cooked. Since chickens are not picky eater, they’ll eat all.
When feeding them edamame, it’s best to not use any seasoning. Give them plain edamame is the best way, whether it’s cooked, fresh, or frozen.
However, they can be fed edamame that has been salted or has other seasonings but only in moderation.
Below are the different ways of feeding edamame to the chickens:
Feeding them fresh edamame is the best way to feed the chickens. Doing so will ensure they get the full benefit of the nutrition the legume has to offer. Again, make sure to cooked the edamame first to remove the toxins.
Depending on the size of the edamame beans, you may need to cut them into smaller pieces. If the edamame is small, you can just feed them as is. It can become a choking hazard for them since raw edamame is hard.
Frozen edamame is a great way to keep them hydrated while benefiting from the nutrition it has to offer. To feed them frozen edamame, you can either let it thaw first or give them frozen edamame right out of the freezer.
If feeding them frozen edamame, the chickens will usually peck at it until it breaks open. Once they do, they eat the beans inside.
Cooking edamame is another method of feeding the legume to the chickens. Cooked edamame will be softer and easier for them to eat. Also, the pods will be soft and edible for them to eat. You will still need to cut them into smaller pieces so it will be easier for them to eat and digest.
How Much And How Often To Feed Edamame To Chickens
Edamame doesn’t contain any toxins and you can feed them as much as you want. However, edamame and like other foods besides commercial feeds, it should only make up 10% of their diet. The rest should come in the form of commercial feeds, where it’s formulated to meet the chicken’s diet requirement.
Therefore, edamame should be given to them in moderation. This means a couple of times per week is enough for them.
At each feeding, you can give them as much edamame as you like. However, it’s best to keep it in a small quantity. Feeding them too much of it could cause them to become full and they may not eat their main food. Edamame doesn’t have enough nutrition to meet the chicken’s diet requirement.
Other Legume That Chickens Can Eat
Chickpeas are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Raw chickpeas contain toxins that can harm the chickens. To be safe, always cook the legume thoroughly first to remove the toxins.
Peas are safe for chickens, whether it’s cooked, raw, or frozen. These small green legumes are packed full of nutrients and provide many valuable vitamins and minerals. Also, peas are fun food and will keep them busy. The chickens like to peck and chase after them.
Black beans are great for chickens. However, you’ll need to cook them first. Raw or undercooked black beans contain hemagglutinin which is highly toxic. Just a small amount can be deadly for them.
When black beans are cooked, it will provide a lot of nutrition, especially protein for the chickens.