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Can Chickens Eat Peas?

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Chickens are personable and easy birds to raise. Giving food and treats to chickens is fun to do especially when you feed them with your hands. Excellent treats for chickens should be palatable and rich in nutrients. One popular treat people like to give to their chickens is peas. Should you feed your chickens with peas?

Can chickens eat peas?

Chickens can and should eat peas. Peas are rich in proteins as well as vitamins, minerals, and fibers. You should feed your chickens with peas, but make sure that you are giving them as treats and not a regular diet.

What type of peas can chickens eat? What other seeds can you feed chickens with? Continue reading.

catalana chicken standing on pebbles

Chickens Eating Peas

Peas are the seeds of pea plants (Pisum sativum). Peas are a very popular food as they are rich in proteins. Peas contain around 5-15% protein according to the variety and type. While we eat peas frequently, we are not the only ones that love to eat peas.

Chickens love their peas and will eat as many peas as you give to them. Even though peas are not the favorite treats of chickens, they do relish eating them.

Types of Peas That Chickens Can Eat

Here are different types of peas that you can feed your chickens with:

  • Raw Peas: Raw peas have every protein (and other nutrients) still intact. When peas are boiled, they lose some proteins. This means that chickens get to enjoy more proteins when you give them raw peas. However, your chickens might not find raw peas as delicious as cooked ones.
  • Dry Peas: Dry peas have less moisture and a higher concentration of nutrients. Chickens can eat dry peas. Just remember that your chickens should always have access to clean water whenever they do.
  • Frozen Peas: Frozen peas are awesome treats for chickens especially in summer. Frozen peas can cool your chickens off while providing them with awesome nutrients for their health. Frozen peas also help to hydrate your chickens and keep them going in the heat.
  • Cooked Peas: If you have leftover peas, you should give them to your chickens instead of throwing them away. Cooked peas are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from other ingredients used during cooking. Give cooked peas to chickens as treats as they do contain a lot of carbohydrates.
  • Split Peas: Split peas are simply dry peas split in half. If you have some split peas to spare, you should give them to your chickens. As they are smaller than whole peas, you can give split peas to chicks. You should also use split peas (just like grains) to train your chickens to return to their coop in the evening.

As you can see, it does not matter the type of peas that you have, you can give them to your chickens.

Green peas on the wooden table

Pea Pods for Chickens

Peapods are the case in which peas develop on the plant. Peapods can have up to 4% protein when fresh according to the variety. Peapods, however, are full of fibers (58%). Chickens can eat pea pods if they want.

Keep the peapods close to the feeding trough of your birds. If they want, they will eat the pods. You should not give them too many peapods because of the higher fiber content.

Other Seeds That Chickens Can Eat

Here are some seeds that you can give to your chickens (as treats).

1. Watermelon Seeds

dry watermelon seeds

Do you throw watermelon seeds away? Well, don’t throw your watermelon seeds away anymore as they make awesome treats for chickens. Watermelon seeds are nutritious for chickens and you can give them as many seeds as you want. Chickens can also eat watermelon rinds (peels), so no part of a watermelon is a waste if you have chickens.

2. Sunflower Seeds

sunflower seeds in a bag

Give sunflower seeds to chickens as treats. Sunflower seeds contain a lot of proteins (21%) for your chickens, but they are not inexpensive. If you can spare some sunflower seeds, give them to your chickens.

3. Grains

hand holding barley grains in hand

Chickens love their grains. Grains are rich in carbohydrates, so you should give grains to your chickens as treats instead of a regular meal. Examples of grains are:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Rye
  • Oats

Grains can increase the weight of your chickens, so you can add grains to their finisher feed. Also, giving grains to your chickens at night (especially during the winter) is beneficial for them as digesting grains can keep them warm at night.

4. Pumpkin Seeds

peeled pumpkin seeds

Why throw the pumpkin seeds away when you have chickens? Chickens can eat pumpkin seeds just like the seeds of other plants, so you should keep your pumpkin seeds for your chickens.

5. Papaya Seeds

papaya seeds with silver spoon

Who knew that papaya seeds are edible? Even though you may not want to eat the seeds of papaya fruits, you should give them to your chickens instead. Papaya seeds have around 21% crude protein. That’s a lot of protein for your chickens. Papaya seeds make a healthy alternative to processed chicken feed. Give your chickens (and chicks) as many papaya seeds as you can.

That’s a lot of seed ideas for chickens. Which seed will you treat your chickens with?

Related Questions and Answers

Here are more points to note:

1. What Are Examples of Pea Varieties That Chickens Can Eat?

Examples of pea varieties (and other pea-like seeds) that chickens can eat are:

  • English peas
  • Snow peas
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Avola peas
  • Canoe peas
  • Kelvedon Wonder peas
  • Hurst green shaft peas

There are many pea varieties to treat your chickens with.

2. Can Chickens Eat Beans?

adzuki beans on a wooden bowl

Chickens can eat beans as peas and beans are similar. The problem with beans is that beans are very slow to digest when eaten raw. Raw beans also have some anti-nutrients that can prevent chickens from getting every nutrient from the seeds.

You should give your chickens only cooked beans. Leftover boiled beans are an excellent treat for chickens.

3. Can Chicks Eat Peas?

Chicks can eat peas. Chicks should only eat peas as treats and not as a regular meal. Chickens need more than 23% protein in their feed when they are young so that they can quickly grow feathers and become mature. Feeding chicks with only peas can reduce the rate of their development.

You can give peas to your chicks, but just as treats.

4. What is the Best Type of Pea for Chicken Consumption?

raw organic split peas

The best type of pea for chickens to eat is split peas. Dry peas usually have at least double the amount of proteins as fresh peas. This means that if the pea variety you feed your chickens with has 7% protein, it can have up to 13-15% protein when dried.

Since split peas are just dried peas split in half, they are easier to digest than dried peas (the smaller an object it, the easier it is to digest).

While dry and split peas are very nutritious, they are not as common (nor as cheap to get) as fresh peas.

5. Are Peas and Beans the Same?

Beans and peas are both legumes but they are not the same. Legumes are plants in the family Fabaceae. Leguminous plants have a relationship with beneficial bacteria that helps them to absorb atmospheric Nitrogen. This is why leguminous plants such as peas and beans can grow in nutrient-depleted soil. Also, the seeds of legumes have more nutrients than other plants (such as grains).

Other types of legumes are:

  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Clover

Every part of leguminous plants is Nitrogenous, so you can feed them to farm animals for extra proteins.

I hope that you have found the answer to your question.

Final Thoughts

Peas are leguminous seeds that chickens love to eat. Chickens can eat every type of peas and many pea varieties. You should give peas to your chickens as treats.


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