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Can Chicken Eat Peas – Is It Safe?

I’ve always been curious about the dietary preferences of chickens, especially when it comes to vegetables like peas. It’s fascinating to learn what is safe and beneficial for them to eat.

Peas are a healthy and enjoyable treat for chickens, packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and protein. They can be fed raw, frozen, or cooked, but without any added salt or seasoning. This green vegetable is not only safe but also a favorite among many chickens, contributing to a balanced diet.

If the peas are raw, fresh, or frozen, then feeding them to your chickens is fine.  HOWEVER, there is a particular kind of pea to stay away from.

Under NO circumstances should you feed your chickens sweet peas.  All parts of the sweet pea plant, including the peas themselves, are toxic to chickens and other species of animals. 

Sweet peas, unlike regular peas, are toxic to chickens due to compounds like aminopropanol and beta-aminopropionitrile, which can cause serious health issues. Therefore, it’s important to avoid feeding them to chickens. Instead, sticking to safe, chicken-friendly treats is essential for their health and well-being.

Bowl of peas and pea pods

That said, we must reiterate that raw, fresh, or frozen peas are okay and safe.  If you grow your own peas, you should remove them from their pods and feed them straight to the birds.  Stay away from dried peas though as they are difficult for chickens to digest. 

Is It Safe for Chickens To Eat Peas, Should Your Chickens Have Them?

As long as you are not feeding your chickens any portion of the sweet pea plant, including peas themselves, it is safe for them.

As for the question of should chickens eat peas, they have many nutrients that the birds should have.  Peas have the perfect balance of proteins to carbohydrates.

The right forms of peas also contain essential vitamins and minerals.  Vitamins include C, A, K, and B complex.  Minerals found in peas include calcium and iron.  Experts say when laying hens are fed peas, their egg yolks are much healthier. 

What To Look Out for When Feeding Chickens With Peas

Bowl of green peas and shells

Make sure they are neither sweet peas nor dried peas.

As we have noted, sweet peas in any form are toxic to chickens, and dried peas are too hard for them to digest.

If all you have available are dried peas, some options are to cook them, sprout them, or treat them.  Commercial peas that are sold on the market in poultry feeds are treated especially to be safe for consumption by chickens.  If you are unsure of how to treat them yourself, it ought to be possible to purchase them already treated. 

Can Chickens Eat Pea Pods?

Opened green pea pod

If they are sweet pea pods, the answer is definitely NO!

If they are surplus pea pods or sugar snap peas, these are safe peas for chickens to eat.

If you grow sweet peas in your garden, and you have chickens, be certain the birds cannot get to them.  Otherwise, the consequences could be dire.  That said, it is safe for them to have sugar snap peas, surplus pea pods, or mange tout.  As long as you stick to these varieties, your chickens will be fine. 

Can Chickens Eat Pea Plants/Vines?

Pea plant vine

If you are talking about the sweet pea plant, no they cannot.

As we have been discussing, all parts of the sweet pea plant are poisonous to chickens and other animals. 

The above-noted information comes from Texas A&M University.  Peas themselves are essentially the seeds of the sweet pea plant.  As such, they are amongst the poisonous parts of the plant.  Be sure to keep your chickens far away from these to avoid catastrophic problems.

Can Chickens Eat Pea Shoots/Leaves?

Pea plant leaves

Chickens can eat pea shoots and love them. The pea shoots can be permitted to grow to about 10 cm tall.

This article was first published on August 8, 2022 by Pentagon-Pets.

They can eat the shoots and leaves ONLY if they don’t come from sweet pea plants.

Other leafy plants to keep your chickens away from include tomatoes, onions, potato leaves, rhubarb and rhubarb leaves,.  For the record, chickens CAN eat spinach leaves, but only in moderation.  The same goes for leafy plants such as lettuce, kale, and turnip greens.  Chickens can have those as well as strawberries, blueberries, and watermelon, BUT in moderation only. 

Can Chickens Eat Pea Sprouts?

Close up of pea sprouts

There are several grains including dried peas that can be sprouted and used for feeding chickens

What you must do is sprout the peas.  They must never be eaten raw or unprocessed.  Those forms of peas can be hazardous to chickens.

Many people know how to successfully sprout peas or other grains like lentils and barley.  This process must be done if you intend to feed the peas to your chickens.  Not following this advice can cause devastating health problems for your chickens or other farm animals.  You can most likely obtain directions directly from the Internet on how to sprout your peas.

Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on August 8, 2022.

Can Chickens Eat Pea Shells?

There are plenty of nutrients found in pea shells.  They are edible for your chickens as long as they are not sweet peas.

If you have empty shell pea pods, it is possible to shuck them and eat the peas inside the shells.  Be sure the peas are not dry because that is difficult for the chickens to digest.

These pea shells contain a lot of flavor in addition to nutrients.  You can blanch your pea shells by boiling them in water.  When you do this first, it is safe for your chickens to eat.  Once again though, they cannot be any portion of the sweet pea plant. 

Can Chickens Eat Cooked Peas?

Cooking peas in a skillet

Chickens are able to eat cooked peas or other veggies such as corn

As long as they are not sweet peas, yes chickens can eat them including when they are cooked

Chickens tend to like the peas because they can peck at them.  When the peas start to roll around, it is almost like a game for the chickens to catch them.  If you have leftover peas from your meal, instead of throwing them in the garbage, feed them to your chickens. 

Can Chickens Eat Frozen Peas?

Frozen peas

Yes, they can as long as they are not frozen sweet peas.

There are many fruits and veggies that can act as a cool treat on hot days to chickens and other farm animals.  Frozen peas are among these.

Items such as peas, corn, watermelon, berries, can be frozen and safely served to chickens.  In fact, the birds adore these.  Not only will the frozen peas help cool off your chickens in hot weather, but keep them hydrated as well.  There are nutritional benefits to serving chickens frozen peas too.  

Can Chickens Eat Dried Peas?

Dried peas

This is one form of any type of pea that must never ever be served to chickens.

The answer to this question is a resounding NO.  As we mentioned earlier, dried peas or other veggies are hard for them to digest.

Fresh and frozen peas that are not sweet peas can be fed to chickens.  However, the dried form of this or any other vegetable or fruit cannot be fed to chickens.  Digestive problems could occur and be very serious in nature.  If dried peas are served to the birds on a regular basis, the results could eventually be fatal. 

Can Chickens Eat Chickpeas?

Wood spoon of chickpeas

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are good in moderation.  Moderation being the key point here.

Yes, chickens can eat chickpeas.  However, the chickpeas may not make up more than 15% of their diet.

As long as that advice is followed, chickpeas are a superb food to give your chickens.  They are an ideal source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.  The birds enjoy an occasional serving of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.  This information is also pertinent to any other legume plants a person would feed to their chickens. 

Can Chickens Eat Snow Peas?

Snow peas on wood table

When it comes to the question can chicken eat peas – is it safe, one has to look at snow peas too.

Animal experts say, yes chickens can eat snow peas.  They must not be dried snow peas though as the chickens have difficulty digesting these. 

Snow peas, aka snap peas, are harmless to feed to your chickens.  The snow peas contain much-needed fiber and other nutrients essential to the welfare of the birds.  A piece of advice is to make sure you know the difference between snow peas and ordinary sweet peas.  Chickens must NEVER be fed sweet peas.  However, snow peas are fine.

Can Chickens Eat Snap Peas?

Batch of snap peas

Snap peas are a cross between a snow pea and a garden pea.  They are safe for chickens to eat.

Yes, they can eat snap peas, and in fact these are very beneficial to the health of your chickens.

Snap peas are also commonly referred to as sugar snap peas.  They can be served to your chickens raw, cooked, or frozen.  Again though, be certain you know the difference between snap peas and sweet peas in your garden.  Serving the wrong ones to your chickens can be catastrophic. 

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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on August 8, 2022.

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