Can Chickens Eat Lentils? Yes, But Please Cook Them

Have you ever wondered what your chickens’ diet should include?

chickens can eat all beans pictured here if they are cooked
Lentils and other beans.

If you’re a chicken lover, then lentils could be on your list of potential food choices.

But is it safe to feed your feathered friend these nutrient-dense pulses?

Let’s explore the answer together and find out if chickens can eat lentils – and how they may benefit. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the information necessary to decide if this nutritious legume has a place in your flock’s diet.


What Are Lentils? Necessary Background Info…

The humble lentil is a nutrient-dense legume from the Fabaceae family that is popular in many dishes.

It is related to beans, chickpeas, and peanuts, which can be seen when you look at or taste it. Lentils come in five different varieties – red, black, green, yellow, and brown – and each lends a unique flavor to recipes.

Nutritionally speaking, lentils are high in protein and fiber, making them an excellent source of nutrition for any diet. They have a mild flavor, so they can easily be incorporated into soups, salads, stews, or side dishes. Actually, because of chickens’ few taste buds, they probably won’t care too much about the flavor.

Lentils offer an unparalleled source of essential minerals and vitamins while providing an appealing texture and taste to any meal. For those looking to add more protein and vitamins to their chook’s diet, lentils are a great choice!

Can Chickens Eat Lentils? Are They Healthy?

This is a question on the minds of many chicken owners, and the answer is yes!

In fact, if you want to treat your feathered friends right, you should serve them up some sprouted lentils.

Not only do they love the filling quality of lentils, but it’s also a great source of protein for them.

While it may seem strange to sprout something for your chickens to eat, it actually helps to neutralize any toxins that may be present in raw lentils.

The shoots that appear when lentils are sprouted are packed full of vitamins and minerals, which your chickens will appreciate.

Plus, the little sprouts just look so healthy! So don’t hesitate to give your chickens some lentils – they’ll thank you for it, though not in actual words!

But Are They Healthy?

Just as lentils are good for us humans, they’re also beneficial to our feathered friends.

Not only do they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but they’re also nutrient-rich. Moreover, these little legumes offer a great source of dietary fiber that helps keep chickens feeling full between meals and aids in digestion.

Just be sure to limit it to no more than 10% of their overall diet. In other words, do the same as you would for humans. I think we wouldn’t want more than 10% either, right?

Remember, healthy chickens are happier chickens and less likely to fight.

Related: Why Roosters Attack Hens

Some Foods That Are Good For Chickens, And Some That Are Bad

Some of the best foods for chickens are leafy greens such as:

And root vegetables like:

  • carrots
  • beets
  • sweet potatoes

As well as fruits like:

  • apples
  • pears
  • oranges
  • tomatoes (yep, they are a fruit)

And whole grains and legumes such as:

  • oats
  • wheat
  • beans
  • peas
  • lentils – as we already know now
  • corn

These foods provide chickens with much-needed vitamins and minerals that are important for their well-being. On the other hand, some foods should be avoided when it comes to feeding chickens.

  • Processed foods like chips or crackers contain too much salt, which can be harmful to a chicken’s digestive system.
  • Foods high in sugar (such as candy) should also be avoided because they can cause an imbalance in a chicken’s diet.
  • Additionally, raw or undercooked eggs or meat can introduce potential salmonella contamination into a chicken’s system, which may lead to serious illness or even death.
  • Lastly, onions should never be included in a chicken’s diet because they contain sulfides that are toxic to chickens when consumed in large amounts.


When it comes to chickens and lentils, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, lentils are a good source of protein and fiber for chickens. However, they should not be the only food that your chicken eats. A diet that is too high in lentils can cause problems with your chicken’s digestive system.

Second, while all colors of lentils are safe for chickens to eat, green lentils are the most nutritious. Finally, make sure to cook the lentils before feeding them to your chicken. This will help prevent any potential stomach upsets.

Photo by Betty Subrizi on Unsplash