When it comes to cooking lentils, we always end up with too much & too many leftovers. We say you feed the hens what you don’t eat. Is this secure? When it comes to bird food, we know that grains and seeds are a go-to, so where do lentils fit in the spectrum? Is it something you could provide, and if so, what preparations are necessary? What is it?
What about Lentils, though? Can chickens eat those? Although chickens may eat lentils, doing so should be done sparingly and as a special treat after the lentils have been cooked properly. Like other legumes, lentils need to be sprouted before they can be digested by your chickens and their nutrients can be absorbed by them.
Legumes, including lentils, need to be steeped in cold water for a minimum of five hours before they can be consumed safely.
To finish, toss the soaking liquid, give them a quick rinse, and then put them in a pot of boiling water. Because of their high fiber content, lentils should never be served in excess of or in advance of their normal feed.
It’s crucial that we not overfeed the chickens, lest they lose their appetite for the nutritious food they require.
Amount of Lentils Can Chickens Consume –
In addition to other foods, chickens can benefit from a weekly or biweekly dose of lentils. After the primary feed was already eaten or combined, they should be fed again. However, hens require a steady stream of nourishment all day long so that they can save enough stamina to lay eggs.
The high-quality feed that is both protein-rich and nutritionally complete must serve as the basis of the diet, but supplemental items can also be provided. Chicken owners often supplement their flock’s diet with scraps from the table as well as the occasional treat. Soybeans and other legumes are included in this class.
Your hens will still require the supplemental feed even if they will eat the grass, bugs, worms, etc., that they discover when foraging outside of their coop. Lentils, for example, are great for you and your health, but they won’t keep you full for very long on their own.
It’s imperative that any stale foods be removed quickly from the coop. Birds may attract pests like rats and mice if their food gets spoiled. Chickens require a diet of grit, which can be made out of crushed shells or rocks.
Since it’s likely they won’t come across much grit in their natural environment, it’s vital that you supply them with some as well.
Proper Way to Sprout Lentils for Chickens –
While sprouting lentils requires some work over the course of a few days, the benefits of providing a nutritious food source that the chickens like are well worth the extra effort.
Here are a few points to keep in mind before you begin sprouting lentils for the chickens –
When sprouted, both brown & green lentils perform optimally. Both red lentils & split lentils are more difficult to sprout than other varieties.
While there is likely more than one correct technique to get lentils to sprout, here is the general procedure:
- Just grab a glass of fresh, fully-grown lentils and give them a good scrub. To ensure that everything gets a thorough rinsing, you may use a strainer & run the water under the sink for a while.
- Prepare the lentils by placing them in a bowl or jar and then filling it with water until it reaches about two inches over the surface of the lentils.
- Soak them for at least eight hours, changing the water if it gets cloudy, & rinsing them every few hours.
- They should appear somewhat plumper once the 8 hours have passed.
- The lentils need to be drained, rinsed thoroughly, and then drained once more.
- Repackage the lentils into the original container, covering them with a thin cloth & securing the cloth with an elastic band. Using cheesecloth for this purpose is a good idea.
- The surplus liquid can be drained from the jar if you turn it upside down or set it on its side. Mold can develop on wet sprouts, which can be deadly for your chickens. Two times a day for 3 to 5 days, you’ll need to rinse and drain.
- If you observe new leaves appearing anywhere from day three to day five, your plants are ready!
Instructions for Giving Chickens Lentils –
Lentils, either cooked or sprouted, can be served to hens through a feeder or scattered about the coop, requiring the birds to search for their food and providing a source of compost in the process.
It is recommended that a feeder be used that provides a three-inch diameter circle for each fowl to feed in. The birds will be less likely to fight over food with this system in place.
You also need to make sure that the lentils aren’t the only thing your chickens are eating; they should also be getting other fruit, veggies, chicken feed, etc.
In addition, oyster shells are a great source of grit and calcium. Even if your hens are free to roam on the property, it’s still vital to provide them with these, as well as food, to ensure their continued good health.
You May Also Read:
Other Good Foods For Chickens
In terms of what you can feed your hens, the options are plentiful. However, they should be administered with caution while dealing with some of them.
When feeding your chickens certain types of food, you may have to be selective about the type or the specific section of the meal you serve them.
- Avocados: Avocados, for instance, have persin, which is harmful to hens, hence many experts are against feeding them to chickens. The avocado’s persin is actually made from the fruit’s skin, pit, & leaves. A chicken wouldn’t have to eat many avocados before it became a health risk, thus the fruit is fine for them to consume.
- Apples: For apples, it’s the same deal. Chickens enjoy apples & they are a healthy treat for your feathered friends. Apple seeds contain arsenic, which has some people worried. Apples are both safe and beneficial for hens, as it would take a very large amount of apple seeds to cause a problem.
- Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes are a common supplement for chicken feed because they are nutritious in moderation, just as they are for people.
- Don’t give your hens unripe produce like green potatoes or tomatoes. Solanine & chaconine, found in the potato’s skin, meat, and sprout, are toxic to humans.
- Chickens can be fed a variety of fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, carrots, & dandelions.
- Chickens benefit from the variety of commercially available feed, especially seeds. Your chickens need a varied diet since no single food source can provide them with the vitamins and protein they require. Especially if you want them to produce eggs.
Chickens can consume lentils, and when those lentils are sprouted, they gain even more nutritional value, including antioxidants that are good for their health. However, the lentils must be properly prepared before they can be fed to your chickens.
The lentils can be boiled as well as the seeds fed to the chickens, or they can be soaked for several days and also sprouts fed to the chickens.