Split peas have been present in many dishes for a long time around the world. The peas are rich in protein and many other nutrients, which gives humans lots of great health benefits.
It’s reasonable that people wonder if they can feed their chickens uncooked split peas since chickens can eat most human foods. So can chickens eat uncooked split peas? They can eat them just fine, but ideally only as a treat.
What are split peas?
Here is how Split peas are created: Yellow peas or green peas are spherical when harvested. They are dried to remove the dull-colored outer skin and then split in half using hands or machines.
As a result, there are 2 types of split peas: green split peas and yellow split peas.
For humans, split peas are used in many dishes across the world. For example, yellow peas are the main ingredients in the “khoresh gheymeh” from Iran, the “fáva” from Greek, the “tamaraqt” from Berber, and more.
Can chickens eat uncooked split peas?
Chickens can eat most legume plants just fine, and split peas are no exception. There hasn’t been any evidence that shows peas are harmful to chickens.
And just like many other legume plants, you should not just use uncooked split peas to feed your chickens in their main diet. You will need to mix split peas with other healthy food to meet the chickens’ dietary requirements.
But, split peas, particularly uncooked split peas, would make a great treat for your flock. They have many great benefits thanks to having a good amount of nutritional content.
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Uncooked split peas’ health benefits
High amount of protein
Uncooked split peas have a very high amount of protein, specifically 24.6 grams per 100 grams.
Protein plays an important role for lots of animals, not just chickens alone. It helps repair, regulate, form and protect important parts of the body, balance fluids, and boost the immune system.
It also helps your chickens’ muscle growth and is even more crucial if your flock has lots of exercises. If the protein amount isn’t enough, it would cause fluid retention and shrinkage of tissues.
Omega-3 fatty acid
Uncooked split peas have 84mg of omega-3 fatty acid. It is a great substance for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
High amount of dietary fiber
Compared to cooked split peas, uncooked split peas have a significantly higher amount of dietary fiber, specifically 25.5g per 100g.
Dietary fiber is ideal for lowering blood sugar levels, reducing cholesterol levels, and improving chickens’ digestion.
Although split peas are not as rich in nutrients as some other legume plants, they still contain a lot for your chickens as a treat.
For vitamins, there are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, and pantothenic acid.
In those vitamins, there is folate that prevents the loss of the embryo during the incubation’s late state. So it would be a great treat for your layers.
For minerals, you can find calcium, iron, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and some high-amount minerals like potassium at 981mg per 100g, magnesium at 115mg per 100g, and phosphorus at 366mg per 100g.
The calcium amount is decent at 55mg per 100g. Calcium helps promote healthy bones and contributes to bone development in chickens. With the right amount of calcium, chickens can prevent osteoporosis.
Calcium also helps with muscle function, hormone secretion, nerve transmission, and vascular function.
To produce strong and healthy eggs, laying hens need a high amount of calcium in their diet since the calcium helps form the eggshells. This is why eggshells are used to provide calcium for layers.
While chickens can consume uncooked split peas just fine, you should consider cooking them if your flock has trouble digesting foods or you are serving baby chickens with not-fully developed digestive systems.
What other forms of peas can the chickens consume?
Frozen peas are a great alternative to uncooked split peas because of 2 advantages: frozen peas are fresh and retain the nutrients fairly well, and they are not dried peas, so they are easier for the chickens to digest.
Chickens can eat frozen peas just as many other forms of peas. They are a great treat for your chickens, especially during hot days.
Thanks to the way frozen peas are made, they are considered one of the best forms of peas. They can retain the nutrients and the freshness for months, so you won’t have to worry too much about preserving.
Frozen peas are delicious, and they are sweeter and tender than the peas from many farmers’ markets. On a hot day, your chickens would love some frozen, they are like ice cream for the chickens.
Cooked pea is a great option if you want your chickens to easily digest the treat, although normal peas are already not hard to consume for chickens. Just keep in mind that cooked peas are less nutritious, so try to cook them correctly.
If you don’t want to buy the peas, you can grow your own peas at home.
The peas would just be a few steps away from your chickens. You can harvest the peas and use them for yourself and your chickens. Just pick the peas from the pods and serve them directly to the chickens.
So, can chickens eat uncooked split peas? They can eat uncooked split peas just fine, but the peas can only be used as a treat or mixed with other healthy and nutritious ingredients in the chickens’ main diet.
As a treat, uncooked split peas are packed with a high amount of protein and a decent amount of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acid, and other nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
You should cook the split peas if you are serving baby chickens. And if uncooked split peas are not available, you can opt for frozen peas, or grow your own peas.
Image credits – Photo by Zach Wolf on Unsplash