Can Chickens Eat Split Peas?

By Chicken Pets on
Can Chickens Eat Split Peas?

Yes, chickens can eat split peas. Split peas are a nutritious legume that can complement a chicken’s diet when fed in moderation. They provide a source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients beneficial to poultry.

Quick Summary

  • Chickens can eat split peas.
  • Split peas are a good source of protein and fiber for chickens.
  • Key benefits include healthy growth and egg production, while the main risk is overfeeding.
  • Recommended feeding guidelines suggest feeding cooked split peas in moderation alongside their regular diet.

Overview of Split Peas

Split peas are a type of legume, derived from dried, peeled, and split seeds of peas. They are often used in soups and stews and are known for their high protein and fiber content, as well as providing vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Benefits and Risks of Split Peas for Chickens

Integrating split peas into a chicken’s diet can be beneficial due to their protein content, which supports feather growth and egg production. The dietary fiber can aid in their digestion. However, risks emerge when chickens are overfed split peas, leading to obesity and digestive issues due to its dense nutrient composition. It is also important to ensure they are adequately cooked, as raw legumes can be hard to digest for chickens.

Feeding Guidelines

To properly feed split peas to chickens, they should be cooked to improve digestibility, and only offered as a part of a balanced diet. A handful of cooked split peas per bird, given as an occasional treat, is sufficient. Always maintain a mix of grains, vegetables, and access to clean water to ensure overall nutrition.


If you’re looking for alternatives to split peas for variety or due to availability, consider other legumes like cooked lentils or chickpeas, ensuring they are also served cooked and in moderation.

Expert Opinions

Poultry nutritionists generally recommend a diverse diet for chickens that includes grains, greens, vegetables, and protein sources like legumes. Veterinarians agree that legumes such as split peas can be a beneficial treat but should not replace a formulated poultry feed that provides a balanced diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

After reading about the inclusion of split peas in a chicken’s diet, you may have additional questions. Below are some common concerns addressed.

Can chickens eat raw split peas?

No, chickens should not eat raw split peas as they might be hard to digest. It is recommended to serve them cooked to avoid potential health issues.

How often can I feed split peas to my chickens?

Split peas can be fed to chickens as an occasional treat. A good rule of thumb is to offer split peas once or twice a week, mixed with their regular feed or as a separate treat.

Are split peas as good as regular chicken feed?

While split peas have valuable nutrients, they should not replace commercial chicken feed, which is formulated to meet all of a chicken’s dietary needs. Split peas should be an addition to a balanced feed routine.

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