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Poultry Feeds & Nutrition

Feeding Soybeans to Poultry

There are many types of beans including soybeans that are used as ingredients in bird diets. In general, all beans and peas are good protein and energy sources for birds. The primary problem with their use is that they must be processed prior to feeding.

Most are members of the legume family of plants. One characteristicof these plants is that the fruit (beans) contain enzyme inhibitors that interfere with the digestion and utilization of nutrients in the diets. If beans are used, they must be roasted or steamed to destroy the antinutritional factors. All commercial soybean meals are processed in this way before being sold as feed ingredients. Raw soybeans should never be fed to poultry or game birds.

Nutritional research has been conducted on almost all commercially produced beans to determine whether they can be used as poultry feed ingredients. Contact the Extension Poultry Specialist to confirm whether specific species of beans can be used and under what conditions.