Cooked beans are a marvelous food item for
parrots as there are many nutritious properties contained in them. They also
contain phytochemicals (phyto is Greek for "plant") The type of
phytochemicals found in beans are antioxidants which help protect your bird's
Beans are extremely rich in nutrition and while
dry beans vary considerably in flavor, size, color, and shape, the composition
and nutrition is similar from bean to bean despite their differences in
One cup of cooked beans provides about 12 grams
of fiber, a very important aspect of a bird's diet that aids healthy digestion
and they are rich in vegetable protein. I feed them to my African greys
almost daily and I use them in a variety of my recipes including Chop, Teeny
Weenie Beanies, and other healthy recipes.
I prefer to use dry beans, which require soaking
for at least eight hours before boiling. You can use canned beans but ensure
that the canned variety you select is free of any added salt.
Dry beans also contain oligosaccharides, a type
of sugar. They also have a chemical toxin called phytohaemagglutinin.
Soak dry beans before cooking. This eliminates many of the sugars as well
as the phytohaemagglutinin and you don't want either of these in your beans.
It is the sugars that cause the bacteria in your
intestines to produce gas commonly associated with beans. You can remove the
sugars by soaking beans overnight, or for at least eight hours and then boiling
them for at least 15 minutes. This will remove any toxins and unwanted
naturally occurring sugars found in beans.
I have found this method to be a safe and
efficient way to soak and cook beans for my birds:
- Place beans in a pot and pick through to check
for any mutant beans or the occasional pebble sometimes found in a bag of dried
- Add enough water to amply cover the beans.
- Soak beans for 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain beans, discard soak water and rinse with
fresh, cool water.
- Fill the pot of soaked beans with enough fresh
water to cover.
- Bring to boil and boil in rapidly boiling water
for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and drain.
- Let them cool and add to any bird food recipe
requiring the beans.
You'll find them to be a welcome ingredient to
many applications and recipes for your flock's diet and once they learn how
tasty they are, you will see them dive right in!
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