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Legumes are great sources of fat, protein and carbohydrates. The Legume family consists of beans, "nuts," peas and lentils all having unique nutritional profiles.


Remember, Legumes are a high-energy foods for birds so make sure you feed sparingly or give your bird lots of flight time.



The most commonly known legumes are beans. These include adzuki beans, black beans, soybeans, anasazi beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, and lima beans. Beans are generally high in protein and carbohydrates but low in fat. Never feed raw  beans or bean mixes because uncooked and undercooked beans contain toxins. 


Raw lima beans contain linamarin, which when consumed decomposes into the toxic chemical hydrogen cyanide. Fortunately cooking lima beans for at least 10 minutes renders them safe. 

Red kidney beans contain the toxin phytohaemagglutinin and must be boiled for at least 10 minutes before consumption. Make sure the water is at boiling temperature because if cooked at temperatures below boiling, the toxicity is multiplied. That means DON’T put them in a slow cooker unless you’ve boiled them first. 

Peanuts are legumes NOT nuts … but some legumes are mistakenly called nuts, the most common example is the peanut but this also includes soy nuts and carob nuts.

  • Peanuts are very high in fat as are soy nuts. Neither are recommended for birds.

Carob is free of the allergenic and addictive effects of caffeine and theobromine present in Cocoa. It also contains less fat and more sugar than Cocoa which is why it has become a popular chocolate substitute.  Besides that, Carob also has excellent nutritional value with up to 80% protein, it contains Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium Manganese, Barium, Copper, Nickel and the vitamins A, B, B2, B3, and D. Carob is on the VCA SAFE plant list.



This group of legumes includes green, snow, snap, split, and black-eyed peas. Like beans, peas contain high concentrations of carbohydrates and protein but little fat. Most varieties have a naturally sweet flavor and are great addition to your meal planning. Dried peas can also be sprouted. 



There are many different colors of lentils: yellow, orange, green, brown or black, but the nutritional profile of lentils does not change with color; however, sprouted lentils differ from non-sprouted lentils in their nutritional content with the non-sprouted version being more nutritious. Lentils are a great addition to a soak-&-feed recipe.


  • One cup of uncooked sprouted lentils contains 6.9 grams of protein, 17.1 grams of carbohydrates, 82 calories and 0.4 gram of fat. 

  • One cup of uncooked, non-sprouted lentils contains 49.5 grams of protein, 115.4 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fat and 678 calories. 


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