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Something You May Not Know About Soybeans

Soybeans are often touted as a miracle product, mostly because of the high protein level they contain. This might not be quite accurate, however.

Bulk soybeans contain about 35% protein, which is quite high. As I’ve previously mentioned, chickens require a lot of protein, especially in late fall and through winter. It might seem that an easy solution would be to feed soybeans to the chickens, right? Not so fast. Did you know that if soybeans are fed to chickens without processing the beans, usually through thoroughly cooking the beans, the chickens can die…of malnutrition?

The reason is that soybeans and other legumes contain enzyme inhibitors that interfere with the digestion and utilization of nutrients in the diets. Cooking/processing the soybeans breaks down the enzyme inhibitors. 

If soybeans are fed to chickens or other game birds without processing the beans first, the birds can actually die of starvation, even with full craws! One cannot help but wonder if the same thing is true of humans.

  • Did you know that soybeans must be processed before feeding them to chickens?

    • Yes
    • No


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Written by Rex Trulove