Are cowpeas/blackeye peas plants ok to feed chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 2ndtimearound, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. 2ndtimearound

    2ndtimearound In the Brooder

    Sep 26, 2009
    This year I'm growing cowpeas/blackeyed peas for the first time. [​IMG] If I let the chickens at the plants once they have bloomed and are producing the pods, is that ok? I hope someone knows! [​IMG] The treat chart just says cooked only for beans, but I have heard that pea plants are ok.

    I'm also growing Limas for the first time this year - can chickens eat those? Thanks for any help! [​IMG]
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    So cowpeas are blackeye peas? I was JUST wondering this! I just read a book and the family was eating cowpeas in it..and i was like..huh??.... never heard of them. But i have heard of blackeye peas.. [​IMG]
  3. thespinningcottage

    thespinningcottage Songster

    Jun 24, 2009
    Arcadia, Florida
    I THINK it's okay to feed them raw peas/beans, that the chart is referring to the dried varieties which can swell. Mine eat pole beans from the garden all the time.
  4. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    I think you have to cook the cow peas first they are just like any other bean I am also growing cow peas, which are just like black eye peas except the eye is pink or purple I would cook them first just to be safe.
  5. 2ndtimearound

    2ndtimearound In the Brooder

    Sep 26, 2009
    redhen my packages say "California Blackeye #5 - The most popular of all southern pea varieties. Long, 7- to 8-inch green pods are filled with white seeds marked with a shiny black eye. Vigorous, productive plants are disease resistant. Harvest in 78 days." Sooo.....[​IMG] I guess they're the same as blackeye peas - the picture on the front sure looks the same! My dad is 84, and farm-raised and he didn't blink - just told me they grow the same as bush beans! [​IMG] Either way, we'll give it a go! Thanks for all the help, but I'm still a little confused - are peas eaten straight from the plant by chickens, or do I need to cook them first?
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    So cowpeas are blackeye peas?

    "Cowpeas" is a generic term that covers a LOT of different varieties of peas​
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:"Cowpeas" is a generic term that covers a LOT of different varieties of peas

    Ahhhh.. i see. Thanks!
  8. This year I planted White Whipperwill and Black-eyed Peas (what I buy at the grocery story...cheaper than seed company)...both are 'cowpeas' which are called that because back in 1800's they were grown to feed the livestock, not people.

    There are some variety of beans that need to be cooked...not eaten raw...some people can become very ill. My DH loves to eat raw peas and beans.
  9. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    "Cowpeas" are a common name and as such can be used to describe a great many different kinds of legumes depending on where a person is from.

    Generally speaking though "cowpeas" means a variety of Vigna unguiculata which here in the Southern U.S. means "field peas." Black eyed peas, purple hulls, crowders, and many others are all in this species. There are many dozens, perhaps hundreds, of varieties to be found here and around the world. Here's a link with some brief info:

    But what you really want to know is can you let your birds eat them? The answer is yes. The green tender parts are quite safe and very good for them. The pods left from shelling the peas may be too tough for them to eat so they may not mess with those. Any stray peas that are still green you can let them eat since they aren't gong to constitute enough of their feed to amount to anything. The dry, mature peas are what you would want to heat (cook) first before you fed them out. I'm not entirely sure that the Vigna species have the same anti-nutritional factors in their mature seed that soybeans do, but as it's fairly common among legumes I'd assume that they do until proven otherwise.
  10. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Phytic acid going to be in any dried bean, so yeah....soak them overnight and cook em if they are dry.

    "phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. It's a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals - calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc - in the intestinal tract.

    Although not a household word, phytic acid has been extensively studied; there are literally hundreds of articles on the effects of phytic acid in the current scientific literature. Scientists are in general agreement that grain- and legume-based diets high in phytates contribute to widespread mineral deficiencies in third world countries.15

    Analysis shows that calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc are present in the plant foods eaten in these areas"

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