Beans for Birds

Beans are a great treat for birds. Besides adding needed vegetable protein to your bird’s diet, they supply antioxidants which protect and help them fight off environmental hazards.

Beans also contain soluble and non-soluble fiber which help keep the digestive system healthy. Fiber works in two ways – the absorption of nutrients and the quick elimination of waste products.

Beans are available in many colors and sizes, but they all have the same nutritious value. Dry beans or canned beans can be used. Canned beans should be rinsed thoroughly to remove salt found in more canned goods. If you use dry beans, soak them for several hours or overnight to remove the protective toxic coating some beans have that acts as an insecticide. Change the water several times. Before cooking, check the beans for any debris like tiny stones or for beans that don’t look right. Drain the beans, place in a pot and use fresh water for cooking. Use enough water to cover the beans and bring to a boil. Continue boiling them for at least 20 minutes, making sure they are cooked through. Remove from heat and drain, letting the beans cool.

Now you are ready to add a few beans to your bird’s regular food. If your bird is anything like my cockateil, s/he will, at first, look at them as though an alien has invaded the food cup. But continue serving a few at meals. Curiosity usually gets the best of them and your bird will discover a new taste that is nutritious and interesting.

Please remember – NEVER serve your bird raw or undercooked beans.

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