What Animals Eat Beans? with 7 Examples

If you are an amateur gardener and love to grow legumes and other types of beans, you will need to protect these plants from pests like groundhogs, moles, and even voles.

I love to grow beans in my backyard as these are almost like perennial plants since keep returning every year, and these plants require minimum care. However, I learned it the hard way when I lost several of my beans to a pest attack.

One year I was surprised to find many of the plants and the harvest destroyed .. and on close inspection, I found small footprints around the plants, and when I discussed it with my neighbor, she said it was probably the result of an attack by squirrels or voles. 

Not sure who was the culprit, I decided to compile a list of the most common animals that eat beans.

Animals that eat beans:

  • Deer
  • Cats
  • Squirrels
  • Chickens
  • Rabbits
  • Chipmunks
  • Possums

Table of Contents

List of animals that eat beans:

1. Squirrels

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Squirrels can eat different legumes, and one of their favorite legumes is beans. They are also known to nibble the shoots of the beans as well.

If you want to protect your beans from squirrels, one of the easiest ways to do it will be to cover the plants with a mesh so that the squirrels cannot gain access to the legumes.

If you have a pet squirrel, you can include legumes in its daily diet.

As beans are rich in fiber and protein, they can help your pet squirrel build a robust immune system.

In addition, the fiber in the beans can help your squirrel have a healthy gut by improving its bowel movements.

2. Deer

deer eating 07052022

Deer are herbivores and can eat all parts of the bean plant. They will not only consume the beans but also, the leaves, and shoots.

If a deer enters a bean plantation, it can reduce the plant to dirt. The creature will start eating the plant from the top and not stop till it reaches the bottom.

The primary reason is that beans are naturally climbing plants, and they have delicate stems that cannot stand against the sharp teeth of the deer.

Deer can easily tear the young shoots of the beans and leaves of the plants from the primary stem.

Deer are known to eat the beans and even the plant’s flowers. Thus, farmers often use repellents to protect their harvest from deer attacks.

3. Cats

cat eating 07052022

Cats are carnivores, and hence beans do not fall under the natural food for cats. Therefore, in the wild, you will not find cats eating beans.

But if you have a pet cat, you can give it beans in moderate amounts.

First, you need to check with your veterinarian if your cat suffers from a protein deficit before making any changes to their diet.

If your pet needs additional protein, you can give her beans like cooked black beans or boiled kidney beans.

Beans are rich in protein and can help your pet overcome the protein deficit.

The second and most important thing you need to follow is not to exceed the amount prescribed by the veterinarian or pet nutritionist.

Beans are not a natural part of any feline’s diet. Hence, it would help if you were careful about the number of beans you give to your pet cat.

4. Chickens

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It is important to remember that these birds cannot digest dried beans like kidney beans or garbanzo beans when it comes to chicken.

Poultry farmers often mention that dried beans can result in chicken death; hence, you must be careful when giving bird food if you have a pet chicken.

Ensure that it does not contain any dried beans.

Chickens can eat green beans as they are full of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

Poultry farmers often give chickens green beans to help the birds build strong bones.

It is also essential to give them cooked beans as beans in raw form are unhealthy for chicken and can be a choking hazard for them.

It is often confusing as to which beans are toxic for chicken, and hence, it is best to cook the beans before giving them to the chicken.

5. Rabbits

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Rabbits can digest almost everything, and they are pretty adventurous eaters.

Rabbits are known to nibble on beans in the wild, but they will not attack your bean plants like squirrels.

If you have a pet rabbit, you can offer beans, but it is best to do so only in moderate amounts.

Beans are rich in fiber, and if you give the excess amount of this green legume to your pet, it can lead to indigestion and gas.

Hence, it would help if you gave your pet rabbit green beans as an occasional treat.

If you can add green beans to your pet rabbit’s diet, you can be assured that there is adequate fiber to supplement their diet.

6. Chipmunks

chipmunk eating 07052022

Chipmunks, like squirrels, love to chew on the leaves of bean plants.

If you have a young bean plant in your backyard and it is lush and green, the plant is bound to attract chipmunks.

The best way to protect the leaves of the bean plants is by putting meshes around the plants.

If you have a pet chipmunk, you can give it bean sprouts as part of its diet.

It is best to avoid giving the creature whole beans or legumes as this might be difficult for the chipmunk to digest.

When you give bean sprouts to your pet chipmunk, ensure that it has been appropriately washed to remove any traces of pesticide or insecticide.

7. Possums

possum 19032022

Possums are scavengers, and they will eat almost anything. So when it comes to eating beans, they love to eat this legume.

Possums usually do not attack a growing bean plantation, but they can be drawn towards beans if they do not find any other food.

It might be difficult for possums to gain access to the beans that grow on the climbers, which is usually why possums usually avoid bean plantations.

But if they find beans in grains, they will readily eat them.

As beans are an excellent source of protein and vitamins, possums will eat these all the more when there is a lack of supply of insects, slugs, and bugs.

Sources:
https://petkeen.com/can-rabbits-eat-green-beans/
https://homeguides.sfgate.com/animal-pest-eats-bean-plants-54691.html
https://kidadl.com/fun-facts/can-chickens-eat-green-beans-yes-here-s-why-it-is-a-must-have
https://www.thesprucepets.com/feeding-pet-squirrels-1239493

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