The in vivo digestibility and growth responses to diets containing raw and cooked legume starches were determined using male Wistar rats. These starches were obtained from seven legumes including smooth- and wrinkled-seeded field peas, navy beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, mung beans and lentils. Wheat and potato starch diets were fed for comparative purposes. With the exception of potato and the field pea starches, rats fed uncooked starch diets had higher weight gains than those fed cooked starch diets. The starches from wheat and all legumes, excluding the high-amylose wrinkled pea, were nearly 100% digestible but the legume starches reduced the digestibility of casein protein by 3 to 4%. Raw potato starch was shown to be only 57% digestible. The starches from potato and wrinkled pea reduced the digestibility of casein protein to 87% and gave high cecum weights. These characteristics were not altered by cooking the starch of wrinkled pea. The starches of smooth-seeded peas, lentils and all beans were highly digestible, showed no adverse effects on growth and were comparable to wheat starch in this evaluation.