Skip to Content

Can Chicken Eat Basil? Is it Safe?

When it comes to diet, chickens are very versatile in what they can eat. Chickens are omnivores, which means that they can eat a combination of both animal proteins and plant life. While chickens can eat plenty of things, that doesn’t mean that everything they try to eat is safe for them. So what about when it comes to feeding your chickens basil?

Chickens can eat basil and it is safe for them to consume it. On average, basil is one of the more beneficial herb types to feed your chickens. Chickens require a balanced diet that has a variety of added nutrients. Basil is a great way to strengthen your chickens’ immune system.

Farmer holding basil plant

So now that you know your chickens can eat basil, let’s get into how exactly to feed your chickens basil.

Is it Safe for Chicken to Eat Basil? Should Your Chicken Have it?

Female with question mark images floating above her head

Basil provides nutrients including calcium, vitamin K, and antioxidants. Bail is also packed full of limonene and eugenol. Bail provides antioxidants, immune support, and also promotes organ health. While these are the benefits that we usually think about when we’re eating basil, what about the benefits for your chickens?

It is safe for chickens to eat basil, and it is also a very beneficial addition to their diet. Mixing basil with your chickens’ feed can give them much-needed nutrients. An additional benefit to feeding your chickens basil is that it also affects your chickens’ eggs.

Basil has xanthophyll in it. Xanthophyll gives egg yolks that have an extra bright yellow yolk. 

A reason that you should be feeding your chickens basil is that it helps build a strong immune system. Respiratory issues are common in chickens and no one wants their flock to fall ill. Adding basil along with your chickens’ regular diet can give them an added immunity boost.

There are also properties in basil that deter parasites in both your chickens and in your chicken coop. 

Basil is one of those herbs that chickens love to eat. It can provide them with a much-desired flavorful treat.

What to Look Out for When Feeding Chicken with Basil

Magnifying glass with pastel background

Basil is a safe herb with few known negative properties. This doesn’t mean that you can make basil your chickens’ soul diet. Chickens need a balanced diet and when it comes to feeding them, moderation is key. 

There are still some things that you should look out for when feeding your chickens basil. Make sure that you properly clean your basil of dirt and any bugs. Also, remove any rotting leaves before preparing basil for your chickens. Rinsing the basil first can also remove any pesticides if it is storebought. 

As a chicken owner, you likely know exactly just how quickly chickens can consume their food. Something to watch out for though, is if there is basil that has not been consumed after a day, you should remove it before it continues to decompose. 

As a general rule, you should feed your chickens basil no more than twice a week. If you are feeding chicks basil, once a week should be enough. Too much basil can lead to health problems. 

Can Chickens Eat Cooked Basil?

Female holding laptop thinking in confusion

Basil can be cooked in several different ways, so that you can cook basil. However, remember that chickens need a diet that is low in fats and oils, so it comes down to the cooking method. 

As to whether chickens can eat basil, the answer is both yes and no. The great thing about cooked basil is that it loses some of the bitter taste that you get with raw basil. Your chickens might be more inclined to eat cooked basil, especially if they are just being introduced to it. 

Your chickens should not eat basil that has been cooked in oils or butter. This adds too many unnecessary fats that can lead to health problems in your chickens. The best way to serve your chicken’s cooked basil is if it has been steamed or baked.

Can Chickens Eat Basil Flowers?

Basil plant flowers

Chickens are often curious about various plants and flowers, leading many owners to wonder about the safety of specific flora in their diet. The question of whether chickens can eat basil flowers is a common one among poultry enthusiasts.

Basil flowers, like the leaves, are safe and nutritious for chickens to consume. These flowers provide a healthy snack, rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants. They are not only safe but also offer a variety in texture and taste, which chickens typically enjoy.

Can Chickens Eat Basil Seeds?

Bowl and spoon full of basil seeds

As with the rest of the basil plant, the basil seeds are not toxic. Basil seeds are safe to eat, but should you be feeding them to your chickens?

Feeding your chickens basil seeds can be a great way to give your chickens the nutritional benefits of basil in a more concentrated form. Your chickens may be more inclined to eat the basil seeds as well, as there is not that sharp flavor of the leaves. 

If you are giving your chickens basil seeds, however, you need to do it sparingly and feed it more like an occasional treat. Because the seeds are highly concentrated, you can easily give your chicken too many and make them sick.

Can Chickens Eat Raw Basil

Close up of basil plant

Especially if you grow your basil plants, feeding your chickens raw basil might be an attractive method of giving your chickens a little variation in their diet. Plus the added nutrition that comes with the basil. 

The good news is that chickens can eat raw basil. You can either chop it and add it to their feed, or if you have basil plants in an area where your chickens can access it, they can safely eat the plant. One thing to be careful of is to fully wash any cut leaves or spray off your basil plants before letting your chickens eat them.

You want to make sure that the basil that your chickens are eating is clean and there is nothing on it that could make them sick. If you are feeding your chicken raw basil from the store, washing is extra important. You should also make sure that you are purchasing basil that has not been treated with pesticides.

Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on December 13, 2021.

Can Chicken Eat Basil? Is it Safe?

Top view of basil plant in clay pot

Chickens can and will eat basil. Basil is a great herb to add to your chickens’ diet as it has many benefits. It can not only improve the health of your flock but also the quality yolk of your chickens’ eggs. Basil should be fed in moderation and thought of more like a treat rather than a daily addition.

Related Articles

Can Chickens Eat Beans, is it Safe?

Can Chickens Eat Ducks, is it Safe?

Can Chickens Eat Fish, is it Safe?

Can Chickens Eat Corn, Is It Safe?

This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on December 13, 2021.

Can Chicken Eat Dog Food, Is it Safe?