Can Chickens Eat Basil? (Nutrition, Benefits, Feeding Tips)

There are fruits and vegetables that are considered to be good for the health of your chickens. Just like us humans, chickens need organic food that can provide them the nutrients their bodies need. But you also wonder if can chickens eat basil? Is this herb edible and safe for the chickens?

This article will cover

  • What is basil?
  • Can your chickens eat basil?
  • Is basil good for my chickens?
  • Can your chickens eat basil stems, flowers, and seeds?
  • How do you feed your chickens basil?
  • How much basil should you feed your chickens?

What is basil?

can chickens eat basil

Basil is a green and leafy herb that is diverse and belongs to the mint family. It is a plant that grows all year round. This herb has that aromatic scent and is commonly used as food seasonings to add flavors to various kinds of dishes.

Moreover, it is also famous as an ingredient for supplements and teas. It may just look like an ordinary green leafy herb that is primarily seen in anyone’s backyard, especially those who are into gardening. Though it seems like a regular leaf, this green-leafy herb is rich in nutrients that can improve your health, including animals such as chickens.

Aside from it being used as a seasoning in any dish, this herb is considered to be prominent amongst Chinese nationals. Basil is widely used for conventional Chinese medicine and any other holistic medicine as an instant remedy for any inconvenience a person might feel, such as nausea.

There are various types of basil, and the two commonly known types are sweet basil and tulsi. Sweet basil or scientifically known as Ocimum Basilicum.

Can your chickens eat basil?

Chickens need essential nutrients that they can get from the food they take just as much as we, humans, need nutrients in our bodies. Since basil is an herb that is rich in both minerals and vitamins, the answer is absolutely a yes, your chickens can eat basil.

However, just like any other organic food, you can only feed basil to your chickens in a moderate manner. Hence, consider it a treat for your chickens, and do not make basil part of their staple food diet.

Although basil does not contain any toxins that can cause serious health issues to your chickens, serving it in moderation can stop them from suffering from an upset stomach, especially that it quite tastes bitter for them.

This aromatic herb is not only safe and edible food for your chickens but, at the same time, can also be used as an insect repellant that you can place inside your chicken coops.

Is basil good for my chickens?

can chicken eat basil

Certainly, basil is suitable for chickens. Basil is rich in nutrients that can help in maintaining good health. It not only boosts the health of the respiratory system, circulatory system, and mucus membrane but also has antibacterial properties that assist in boosting their immune system.

Basil also consists of antioxidants and also acts as an anti-inflammatory that is beneficial to your chickens. In addition to this, other benefits of the basil include anticancer, antibacterial, antianxiety, antifungal, and antiviral.

In addition to that, basil has a considerable degree of xanthophyll that helps in making chickens produce eggs that have bright egg yolk.

Nutrients found in every 100g of basil

Nutrients Amount Unit
Vitamin A 264 Micrograms
Vitamin B1 0.034 Milligrams
Vitamin B2 0.076 Milligrams
Vitamin B3 0.902 Milligrams
Vitamin B5 0.209 Milligrams
Vitamin B6 0.155 Milligrams
Vitamin C 18 Milligrams
Vitamin E 0.80 Milligrams
Vitamin K 414.8 Micrograms
Calcium 177 Milligrams
Copper 0.385 Milligrams
Magnesium 64 Milligrams
Potassium 295 Milligrams
Sodium 4 Milligrams
Zinc 0.81 Milligrams
Protein 3.15 Grams

Basil is a nutrient-rich herb that is an excellent source of protein, iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, and Vitamin K. It is also an excellent source of fiber that assists chickens in digesting their food correctly. Hence, rarely experiencing constipation and has a regular bowel movement. Iron is also present in basil which manages the heartbeat of the chickens.

Basil is also abundant in Vitamin C that makes the immune system of your backyard chickens stronger. If your chickens get infected by any poultry disease, assure that you provide them a significant amount of vitamin C to recover quickly.

Vitamin A is also present in basil that assists in improving the eyesight of the chickens, most especially in the darkness.

The responsibility of vitamin K is to neutralize the calcium levels of the chickens while calcium is working on its role in maintaining a healthy bone structure of the chickens.

Can your chickens eat basil stems, flowers, and seeds?

Basil flowers, seeds, and stems do not contain any toxins that can provoke serious health concerns in the future. Therefore, the flowers, stems, and seeds are edible and safe for your feathered friends.

It is recommended to cut the stems of basil into pieces in order to avoid choking though these stems are not as tough as the stems of the other plants. On the other hand, you can also feed the basil flowers and seeds to your chicken by premixing it with quality commercial chicken pellets to utilize the nutrition they can all get from it.

How do you feed your chickens basil?

There are various ways on how to feed basil to your poultry. Since basil is an herb, then it does not require a lot of time as well as effort to prepare. You only have to make sure that you thoroughly wash it and remove anything that might harm them prior to giving it to them.

One way to prepare basil to feed your chicken is to simply just give them the newly harvested fresh basil. Serving fresh basil is considered to be the most accessible practice because all you have to do is to remove any soil from it. You can just put it to the feeder and let your chooks enjoy their meal, or you can also cut or dice the stem into pieces so they will not choke on it.

On the other hand, another way to prepare basil for your chickens is to give them the dried ones. Sprinkling the dried basil leaves as an addition to their staple food, the quality commercial feeds, can provide a nutrition boost fix to your chickens. Nutrients are more concentrated whenever the basil leaf is dry.

And lastly, you can also feed basil to your chickens just the way it is. Even without having to harvest it. Although, this only applies to chicken owners who at the same time grow basil in their backyard garden.

All you need is to get a water hose and spray some water all over it to remove any pests and specks of dirt that have been residing on it.  Chickens are not picky with their food. Hence, they will eat anything and everything that you serve them. Therefore, it is necessary to take precautions to make sure that you are not giving them anything that may cause harm.

How much basil should you feed your chickens?

How much basil should you feed your chickens

A responsible backyard chicken owner knows the right amount of nutrition their flock of chickens needs in order to maintain a healthy diet. The quantity of basil that you can feed to them varies on the age of the chicken.

For chicks, the basil leaf is already enough for them. You can prepare the basil leaves for the chicks by cutting them into pieces. Basil leaf is tasted bitter for the chicks. Thus, too much of it might make them dislike it abruptly. On the other hand, adult chickens can have a couple of basil leaves. All you have to do is ensure not to include it as part of their staple diet.

Even though basil is rich and has diverse nutrients, it is still recommended to make it only as a treat and feed it to your chickens in moderation.

Most chicken owners tend to forget that basil alone cannot provide all the necessary nutrients their chickens need to be healthy. Too much of something can cause serious health problems. Chickens can enjoy themselves with basil at least twice a week.


The answer to the question “can chickens eat basil?” is a yes. We can officially include basil in our growing list of nutritious organic foods that can be fed to your chickens together with the zucchini, cauliflower, and okra and will only serve as a treat and not part of their main diet.

chickens eat basil

4.8/5 - (983 votes)

Leave a Comment