Basil is the most popular herb around the world. It’s a nutrient-rich herb that’s low in calories. Basil is versatile and can be used in many different ways. If you enjoy eating basil, you may wonder if you can feed your chickens as well.
So, can chickens eat basil? Yes, chickens can eat basil. This herb has essential vitamins and minerals that the chickens need to stay healthy. To prevent any health issues, only feed basil to your chickens in moderation.
Health Benefits of Basil for Chickens
When it comes to herbs, basil top the list as the most nutritional-rich herb in the world.
There are many health benefits your chickens can gain from being fed basil. Among the various benefits, the two main ones that it offers the chickens are a healthy digestive system and a strong immune system.
Basil is a good source of fiber, which helps improve digestion. Fiber promotes regular bowel movement and prevents constipation. This, in turn, will make food move through the digestive tract smoothly.
Another nutrient that basil has a lot of is vitamin C. This vitamin helps boost the immune system in the chickens. A chicken with a strong immune system will less likely become ill. If they do become ill, plenty of vitamin C will help them get back to good health quickly.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Basil?
Baby chickens can eat basil, but you should wait until they are at least 3 weeks old first. Under the age of 3 weeks, their digestive system has not developed properly yet. This will make it hard for them to digest basil.
Once they are at least 3 weeks, you can start to introduce basil to them. Most of the time, they will not eat it since it’s something new to them. Instead, you can mix it in with their feeds to see if they will eat it.
Can Chickens Eat Basil Stems?
The stems of the basil are harmless and safe for the chickens to eat. While it’s not that tough, you can cut them into smaller pieces to make it easier for them to eat them.
Some people will leave the basil leaves on the stem and feed them the entire thing. Some chickens will eat the stems, while others will leave them alone.
Also, you can cook the basil stems to make it easier for them to eat them too.
Can Chickens Eat Basil Flowers
Yes, chickens can eat basil flowers. It doesn’t have any toxin that is harmful to them. You can mix the flowers in with the feed for a boost in nutrition.
Can Chickens Eat Basil Seeds?
Basil seeds are safe for chickens to eat. If you have basil growing in the garden, some chickens will pick the seeds from the basil to eat.
You can also add the seeds to their feeds or along with the basil leaves when feeding them.
How Do You Feed Basil For Your Chickens?
Basil doesn’t require much prepping. All you need to do is wash the herb thoroughly to remove any dirt, pests, and other debris from it.
Below are some methods you can try to feed basil to your chickens:
The easiest method is to toss some fresh basil to your chickens. After harvesting the basil, wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt and other debris from it. Then toss the entire basil to your chicken or cut the leaves off the stem and feed them just the leaves.
Dried basil is another method to feed your chickens. This is a great way to give your chickens a boost in nutrition. On their food, sprinkle some dried basil onto it and let the chicken eat it. They won’t be able to tell if there is any basil on their food.
Eat From The Garden
If you have basil growing in the garden, you can let them eat the herb right from the garden. First, spray down the herb with a garden hose to remove dirt and pest. Then let the chicken into the garden to eat the basil. They’ll eat the leaves and stems of the basil.
If you have other herbs or plants in the garden as well, you may want to block it off if you don’t want the chickens to eat them. These birds are opportunistic eaters and will eat everything in their way.
How Much Basil Should You Feed Your Chickens?
You should give your chickens a small amount of basil.
For baby chickens, a leave of the basil should be enough. Make sure to cut them into small pieces, so it will be easier for them to eat them.
For adult chickens, a couple of leaves for each chicken is plenty enough for them to enjoy.
How Often Should You Feed Your Chickens Basil?
While basil has a lot of nutrition that the chickens can benefit from, it’s best to feed them in moderation. Basil doesn’t have enough nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary requirements. Feeding them basil too often could cause them health issues, rather than helping them.
Like other herbs, basil should make up 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come from quality commercial feeds. These feeds are formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary needs.
Therefore, feed basil to the chickens, once or twice per week. This should be enough for them to enjoy and benefit from it.
Other Herbs That Chickens Can Eat
Lavender is a great herb to feed your chickens. This herb has several health benefits for them. Lavender will help relieve stress, increase blood circulation, and help keep insects away from the chickens.
Parsley is a popular herb due to its versatile and rich in nutrients. This herb can be used as a laying stimulant and aids in blood vessel development. You can feed them raw, cooked, or dried parsley.
Mint is a nutrient-rich herb that has a wide range of health benefits for chickens. This herb can be used to aid digestion, boost the immune system, and help alleviate some respiratory issues for the chickens.
Basil is a herb that makes a great treat for chickens. You can give them fresh basil, cooked basil, or sprinkle dried basil onto their foods. This herb has a lot of health benefits for your chickens, so it should be available at all times.