Can Chickens Safely and Beneficially Eat Sesame Seeds?

A Bowl of Sesame Seeds

Article Summary

  • Sesame seeds are rich in protein, omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, and antioxidants, providing essential nutrients for chicken health.
  • Hens, baby chickens, and adult chickens can all safely consume sesame seeds with proper precautions.
  • Feeding sesame seeds should be occasional, with 1-2 times per week being sufficient to avoid potential health issues.

Sesame seeds are packed with beneficial nutrients, but are they a good treat for backyard chickens? Let’s take a closer look at whether these tiny seeds can be a healthy part of your flock’s diet.

Is Sesame Seeds Good for Chicken?

Yes, sesame seeds can provide some great nutritional benefits for chickens in moderation. Here are some of the key nutrients found in sesame seeds:

  • Protein – Sesame seeds contain high levels of plant-based proteins. Protein is essential for muscle growth, egg production, and overall health in chickens.
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids – These healthy fats support skin and feather health. The omega-6s in sesame seeds can help give your chickens beautiful, lustrous feathers.
  • Calcium – Crucial for bone health and proper egg shell formation, the calcium in sesame seeds is readily absorbed.
  • Antioxidants – Sesame seeds contain antioxidants like lignans that can boost immunity.

So in reasonable amounts, sesame seeds can be an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants for chickens. They provide energy and key nutrients for good health.

Is Sesame Seeds Safe for Chickens?

Yes, when fed properly, sesame seeds are perfectly safe for chickens to eat. Here are some tips on feeding sesame seeds safely:

  • Give Only Occasionally – Sesame seeds should be an occasional treat, not a daily feed. Too much can lead to excess fat gain.
  • Raw is Best – Cooked or roasted sesame seeds may be harder for chickens to digest. Feed raw when possible.
  • Prevent Overeating – Feed sesame seeds in small amounts and prevent chickens from gorging. Limit to about 1-2 teaspoons per chicken.
  • Source Good Quality – Ensure sesame seeds come from a reputable source free of mold, bacteria, or other contaminants.
  • Watch for Allergies – Monitor for any signs of allergic reaction when initially feeding sesame seeds.
A Man Feeding Chickens

Following these precautions, sesame seeds can provide a safe, healthy supplemental feed. Just be sensible with amounts given.

Can Chickens Eat Raw Sesame Seeds?

Yes, chickens can safely eat raw, uncooked sesame seeds without issue. In fact, raw sesame seeds may be preferable to roasted or cooked. Raw sesame seeds contain the most nutrients and natural enzymes. The hard shell of the seed also remains intact when raw, making it easier for the chickens to digest.

When feeding any raw seeds, always take care to source them from somewhere selling fresh, high-quality products meant for consumption. Avoid old or moldy raw sesame seeds. But quality raw sesame seeds make an excellent supplemental feed chickens will benefit from.

Can Chickens Eat Sesame Seeds Soaked in Water?

Soaking sesame seeds in water before feeding can make them safer and easier for chickens to eat. Here’s why:

  • Softer Shell – The hot water softens the outer shell, making it easier to digest
  • Neutralizes Enzyme Inhibitors – Sesame seeds contain enzyme inhibitors that can cause digestive upset. Soaking neutralizes these.
  • Removes Dust – Rinsing off any dust or debris on the seeds

To soak, simply place raw sesame seeds in hot water for at least 2-3 hours before feeding to chickens. Drain and rinse before feeding. Soaked this way, sesame seeds become a well-tolerated, nutritious treat.

Can Chickens Eat Black Sesame Seeds?

Black sesame seeds are perfectly fine for chickens to consume. They offer the same nutritional benefits as regular light-colored sesame seeds. The black coloring comes from higher levels of healthy antioxidants like anthocyanins. These added antioxidants can further boost your flock’s immunity.

The black coloring comes from higher levels of healthy antioxidants…

The one precaution with black sesame seeds is to watch out for artificial coloring. Some commercially produced black sesame seeds are dyed rather than naturally black. Avoid any artificially colored seeds, as the dyes could be toxic. But pure, naturally black sesame seeds have no issues for chicken consumption. They make an especially healthy treat.

Can Hens Eat Sesame Seeds?

A Hen and Her Eggs

Yes, hens can safely enjoy sesame seeds as part of a balanced diet. Since hens have higher protein needs for egg production, the protein in sesame seeds makes it an especially beneficial feed for them.

Follow the same precautions in terms of limiting amounts and preventing overconsumption. Monitor for any signs of allergic reaction when first feeding sesame seeds to hens. But in general, the nutrients hens need align very well with what sesame seeds provide. Feed them as an occasional supplement to support excellent egg laying.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Sesame Seeds?

Sesame seeds can be fed to baby chicks but with some extra precautions. Here are some tips for feeding sesame seeds safely:

  • Wait until fully feathered – Chicks younger than 4 weeks old have sensitive, developing digestive systems. Wait until they are fully feathered before introducing sesame seeds.
  • Soak well and cut pieces – Soak sesame seeds for several hours to soften. Cut pieces into tiny bits for easier eating and digestion.
  • Feed sparingly – Even small amounts of sesame seeds can be too much for tiny chick bellies. Limit to just a few bits per chick.
  • Monitor closely – Watch for signs of indigestion or allergic reaction when first feeding. Discontinue use if any concerns arise.


Introduce sesame seeds to the diet of growing chicks after 4 weeks of age to provide a healthy nutrition boost. Start with small amounts to prevent upset stomachs.

How Often Can Chickens Eat Sesame Seeds?

Sesame seeds should be limited to an occasional treat. Feeding 1-2 times per week is sufficient. Any more than that risks potential weight gain or nutritional imbalances.

When feeding sesame seeds:

  • Stick to 1-2 teaspoons per chicken per feeding
  • Allow 2-3 days between feedings
  • Discontinue if signs of irritation or allergy
  • Mix up treats and provide variety

Moderation is vital with all seeds as treats. Sesame seeds fed sparingly will provide health benefits. But, overdoing it with sesame seeds or any single ingredient could lead to health issues. Variety and moderation allow chickens to thrive.

Other Seeds Chickens Can Eat

In addition to sesame seeds, chickens enjoy and benefit from these other healthy seed varieties:

  • Pumpkin Seeds – High in zinc for immunity
  • Sunflower Seeds – Great source of vitamin E
  • Flax Seeds – Contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s
  • Millet – Easy to digest and protein-packed
  • Oats – Whole oats provide B vitamins
  • Peas – Loaded with amino acids

Any of these make excellent supplemental feeds for chickens in moderation alongside their regular diet. Mix it up and offer a variety of seeds for overall nutrition and flock health.

In summary, the nutritional profile of sesame seeds makes them a great occasional treat for chickens when fed properly. Follow basic guidelines on quality, quantity, and moderation to unlock the benefits sesame seeds can offer your flock. Enjoy watching your chickens savor these tiny, healthy seeds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can chickens eat sesame seeds in water?

Yes, chickens can safely consume sesame seeds in water. Sesame seeds are a nutritious treat for chickens, providing essential nutrients such as protein and healthy fats. However, moderation is key, as treats should complement their balanced diet of feed and not exceed 10% of their daily intake.

Can you feed chickens sesame seeds?

Yes, you can include sesame seeds in your chickens’ diet. Sesame seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and various minerals. It’s advisable to offer them in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet, ensuring that the majority of their nutrition comes from a high-quality poultry feed formulated for their specific needs.

Can chickens eat sesame seed oil?

It’s not recommended to feed chickens sesame seed oil directly. While sesame seeds themselves are safe and nutritious for chickens, the oil form may be too concentrated and can lead to an imbalance in their diet. Stick to offering whole sesame seeds as a treat and ensure they have access to a well-formulated chicken feed for their primary nutrition.