Can Birds Eat Chia Seeds? Discover the Nutritional Powerhouse!

The Internet is booming with recipes catered towards vegans and plant-based foodies. That enthusiasm brought forward a particular food that has existed since the Aztec civilization. A food that was usually an offering!

Enticed; yet? Wait till you hear how it’s used nowadays.

Hello bird enthusiasts, thanks for tuning in for another edition of, Can Birds Eat This?; today we’re going to dive into the world of the holy grail of seeds all vegans swear by — Chia Seeds!

Are Chia Seeds Safe for Birds?

Chia seeds are native to central and southern Mexico; however, it’s harvested in parts of the southwestern United States as well.

A bowl of chia seeds with chia sprouts in the background

While it is not actively harvested throughout the world, it’s still one of the most consumed seeds in the world.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and plenty of other benefits that won the heart of all TikTok dieticians worldwide. Its rising popularity has made it a house staple.

But can this fan favorite be safe for all our furry friends? Let’s find out!

1. Allergies

In a 2019 study, researchers found what may have been the very first chia seed allergy case. What should’ve been a health benefit turned into a medical nightmare resulting in anaphylaxis.

While there are rare cases of chia seeds allergy, running a few allergy tests at the vet is good.

2. Change in Consistency 

Since chia seeds are a prime source of dietary fiber, chances are there will be a change in the consistency of your bird’s stool.

However, there’s no need to worry as such consistency does not indicate diarrhea or food poisoning. Ensure your bird is not reaching out for water more than usual, as that can be a sign of dehydration (a telltale symptom of diarrhea).

All in all, chia seeds are perfectly safe for birds without allergies to consume in moderation. If you’ve been keeping up with the previous articles, you’ll understand what a relief it was to hear this.

What Are the Benefits of Chia Seeds for Birds?

Once I learned that chia seeds are safe for bird consumption, the first thing I did was rush to the closest wholesale store and buy my birdies some chia seeds in bulk.

Chia sprouts and seeds on a wooden table

Yes, you heard me right. I bought them in size; that’s how nutritious they are. Excited to know what the nutritional benefits are; yet? Keep on reading!

1. Packed With Energy

In the wild, birds snack on these little pockets of energy, especially migratory birds. Some of these birds are the beloved state birds featured in the US State Birds section on our website.

Chia seeds provide stable energy throughout the day due to their balance of protein, fiber, and vitamins.

No wonder it’s a favorite amongst migratory birds since a little bit can go a long way.

2. Loaded With Antioxidants 

Foods chock-full of antioxidants are the holy grail of all parents to introduce to their children, so why not us bird parents too? Chia seeds will accomplish that task with ease.

Fresh chia seeds on a wooden bowl

Here’s a brief list of all the antioxidants your bird will benefit from if you introduce chia seeds to their diet:

  • Caffeic acid
  • Kaempferol
  • Quercetin
  • Chlorogenic acid
  • Myricetin

Antioxidants in chia seeds provide anti-cancer properties along with protecting essential organs in the body from free radicals.

3. Provides Perfect Balance

Just two tablespoons of chia seeds in your bird’s daily diet can increase its protein (4.7 grams) and fiber (9.8 grams) intake.

Still haven’t found the perfect balance of the two essential building blocks of your bird’s diet? Well, look no further!

Protein promotes healthy growth and repair which is vital in young birds. Ample protein intake prevents musculoskeletal diseases such as Angel Wings Disease in birds.

Fiber ensures they are protected from intestinal disorders due to having a weaker digestive system than most animals.

Here are some other benefits of fiber:

  • Promotes weight loss
  • Brings stability in blood sugar levels
  • Lowers cholesterol levels 
  • Allows to remain fuller for longer

4. Kicks Out Calcium Deficiencies 

Before condemning me for bringing this up in yet another article, can we all agree on how difficult it is to find calcium supplements for birds through natural foods? 

Fresh chia seeds on a coconut shell

If you’ve been keeping up with the Can Birds Eat This? series, you are caught up with the fact that birds cannot digest lactose aka the substance found in all dairy products such as, Cheez-Its, and Ice cream.

How can you ensure good bone health then?

Chia seed to the rescue! They provide these nutrients that will put your bird’s calcium deficiency worry at ease:

  • Alpha-linoleic Acid (ALA) – 5 grams per two tablespoons
  • Calcium: 14% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 23% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 30% of the DV

Studies found that rodents that receive chia seeds for 13 months daily had increased bone density in comparison to a control group.

The authors of that study concluded that ALA which was the odd one out on the list above was also a contributor.

Chia seeds are an effective substitute for lactose in your bird’s diet that will promote good bone density, which is an indicator of bone strength.

5. Jack of All Trades

If these benefits weren’t enough to get you hopping onto your car for the closest grocery store like me, here’s some more!

  • Iron
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Zinc
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Vitamins AND minerals too? Sounds like Hemp Seeds has a worthy superfood competition!

What Are the Alternatives to Chia Seeds for Birds?

Speaking of competition, it’s unlikely for chia seeds to be unavailable in your country. But if you’re in a crunch, here are a few suggestions:

Most of these can be available in your country in other names perhaps. Don’t forget to give these a try!

Frequently Asked Questions

I can imagine you guys will have a multitude of questions about chia seeds for birds and their usage. Let’s try and answer them one by one in the next segment.

Can Birds Eat Raw Chia Seeds?

Most humans don’t consume chia seeds raw, meaning just as they are. We consume it as puddings or in oats. However, birds can eat them raw or in other seed mixes as well.

Can Birds Eat Black Chia Seeds?

Birds can consume all types of chia seeds which includes black chia seeds too. They are a superfood that is unharmful for them.

Can Birds Eat Chia Sprouts?

Chia sprouts or microgreens are highly nutritious. They will provide beautiful greenery in your bird’s daily diet.

Final Remarks 

Chia seeds are the snack of the century coinciding with hemp seeds on the top tier. Superfoods like chia seeds should always be welcome in your bird’s diet.

As always, consult your vet regarding allergies before introducing chia seeds to our featherd friends!

Photo of author

Written and Fact-checked by David Neff

Author at BirdBonica

David is an expert birder and bird parent with in-depth knowledge of birds. He has years of experience observing birds in their natural habitats, studying their diets, behavior, and more. (Learn more about David here...)

Cite, Link, or Reference This Page

BirdBonica.com. "Can Birds Eat Chia Seeds? Discover the Nutritional Powerhouse!." Webpage, June 29, 2023, accessed April 5, 2024, https://birdbonica.com/can-birds-eat/chia-seeds/.

BirdBonica.com (2024). Can Birds Eat Chia Seeds? Discover the Nutritional Powerhouse!. Retrieved from https://birdbonica.com/can-birds-eat/chia-seeds/ on April 5, 2024.

BirdBonica.com. "Can Birds Eat Chia Seeds? Discover the Nutritional Powerhouse!." Webpage, June 29, 2023, https://birdbonica.com/can-birds-eat/chia-seeds/, accessed April 5, 2024.

Leave a Comment