If bread is bad for birds, should I feed pigeons bread?

Why Most Bread Is Unhealthy

Commonest sliced bread or sandwich bread is a poor meals alternative for birds. This bread is closely processed and incorporates chemical substances and preservatives that aren’t appropriate for wild birds. Bread incorporates little or no protein, which birds must develop muscle mass and feathers, and it doesn’t include the fats birds want for power. As an alternative, bread is primarily a carbohydrate that, whereas it is going to fill a chook's abdomen and alleviate starvation, doesn’t present a lot vitamin. The identical is true for comparable bread-like merchandise reminiscent of buns, bagels, crackers, chips, pretzels, cookies, cereal, and donuts.

When eaten excessively, bread will trigger well being issues for birds, together with malnutrition and weight problems. That is significantly outstanding amongst younger waterfowl in city and suburban areas the place ducklings and goslings could also be fed large quantities of bread. As these younger birds fail to get the correct vitamins for wholesome progress, they’ll develop deformed wings and legs, aggressive temperaments, poor circulation, and plenty of different difficulties.


Why shouldnt you feed birds bread

Answered By: Hugh Hughes Date: created: Oct 23 2020

Don’t feed geese bread. … Bread gives no vitamin for them, they usually might find yourself being fats and ravenous on the identical time. Birdseed, frozen corn or peas (thaw first), oats, and different greens (torn up small to allow them to eat them) present the very best dietary worth to them.

Requested By: Gabriel Martinez Date: created: Dec 26 2020

Can birds eat oatmeal

Answered By: Ashton Morgan Date: created: Sep 11 2021

Cereal: Stale or leftover cereal and oats, together with rolled or fast oats, is a tasty chook deal with. For the very best vitamin and most attractiveness, supply birds cereal with decrease sugar content material and fewer synthetic dyes.

Requested By: Samuel Richardson Date: created: Nov 17 2021

Fruit and greens

Greens, reminiscent of sweetcorn, lettuce and peas, and fruit, together with apple and banana items, are nice as a supply of fibre and water. However additionally they present important nutritional vitamins.

The draw back is that giant portions may cause abdomen upset, particularly fruit, but in addition greens excessive in carbohydrates, like carrots. Attempt to steadiness small quantities of those with seeds and nuts.

What Can I Feed Birds As an alternative of Bread?

Fortunately, there are some excellent bird food options that don’t put them in hurt’s approach. Cracked corn, sunflower seeds, safflower, and peanuts are all wonderful selections.

Feeding birds sunflower seeds. (Photo: CC0 Public
Feeding birds sunflower seeds. (Photograph: CC0 Public Area / Unsplash – Andrik Langfield)


Leftovers of the processed meals we prefer to eat – suppose french fries and pizza crusts – should not truly be on this listing. They do for birds what quick meals does for us: numerous power, however with little or no vitamin.

In our research, we discovered that leftovers had been one of many prime selections of individuals feeding geese. However our recommendation – as with bread – is to keep away from it altogether.

Bread Means Bother for the Surroundings, Too



If waterfowl are fed a lot bread that a few of it goes uneaten, the uneaten bread poses one other downside. The bread can develop mould which might make geese sick. It will possibly additionally contribute to algae progress within the water, which might kill animals and unfold illness. Algal blooms can even do harm to the water high quality and native aquatic crops of the river or lake.

Additional bread would not seem to be an enormous deal, but when everybody takes their youngsters to see the geese, all that bread can construct up, particularly if there aren’t too many geese to start with. If you wish to feed the geese however see bread floating within the water, it is a good signal that the geese have had their fill already. Attempt again one other time, however deliver one thing slightly higher than bread!

Leftover bread can also be unhealthy for them

If a chook lives in a pond or lake the place they’re generally fed bread, different points could come up. Bread that doesn’t get snapped up by intelligent beaks doesn’t simply evaporate into the air. There’s no clear up crew. It settles into the water; the CWF additionally mentions that this could result in a construct up of algae of their atmosphere. ABC Radio Perth reported on an even grimmer circumstance wherein the upper nutrient stage within the water created a micro organism within the soil that result in avian botulism:

Nicole Davey, environmental coordinator at Belmont Council, mentioned feeding bread to birds contributes to larger nutrient ranges within the water, which in flip results in a rise within the soil micro organism that causes avian botulism.

“So when the birds eat snails and worms which are within the mud, they develop into contaminated with the micro organism, when releases a toxin that causes them to develop into paralysed, and ultimately they die,” she mentioned.

You’re not simply messing with the chook’s weight loss plan—you’re messing with their complete eco-system, and the opposite creatures nice and small who’re dwelling there, too.

Learn how to Give Birds Meals

It’s additionally vital to concentrate to the way you feed birds. You possibly can merely sprinkle nuts and seeds round your backyard however this isn’t a good suggestion. Not solely will the birds harm your garden once they eat, however the meals can appeal to undesirable guests.

There are a selection of various feeders you will get.

  • Some individuals like a flat prime chook desk. The meals is positioned on the highest, and birds can sit on the highest to feed. This can be a easy method to feed birds, however meals may be pushed off the sting if the desk doesn’t have a rim.
  • If you wish to give birds nuts and seeds, get a correct feeder which holds them. These may be hung from branches so the birds really feel protected consuming, they usually additionally maintain the meals in place so it doesn’t spill.
  • Nectar feeding birds will want a correct nectar feeder. These are designed to carry the nectar safely in aspect and have special feeding slots for long beaks.
  • For those who put out fats balls or suet blocks you’ll need the suitable measurement and form of feeder. The blocks ought to slot in in order that the birds can get to them, however they gained’t fall out.

In case you have a couple of feeder, house them out across the backyard. You’ll find extra birds will come to eat if they’ve extra room.

2. Free Meals Is not All It is Quacked As much as Be

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

Along with the dietary points posed by considerable bread, too many handouts of any form increase a variety of issues for waterfowl. These embody:


Geese and geese naturally discover habitats that provide sufficient meals, however handouts can lure massive crowds to areas that wouldn't usually help them. Pure meals are additionally broadly scattered, letting birds eat in relative privateness, whereas competitors is commonly fierce and disturbing at synthetic feeding websites.


Too many birds means too many droppings. That is a well being danger, each in water and on land. Plus, because the New York State Division of Environmental Conservation points out, “illnesses typically not transmissible in a wild setting discover overcrowded and unsanitary circumstances very favorable.”

Delayed Migration

Synthetic feeding has been identified to shorten and even remove migration patterns of waterfowl. They might be reluctant to depart a dependable meals supply regardless of the onset of winter, after which battle to outlive as temperatures fall — particularly if the chilly discourages their human feeders.


Our presents can also spur just a few different damaging adjustments in birds' conduct. When grownup geese develop into obsessive about free bread, for instance, they might fail to offer their ducklings a ample schooling in foraging, thus committing them to a life as beggars. As soon as birds are depending on handouts, they have a tendency to lose their worry of people and behave extra aggressively.

What’s the Finest Kind of Bread to Feed Birds?

The very best sorts of bread to feed birds are those which have grains, seeds, excessive fats and protein ranges.  Verify the substances label for seeds, nuts and grains before you purchase it.

Multi-grain loaves of bread are excessive in fibre and are perfect for a chook’s digestive tract. For hen homeowners, fibre can scale back feather pecking as this typically occurs resulting from a scarcity of fibre.

Is It Ever Okay to Feed Bread to Birds?

To be temporary: no. Whereas the observe could seem benign, it doesn’t simply hurt particular person birds or your native flock however feeding birds is also bad for the environment. Birds who’re fed bread might develop into dependent upon human meals, or might develop into aggressive in the event that they lose their worry of people.

Birds may be trusted to seek out their very own meals, and easily don’t require human meals as a caloric complement. Whereas chook feeders with correct meals solely make a impartial influence, feeding bread to birds is actively dangerous.

What meals is nice for birds?

The excellent news is we don’t must cease feeding the birds in our backyards, we simply must feed them the suitable meals—meals that maximizes the vitamin they require to outlive and thrive.

See ‘Quality Bird Seed and Clean Feeders Matter‘ for extra details about wholesome meals you possibly can present for wild birds.

What to Feed Birds

The excellent news is we are able to cease harming birds by feeding them nutritious meals. Meals pellets and seeds are cheap and can present vitamin. Seeds include very important fats and protein that birds want to be able to be nourished and thrive. As they’re nutrient dense they’re small and straightforward to maintain in a coat pocket.

Grapes chopped in half and kale in small strips are nice for many birds resulting from being bite-sized and nutritious. No matter meals you feed them it must be in small items for his or her mouths.

Do analysis in your native space to make sure that the meals you feed the birds is required and due to this fact useful. Completely different birds in several places have completely different wants.

Seeds are a nutritious food to feed birds, picture
Seeds are a nutritious meals to feed birds, pictured is my 5 seed oat desserts.

What about feeding bread to geese and geese within the park?

Feeding geese and geese within the park looks like such a benign exercise. However, if we’re feeding them bread, we’re additionally robbing nourishment from them. For waterfowl, a each day weight loss plan of bread, crackers and different snack meals from well-meaning park guests can even result in tragedy. Angel Wing syndrome is only one heart-breaking instance of what can occur after we feed our snacks and leftovers to water birds.

As for feeding wild geese and geese, there may be an excessive amount of debate as as to if we’re doing them any favors by feeding them something in any respect. Nonetheless, there are other ways we are able to help their well being. See this Audubon.com article, ‘Don’t Feed the Waterfowl‘.

When to Feed Bread to Birds

Above all, bread ought to by no means be supplied recurrently to birds. Simply as sweet just isn’t appropriate for a big a part of a human’s weight loss plan, bread is “sweet” to birds and needs to be solely a uncommon deal with quite than an everyday meal, even when it has been enhanced with more healthy spreads and toppings. Ideally, bread scraps needs to be much more restricted in spring and early summer time when guardian birds are feeding their nestlings. Equally, in winter, providing quite a lot of bread won’t give birds the very best vitamin to outlive harsh storms and chilly temperatures. The very best time to feed birds bread, although nonetheless solely every so often, is on the top of summer time after younger birds have fledged and there are various birds visiting feeders and profiting from abundant natural, nutritional food sources. At the moment, providing just a few bites of bread will probably be much less dangerous to the birds that benefit from it.

Feeding birds bread just isn’t the healthiest choice, however when the bread has more healthy substances for a bird-friendly sandwich, it may be a enjoyable, uncommon deal with so as to add to your yard buffet.

Necessary observe: the U.S. Division of Agriculture strongly discourages the feeding of wildlife, together with birds, which may be finally be hazardous to each wildlife and people.

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