Is bread really all that bad for the birds?

Why Most Bread Is Dangerous

Most common sliced bread or sandwich bread is a poor meals selection for birds. This bread is closely processed and accommodates chemical compounds and preservatives that aren’t appropriate for wild birds. Bread accommodates little or no protein, which birds must develop muscle tissues and feathers, and it doesn’t comprise the fats birds want for vitality. As a substitute, bread is primarily a carbohydrate that, whereas it’ll fill a hen’s abdomen and alleviate starvation, doesn’t present a lot diet. The identical is true for comparable bread-like merchandise similar to 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 notably outstanding amongst younger waterfowl in city and suburban areas the place ducklings and goslings could also be fed super quantities of bread. As these younger birds fail to get the right vitamins for wholesome progress, they’ll develop deformed wings and legs, aggressive temperaments, poor circulation, and lots of different difficulties.

What meals is sweet 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 diet 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.



Rice, each cooked and raw, is not a foul selection. It gives supply of vitality however is sort of low in dietary worth. Feeding birds with giant portions of rice can lead to deficiencies in different vitamins. It is also necessary to solely give plain rice – by no means seasoned or fried rice.

Giving plenty of raw rice can provide geese a sore abdomen as a result of it reacts with water of their intestine. Raw rice is completely protected in small doses although – regardless of what urban myths would possibly let you know.

Birds can have a little rice – as a treat.
Birds can have just a little rice – as a deal with.

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 concern of people.

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

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 every day food regimen of bread, crackers and different snack meals from well-meaning park guests also can result in tragedy. Angel Wing syndrome is only one heart-breaking instance of what can occur once we feed our snacks and leftovers to water birds.

As for feeding wild geese and geese, there’s an excessive amount of debate as as to whether we’re doing them any favors by feeding them something in any respect. Nonetheless, there are alternative routes we will help their well being. See this article, ‘Don’t Feed the Waterfowl‘.

What Form of Bread is Okay for Birds?

If you’d like a type of bread that’s okay for birds then feed the birds with bread that’s wholesome for people is an efficient line to toe. Natural wholemeal or multi-grain is preferable.

To make bread even higher for birds you possibly can laden peanut butter everywhere in the slice earlier than breaking it up into smaller items.  Peanut butter is excessive in fats, energy, fats and magnesium.

Can Birds Eat Stale Bread?

Can Birds Eat Stale Bread?

Stale bread is unhealthy for birds, thus, the loaf needs to be contemporary.   Bread is usually more durable when it goes stale, nevertheless, the rationale stale bread is unhealthy for birds is that it has began to deteriorate.

Utilizing thawed bread (like different forms of frozen meals) can lose a few of its dietary advantages too.  As all the time, contemporary bread is finest must you not have extra appropriate hen meals at hand…

Can Birds Eat Mouldy Bread?

Mouldy bread already has fungus rising on it and will be very harmful to birds.  Inhaling the spores can have an effect on their lungs and doubtlessly trigger critical harm or loss of life to a hen.

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

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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


Geese and geese naturally discover habitats that provide sufficient meals, however handouts can lure giant crowds to areas that would not usually help them. Pure meals are additionally broadly scattered, letting birds eat in relative privateness, whereas competitors is usually fierce and nerve-racking at synthetic feeding websites.


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

Delayed Migration

Synthetic feeding has been identified to shorten and even eradicate 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 may additionally spur just a few different damaging modifications in birds’ habits. When grownup geese develop into obsessive about free bread, for instance, they might fail to present 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 an inclination to lose their concern of people and behave extra aggressively.

What to Feed Birds

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

Grapes chopped in half and kale in small strips are nice for many birds on account of 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 subsequently useful. Totally 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.

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 drawback. The bread can develop mildew which might make geese sick. It will probably additionally contribute to algae progress within the water, which might kill animals and unfold illness. Algal blooms also can do harm to the water high quality and native aquatic crops of the river or lake.

Further bread does not appear to be an enormous deal, but when everybody takes their children 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. Strive again one other time, however carry one thing just a little higher than bread!

What Can I Feed Birds As a substitute of Bread?

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

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

How you can Give Birds Meals

It’s additionally necessary to concentrate to the way you feed birds. You’ll be able to merely sprinkle nuts and seeds round your backyard however this isn’t a good suggestion. Not solely will the birds harm your garden after 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 hen desk. The meals is positioned on the highest, and birds can sit on the highest to feed. This can be a easy strategy to feed birds, however meals will 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 will 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.
  • Should you put out fats balls or suet blocks you will have the suitable measurement and form of feeder. The blocks ought to slot in in order that the birds can get to them, however they received’t fall out.

You probably have a couple of feeder, area them out across the backyard. You will see that extra birds will come to eat if they’ve extra room.

The Greatest Chicken Meals

At Armstrong, we’ve devoted our lives to learning the dietary wants of birds throughout all species, so you possibly can guess we all know a factor about hen meals. As a substitute of pulling one thing out of your pantry to feed to native avian species, why not attempt some seed that has been created particularly for wild birds?

We provide an unbelievable number of completely different hen seed merchandise, and the birds’ well being is our prime precedence. At Armstrong, we’ve created the Red Ribbon®, Scotts®, and Morning Melody® manufacturers, all out there in choose retailers throughout the US and Canada.

By shopping for some wild hen seed, you possibly can benefit from the satisfaction of feeding native wildlife and figuring out that you simply’re serving to them as an alternative of wounding them. Check out our products online right this moment, and choose them up at your close by hen meals retailer!