Can Birds Eat Bread? [We Wouldn't Recommend It…]

Everything You Need to Know About Parrots Eating Bread

To Give or Not to Give Your Parrots Bread

Parrots are undoubtedly one of the most social birds to any bird enthusiast. And therefore, often parrot owners love to include their parrots during their mealtime.

Since parrots also love to share the mealtime with their owners, and many food items that we humans eat are perfectly healthy for parrots, sharing mealtime with your parrots is not at all a bad idea.

Rather, eating together helps in boosting your parrot’s mental health. But, then there are certain foods items that are not only harmful to your parrot’s health but may prove to be deadly. Bread is one such food that if given too much may pose a threat to your parrot’s life.

Not only parrots, but all birds can also eat bread. But, what does this bread does to their health? Bread fails to offer the nutrients a parrot may require on a daily basis and instead, simply prevents them from eating the proper food by filling up their stomach.

While a small amount of bread that also occasionally can do no harm to your parrots, but why take the risk when the food item has no such nutrients to offer?

In case you decide to give your parrots bread as many parrots like eating bread, toast, breadsticks, opt for the healthy ones which mean bread made from whole wheat grains. Remember, bread is just like chocolate, which tastes good but offers no such nutrition.

Hence, it’s best to either completely avoid giving bread to your parrots or limit the amount and duration in which you give whole wheat bread to your bird.Why Giving Bread to Your Parrots Isn’t a Good Idea

Why Giving Bread to Your Parrots Isn’t a Good Idea

Parrots require certain nutrients to grow and develop into a healthy and happy bird. Since bread contains no nutrients as such worth mentioning, feeding your parrots bread can lead to developing health issues in your parrots.

When given in excessive amounts, eating bread may lead to obesity and malnutrition in your parrots.

In case you’re thinking how giving bread to your parrots may lead to these health issues, then know that every bird requires proteins to develop its feathers and muscles, fat to gain energy, and vitamins and fiber to stay healthy and strong.

But bread being primarily carbohydrate-based food, it neither offers the needed protein nor the minerals or vitamins and instead alleviates the stomach of the parrots.

Does bread have any Nutritional Value?

Though bread is not recommended to be given to your parrots on a regular basis it is the white bread that does more damage than whole-grain bread.

While white bread offers excessive calories, white-meal bread provides carbohydrates along with a little amount of fiber, minerals and vitamin B since they contain whole grains. Remember, bread should only be given to parrots as one of the components of a varied diet.

Bread, whether it’s whole grains ones or white bread, does not contain the necessary fat and protein that a parrot’s diet otherwise may demand. Bread acts more like empty fillers with relatively low nutritional value.

Which Bread Can Be Given to Parrots?

Believe it or not, the majority of sliced or sandwich bread that are available typically in the market, are a bad food choice for parrots. Usually, these packaged bread slices are highly processed and contain preservatives and chemicals that may be harmful to your parrots.

Even similar bread-like food items such as donuts, cereal, buns, pretzels, bagels also contain harmful chemicals and provide no nutritional benefit to parrots.

Therefore, in case you decide to give your parrots a little amount of bread occasionally.

Make sure to opt for healthier bread which means multi-grain whole wheat bread and especially those that are produced in an organic way; so that those bread pieces will have lesser chances of containing harmful preservatives.

Adding some healthy fillings such as apple or grape jelly, orange marmalade or cranberries, raisins, etc. to make a healthy bread sandwich for your parrot can also be a good occasional treat.

Remember, feeding your parrots bread is never the healthiest option; but making a sandwich with healthy seeds and healthy bread and giving them as an occasional treat can certainly be fun to make your bird’s boring diet a bit tasty.

Taking Your Parrots to an Avian Vet After Feeding Bread

Usually, when parrots are given bread in small amount occasionally, it doesn’t cause any health complications in them. The majority of the parrots usually can eat bread without any complications.

However, bread is never nutritionally sound enough to include as a large regular part of your parrot’s daily diet. After all, bread isn’t something that is meant to be given to parrots or keep them healthy.

Since parrots are social birds and enjoy sharing a meal with their owner, a little amount of bread is fine.

In case you observe your parrots suffer from any complication after eating bread even as an occasional treat, make sure to take the birds to a professional avian vet as soon as possible.

Why Bread Is Bad for Ducks

Not only can bread be fattening to ducks and make it harder for them to fly and otherwise evade predators, but feeding ducks can also lead to other serious problems.

  • Duckling Malnutrition: Ducklings require a varied diet and plenty of natural plants and insect proteins to mature properly. If ducks are regularly fed bread, ducklings will not receive adequate nutrition for proper growth and development. Furthermore, because ducks will eagerly seek out an easy food source such as human handouts, ducklings will not learn to recognize or forage for natural foods as easily.
  • Overcrowding: Where an easy food source is abundant, ducks and other waterfowl will lay more eggs and the pond or lake will quickly become overcrowded. This makes it more difficult for the birds to seek out healthier food sources and increases the likelihood of territorial aggression. In overcrowded areas, predators can also thrive and will impact other bird populations, and diseases can quickly spread through large flocks as well.
  • Pollution: When too much bread is offered to ducks, not all of it will be eaten. Soggy, uneaten bread is an eyesore, and rotting bread and increased bird defecation can create noxious odors as well as lead to greater algae growth that can clog waterways and crowd out more desirable plants. This concentrates the pollution and can eventually eradicate fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and other life in the vicinity, making good food sources even scarcer.
  • Diseases: Feeding ducks bread can increase the spread of diseases in two ways. First, a carbohydrate-rich diet leads to greater defecation, and bird feces easily harbors bacteria responsible for numerous diseases, including avian botulism. Second, moldy bread can cause aspergillosis, a fatal lung infection that can decimate entire duck and waterfowl flocks.
  • Pest Attraction: Rotting food left over from sated ducks will attract other unwelcome pests such as raccoons, rats, mice, and insects. These pests can also harbor additional diseases that can be dangerous to humans and threatening to other wildlife.
  • Loss of Natural Behavior: When birds become accustomed to handouts, they lose their natural fear of humans and may become aggressive in order to get more food. Their loss of fear can also cause other dangers, such as a willingness to cross busy roads in order to reach picnickers, dumpsters, and other likely sources of food.


Mix in to regular bird food

Make bread crumbs more healthier by not only serving as little but irregular as possible, but only use crumbs as a way to bulk up proper wild bird feed.

Birds notice bird food so will do more if there’s more of it to be seen.

Mixed within the white soft crumbs and the brown crumbs of the crust can be far more wild bird seed mixes, with any nuts thrown in.

In this scenario birds are likely to ignore the bread crumbs all together while instead eating what they know best.

Sparrow of all birds is the most common species toSparrow of all birds is the most common species to feed on bread, or bread crumbs as seen in this picture.

Bread crumbs are likely to blow in wind so be sure to soak them to weigh it down, then to mix in seeds and peanuts can help steady it in rough conditions.

Do not mix in bread crumbs into bird feeders of any kind as bread is going to spoil quickly – whereas specialty bird food would last up to a week later.

Consider using bread crumbs with regular bird food in the backyard when specialty bird feed has run out or the little amount you have left needs boosting to help the bird food be seen.

How Often Should I Feed Bread to Birds?

There’s nothing wrong with feeding small amounts of bread to birds every few days. Let’s be realistic though, it generally isn’t the same birds visiting our gardens or homes, day in day out.

Don’t get me wrong, some birds will visit you especially if you’re feeding them.

To be on the safe side when feeding bread, I would break it into small pieces and put them in different places.  Try scattering the bread around your garden or sprinkle some on a bird table.


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