Pigeons are one of the most commonly found and seen birds around the world. They are a ubiquitous sight in most places around the world, yet they are still beautiful and majestic. They are also some of the smartest birds around being used as message carriers in so many wars. They are generally found in the wild, but people also keep them as pet birds. Domesticated pigeons can even be let out from their cages to fly away and get some exercise with the surety that they will return to their owners after they are tired and hungry.
Pigeons are mostly urban birds and can eat a myriad of things to satisfy their appetite; however, when in nature, they mostly eat seeds. They can also do well with some insects to meet those nutritional needs as well. However, we are here to answer one question right now. Can Pigeons eat apples, and how will it affect them if it is given to them regularly? The answer is coming up.
ARE APPLES SAFE TO EAT FOR PIGEONS:
“An apple a day can keep the doctor away.”
This is something every one of us learned in school or at home when being lured into eating fruits by our parents during our childhood days. This, however, is not a cliche as apple is an excellent fruit with tons of health benefits. They are loaded with nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Fiber, and Potassium. It has a myriad of benefits attached to it as well. Regular apple consumption has been known to reduce weight, improve heart health, and steer off heart diseases. They are also known to improve bone health, fight asthma, and even prevent cancer.
This truly is a miracle of fruit, but all benefits are tried and tested on humans and as we all know not a single bird has the digestion capability of a human nor the ability to break down certain foods. An example of this would be fiber which apple has in adequate quantities to fight obesity. An increased fiber intake of this nutrient is known to cause diseases in parrots. There can also be some nutrients that cannot be broken down due to a particular species of bird being lactose intolerant. So what if we bite off more than we can chew by giving our pet pigeon apples thinking it will be nutritious but instead end up killing it?
Yes! That is possible, but only if you do not be careful, which we will explain later. But the question of whether apples are safe for pigeons to eat can be answered in a resounding Yes! Pigeons can be given apples from time to time. They have the necessary nutritional benefits which are suitable for the pigeon to grow and become healthy. They take advantage of those dietary benefits as well.
A good rule of thumb, however, is to only give your pigeon apples twice per week. That’s it. You should never make it a daily feed nor a part of it. They also need other nutrients for their growth which they can get from their intake of gains like seeds, corn, and cereals. An unhealthy amount of apples can undoubtedly make your pigeon sick and develop diseases that can ultimately lead it to its untimely death. So the phrase which I wrote earlier about eating apples every day can be changed to eating apples every week.
The being careful warning was not about overfeeding your pigeon apples but another huge caveat. When it is time for your pigeon to have its weekly intake of apples, the apples must be cut without the skin and seed into very tiny little pieces. This is very important that you follow this advice. Apple seeds contain a trace amount of cyanide inside them which you might have heard from every other spy movie that it is something that can kill. Now, you might not get the same effect from it as it is in trace quantities, but your bird will feel it. You should also not panic if your bird accidentally had an apple cyanide seed, but you should never repeat the mistake. These seeds have been known to kill. So be very careful when you are cutting an apple to serve your pigeon and make sure that all the seeds have been entirely removed.
Now, with that out of the way what about some other treats you can give your pigeons as a meal and make them happy? What are some other food items that can not only make your pigeon full and content but are also healthy for it? Let us have a look at them.
WHAT TO FEED YOUR PIGEON?
Here is a list of things you will want to feed your pigeon. These food items are perfectly safe for your pigeons to feed. However, you should practice some moderation in regards to the type of food you are providing your bird. Some food items, however nutritional or healthy they may be, might become time bombs which might lead your pet pigeon to an early grave due to a myriad of reasons if not given in moderation.
Seeds are your pigeon’s daily driver. These are what your bird lives for. Seeds are the most important thing for your pigeon’s health. They are healthy and have all the necessary nutrients they need for their survival and well being. Seeds help in improving the aesthetics of your bird by nourishing its wing and keep it well by keeping its immune system healthy.
In a birdie balance diet, seeds should constitute a majority of it. An estimate of that would be half of 50 percent of your pet bird’s daily diet should be coming from seeds.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:
We have discussed apples above, but you can also give your pigeon other fruits like grapes as a treat from time to time. They are full of the necessary nutrients they need like vitamins and proteins. They will not only beautify your pigeon by keeping it well-groomed but also keep their immune system going well.
Vegetables like lettuce and spinach can also make tri-weekly appearances in your pigeon’s lunch as they are also full of minerals and vitamins to keep your pigeon alive and healthy.
THINGS NOT TO FEED YOUR PIGEON UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES:
Well, you learned what you could feed your pigeon safely. However, some things you should stay very well away from. The below-mentioned foods can not only harm your pigeon by giving them diseases but will also kill them in the long run. Some of these foods might even surprise you.
You might be scratching your head about this one as Avocado is one of the healthiest foods around. However, this is only true if you are a human. For your pigeon, it can be death row with an upcoming death sentence date. Avocados are dangerous since they contain a highly toxic substance called Persin. This toxic is responsible for the spread of fungus in plants. So, when your pigeon eats this, it can cause various issues. These can include breathing issues like asthma and heart disease. So, replace avocado with apples if you did not know and were unknowingly giving it to it.
Now, you might be under the impression that chocolate is right for you based on the headlines in those morning shows and magazines that cite research which I am sure not many of us have read up on. Now I do not know if chocolate is right for you or not as that will be going off-topic. However, chocolate for your pet birdy is a huge no-no.
Now, what exactly does chocolate have that will deprive your bird of that sweet goodness? Well, it’s caffeine and theobromine. These hard-hitting substances have the same effect on them as cocaine or heroin does on us humans. A term for this phenomenon is hyper-sensitivity. You can spot it from symptoms like tremors, seizures, increased heart rate, vomiting, and diarrhea. This sweet goodness can even kill your pigeon. So beware of ever feeding chocolate to your pigeon.
Pigeons are the symbol of peace around the world. They are ubiquitous birds and are found mostly in metropolitan areas. They are also brilliant as they were used in prehistoric days to send messages across lines to communicate. These urban birds, despite being a ubiquitous sight, are still kept as birds. They also do not need much to feed as a diet of insects and seeds is mostly what they need. So providing apples to them from time to time can not be frivolous for them. This fruit is very healthy to them and can keep them away from various life-threatening diseases. You should however only feed it to them as a treat, once or twice a week and you should also not replace their diet with it. There are also other things you can feed them but be careful of not providing them things like chocolates or avocado which will end up ultimately killing them.