Just like humans and animals, birds also need a properly balanced diet and nutritious food. They need proteins, fats, minerals, carbs, and water in their diet. Different birds need different foods, their needs and requirements vary. Hence, it is very important to learn about the different needs of birds since bird nutrition is always evolving. Pigeons prefer living in open vast areas where they can find food easily, like towns, landfills, town squares, and parks. They fly in large numbers but still they avoid confrontation, they enjoy feeding themselves accordingly. Large areas give pigeon’s high visibility and an easy escape from potential predators. Pigeons are cunning eaters and they are fairly common in cityscapes. These birds love munching on a variety of fruits, veggies, grains, seeds, waste foods, and insects. Pigeons have a lack of scruples which leads to the high population of the birds and it also causes various health problems and clashes between the flock of the bird. You must discuss the nutrition of your pet pigeon with your vet, it should never be neglected. It is very significant to thrive to improve your bird’s diet to avoid the risk of health problems. Your concern shouldn’t only be feeding a pigeon but to help it grow well and bloom. The health of your bird entirely depends on the quality of the feed and how well you feed it.
Can Pigeons Eat Bread?
A simple answer is NO! Bread is not healthy for a pigeon, it can cause more harm than good to the birds’ life. Bread does not contain any nutrients that are important for the health of a pigeon, so it acts as an empty filler. Moreover, the bread pieces that people feed the bird are too large and can potentially cause blockage in the digestive tract. Further, bread develops molds very quickly and can make the bird ill. Overeating of bread causes health risks for birds and humans as well. And most importantly, the provision of bread to the bird snatches their natural ability to thrive and find food for themselves; hence, they become dependent on people for survival. So, it is better to let pigeons find their food themselves and thrive on their own.
The Downside of Feeding Bread to pigeons
- Pigeon might become famished and malnourished.
- They look looking for food.
- They start depending on humans for food.
- The bread fills the pigeon without giving the pigeon the necessary nutritions.
What Pigeons eat naturally?
Pigeons eat a variety of seeds, greens, fruits, grains, and insects (occasionally).
Things to remember while feeding your pigeon
- Provide fresh and clean water every day.
- Clean all food and water dishes daily.
- Offer different fruits and veggies every day to your bird.
- Remember to always monitor the amount of food your bird consumes daily, it helps to observe the changes in its health.
- Give your bird fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
- Observe which foods your bird likes and which it does not.
- Always incorporate foods into its diet with high nutritious value.
Vitamins and Pigeons
Amino acids and vitamins must be present in a small quantity in the diet of a pigeon. Feeding nutritional vitamins to a pigeon is essential for maintaining a healthy and strong metabolism. Some essential vitamins for a pigeon are vitamin B, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, E, and K. All these vitamins can be acquired from different food sources as well as supplements. It is important to include healthy and nutritious foods in the diet of your pet bird. The impact of these vitamins on the metabolic process of a pigeon is huge; vitamins help the pigeons in functioning, combatting a deficiency, and healthy growth. These vitamins are normally not produced by the pigeon’s internal system, so to meet the efficient need it has to be consumed from external sources. Hence, it is good to add supplements to their diet. If you keep a pigeon at home, vitamins and amino acids supplements are a great way to keep your bird healthy and happy.
Some suggested foods for your bird
Pear, apricots, cherries, apples, bok choy, peppers, banana, plum, chickpeas, corn, beans, coconut, broccoli, tomatoes, grapefruit, raspberry, dates, lentils, pomegranate, asparagus, zucchini, peaches, cantaloupe, mango, pumpkin, lime, papaya, etc.
What’s with Pigeons and grit?
It is important to offer some grit to the pigeons to keep their digestive tract healthy and problem-free. Grit helps in the breakdown of food and digestion in pigeons. Grit, eggshells, or oyster shells are given to the birds to help them in the digestion process, but always remember to give it in a very small quantity; birds can have health problems if the grit is overeaten. Hence, it is important to provide your bird with grit in the smallest quantities.
What should I feed my pigeon?
A pigeon must be provided with a well-balanced diet at all times. If you see any problem with the bird’s diet or health, consult your local vet immediately. A healthy and balanced diet for a pigeon consists of the following things:
Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables should be a part of your pigeon’s daily life. Veggies with high water components like celery and lettuce are of little to no nutritional value for a bird. And remember that avocado is reportedly toxic for the bird.
Moreover, fruits and vegetables must be thoroughly washed to remove pesticides and chemicals. Always cut the fruits and veggies into small pieces for the bird, offer them in small amounts and bit pieces. Before providing the pigeon new food, make sure to develop a particular fancy for the food item and if your bird does not seem to like eating a particular food then stop feeding it temporarily. Offer small pieces and a variety of foods to your bird and always provide a balanced nutritious diet to your bird.
In the market there is a seed diet available that is specifically formulated for pigeons, a commercial diet contains a variety of grains, seeds, veggies, yeasts, vitamins, and minerals. There are different types of diet available in the market i.e. different diets for resting birds, breeding birds, and performing birds. Seeds should be only 50 percent of the pigeons’ diet, not the entire diet. If your bird entirely depends on a seed diet then it is reportedly to develop a calcium deficiency.
Now, the pelleted diet should make up the other 50 percent of pigeon’s diet. Pellets are specifically made to meet all the dietary requirements of your bird, it can be fed to both babies and grown pigeons. Pellets are the ideal diet for the pigeons so it is advised to shift your bird from a seed diet to a pelleted diet slowly and gradually.
Pigeons must have access to fresh and clean water at all times. The quality of water should be great for the growth and development of your bird, the dishes of water and food must be cleaned thoroughly every day with dish soap and water. This would provide a clean and healthy environment for your bird to grow in.
Wild pigeons easily get water from natural sources in the wild. If you are willing to keep a pigeon at home with you then always provide it with fresh and clean water. The water should never be stale or old, and it has to be there at all times so the bird can drink it whenever it wants.
What human foods can a pigeon eat?
Your bird can eat some of the food items that you and your family have. Birds enjoy eating fish, eggs, cooked meat, and cheese in small quantities, however, alcohol, chocolate, and junk food must be avoided at any cost as they can be fatal for your bird’s health.
A pigeon is a scavenger bird and it flies around looking for food and water, literally for anything it can find to eat. But the bird surely has its favorite foods like any other animal or bird. You can give the bird leftovers and they will come back to you for more food. Regardless, the bird has a proper diet and if you want your pet bird to be healthy then you must provide it with a better and nutritious diet. To conclude, a pigeon should not be fed bread daily. Bread will fill up a pigeon’s tummy quickly and leave them uninterested in eating other things with high nutritious value. The bread is very low in nutritious value and is of no good to the bird. Moreover, bread can choke the bird and can clog the digestive tract of the bird as well. If the bread gets moldy it can even be fatal to the health of the bird, so it is advised to not give bread to a pigeon. Rather than throwing bread, you can just throw a store-bought pigeon feed. The bird enjoys eating a balanced-diet containing fruits, veggies, and water-rich foods. They typically eat grains, snails, seeds, insects, and other small animals. Don’t forget to provide them with water; they require more water than other birds and animals.