Can Birds Eat Oats? | ( Porridge Oats vs Rolled Oats vs Quick Oats for Birds )

As a kid, I still remember those days when I used to visit many parks and zoos with my dad, one of my favorite activities was to feed different kinds of amazing birds there.

One thing that fascinates me was that we used to take many different kinds of foods like grains, nuts, or small snacks, and birds used to eat most of them. I slowly realized that most birds are not picky eaters and they can eat whatever they find suitable in their surroundings.

Recently, I started to keep pet birds in my little space in the backyard and one of the major challenges was to feed the right type of bird food to the birds.

After some research, one of the best things that I found out about bird food was oats. Oats are comparatively less costly and birds love to eat them as well

Are oats safe for birds?

Yes, oats are quite safe for birds and they can eat oats very easily. If served in the right way oats are one of the most appropriate food for birds as they are rich in various nutrients.

Different birds love to eat oats in various forms, usually cooked oats are not recommended for birds, and feeding oats in winter are considered suitable for birds.

Oats are generally considered as safe food for birds but in the case of cooked oats, as they are quite sticky and can cause a lot of trouble to the bird’s mouth and weak after getting fried up.

Birds can easily digest oats as they have a good amount of fiber and are considered as a complete diet as most of the micro and macronutrients are present in them.

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Related Read: Can You Feed Birds Bread? | Will Birds Eat Bread?

Porridge oats vs rolled oats vs quick oats for birds

I can understand that it can be a situation of a dilemma for pet bird owners to choose from different types of oats for their birds. Well, there is no direct answer but you can decide the one as per your birds’ needs and requirements.

Porridge oats

Porridge oats are basically a dish prepared by adding milk and oats together to make a porridge. They can be prepared instantly by adding quick oats in milk or any other liquid as well.

Birds love to eat porridge oats and at the same time, they are less costly and can be a super healthy option for your pet birds.

Porridge oats offer a lot of benefits like

  • They are easy for the bird to eat, as porridge can be easily gulped down and also takes less time to digest.
  • Due to high amounts of carbohydrates, the birds can retain longer amounts of higher energy levels throughout the day.
  • In cold conditions, this will also help birds by keeping them warm and cozy.
  • Oats are super easy to cook and can save a lot of your time.
  • They are rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and other required nutrients.

Rolled oats

Rolled oats are semi-processed oats that take less time in cooking as compared to whole oats. Rolled oats are more fiber-rich and can help birds with stomach issues or other digestive issues.

Mostly rolled oats are not used for pet birds but considered ideal for wild birds and other visiting birds as well. You can feed rolled oats to your pet birds but not on a regular basis as they are a little hard for your birds to swallow.

Many farm owners use rolled oats to feed visiting birds and sometimes mix it with other frains to feed as a crunchy snack to their birds, it is a low-cost food and can be given to your birds alternatively.

Rolled oats are good for birds as

  • Rolled oats are a very economic food and can be mixed with other bird foods to bring a little twist.
  • These oats can be the best foods to be given in winters as they have a rich oil content that will bring the much-required warmth to the bird.
  • They also control the appetite of birds that consumes a lot of food as the oil-rich food slowly makes the bird feel full for longer durations.
  • They are also rich in all the vital nutrients as the porridge oats and are perfect for the health of the birds

Quick oats

As the name suggests quick oats are highly processed oats (more processed than the rolled oats) that can be cooked instantly. These quick or instant oats are used to prepare different oatmeal and can be used as bird feed.

A meal prepared from instant oats can work as a perfect meal for your pet and wild birds as it contains all the desired nutrients. The only drawback is that they are more processed than rolled oats.

As compared to other options quick oats stand lower as they are more processed and sometimes can be a little hard for the bird to absorb the nutrients from them.

Related Read: Can Birds Eat Chocolate | How Much Chocolates Can They Eat?

How to prepare oats for birds

It is very easy to prepare oatmeal for your birds, the process is quite the same as we do, I prepare my oatmeal myself for the past 3 years, and it is easier than you think.

  • The first step to prepare oatmeal is to add milk or water to a saucepan.
  • After that add some oats(any type of oats that you prefer for your birds) and simmer it for a few minutes.
  • You can add honey, brown sugar, or small amounts of salts to enhance the taste.

This is the most basic form of oatmeal, you can experiment or make it more delicious by adding different things. I’ve shared some interesting ways to twist your oatmeal recipe for birds.

  • Adding butter to your oatmeal recipe will bring more smoothness and texture to the dish.
  • You can also add peanut butter to enhance the taste and the nutritional value of the food.
  • Nuts are the perfect option to be added to the oatmeal dish, they will bring a much-required crunch and taste to the food.
  • You can add many different fruits like bananas, apples, and grapes to enhance the rich taste and nutritional value at the same time.
  • One of my mystery recipes is to add a little pinch of cinnamon and jaggery, it enhances the taste exponentially and birds eat it willingly.

Nutritional composition of oats

Oats are rich in various nutrients and are considered one of the most economical and ideal foods for many birds.

Oats are rich in

  • Many types of vitamins like Vitamin B and Vitamin B1
  • Starch is one of the major constituents of oats
  • Oats are rich in many phenolic derived compounds 
  • Higher amounts of proteins.
  • A varied range of minerals like zinc, phosphorus, and many more

What type of Porridge oats are suitable for birds?

Almost all types of porridge oats are eaten by birds, you should avoid offering cooked oats to the birds.

Birds can eat porridge made from different kind of oats like

  • Naked rolled oats
  • Steel-cut oats 
  • Big oat grain (also called jumbo oats)
  • The smaller pinhead oats

Instant or quick oats packets are not recommended as they contain added preservatives and chemicals that are not good for the bird’s health.

What birds can eat porridge oats

Porridge is loved by many varieties of birds, it is easy to swallow and highly nutritious for the birds.

Birds like parrots, chickens, finches, pigeons, doves, and many more wild and domestic birds love to eat porridge oats. These birds can also eat other forms of oats as well.

Related Read: Do Birds Eat Oranges? | What Birds Eat Oranges?


Birds generally are not picky eaters, they eat whatever they can find in their surroundings. Many birds can eat grains, small insects, cooked food, and many other things.

Pet birds and garden birds should be provided with nutrient-rich food as it will improve the birds’ health and longevity as well. A healthy bird will have a rich meat content and higher egg-laying capacity.

Different types of oats are one of the most economical and nutritious foods that can be given to your garden or pet birds, even wild birds love to eat oats.

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