Nutrition is important for birds as in the case of humans. Pigeon food should be rich in proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fat, and other nutrients essential for their growth and well-being. However, a majority of us are ignorant of the dietary requirements of birds. This lack of awareness leads to health problems in pigeons.
Most new bird owners are confused when it comes to feeding their pets. Some of the common questions posed by bird owners include what to feed my pigeon? Do pigeons eat oats? Can I feed human food to my bird? And so on.
Do Pigeons Eat Oats?
Yes, pigeons eat oats though they prefer other grains and seeds. You can feed raw oats or oatmeal in small quantities, once or twice a week. Most birds feed for pigeons contains a small number of oats along with other grains and seeds. However, you have to ensure that they consist of not more than 5% of the total food.
Oats are great for pigeons. They help in muscle building and maintain the condition of the feathers. Oats also help to keep the bird warm during winters. This grain also helps in the proper functioning of the pigeon nervous system. However, you should not feed oats to birds that are in the egg-laying phase because the chemicals in oats weaken the eggshell.
What Should I Feed My Pigeon?
Pigeon food should contain the right mix of grains, seeds, fruits, and vegetables to ensure they get optimum nutrition. Apart from oats, you should also feed some of these foods to your birds.
- Wheat – Feed your bird a small amount of wheat, once in a while. The carbohydrates in wheat are necessary for its growth.
- Corn – Cracked corn is one of the most beneficial foods for pigeons and is easily digested by these birds. It provides them with protein and energy.
- Barley – Barley is good for adult birds. It soothes their digestive system and provides nutrients. Barley is especially good in the colder months as it maintains the blood flow and keeps the bird warm.
- Sorghum – Sorghum or milo is a type of millet eaten by pigeons in the wild and is good for pet pigeons too. Sorghum contains more protein in comparison to corn and is good for their growth.
- Peas – Peas are rich in protein. It helps in growth and enhances immunity, thereby helping the birds to grow strong and healthy.
- Fruits and Vegetables – Include fruits and vegetables such as lettuce, apples, carrots, berries, etc. Pigeons do not have teeth. They swallow the whole food. Hence it is necessary to cut fruits and vegetables into tiny pieces.
- Water – Drinking water aids to smoothen the digestion process in pigeons. Make sure to provide lots of fresh and clean water to your bird.
Adult pigeons need approximately 29 grams of food in a day. Their food requirements change according to their stage of life, season, and age. It is advisable to follow the instructions of your vet about what and how to feed your pet pigeon.