Can birds eat rice? By BirdFeederist

Yes, birds can eat rice. In fact, rice doesn’t harm them in any way. They love to eat rice, so don’t be misled by the myth that uncooked grains are dangerous for birds. Many people claim that uncooked rice can expand and cause damage to birds. But rice actually expands less than the bird seeds when soaked in water. Rice expands 33% when soaked in water as compared to the birdseed which expended 40%. So, rice poses no threat to birds and is easily ground down by their crop. Some birds don’t like raw rice, but many birds actually prefer to have rice on their plate.

Rice is a cereal grain that is widely consumed in the world. It is made into flour, rice cakes, breakfast cereals, and other foods. However, there are some people who believe that rice should not be eaten by birds. This article will discuss whether or not rice can be eaten by birds.

Can Birds Eat rice ?
Can Birds Eat Rice?

How to prepare rice for birds?

  • rice preparation for birdsFirst of all, you have to choose the type of rice. You can buy short or long rice, white or brown rice, dry rice, seasoned rice, plain rice, rice pudding, rice crackers, and Rice Krispies.
  • The shorter rice is good for short birds, and long rice is good for the bigger birds.
  • Brown rice usually have greater nutrient than white rice and is the objectively healthier choice.
  • Dry rice is ideal for the larger ground-feeding birds. Other birds may nibble a piece here and there and can’t digest it efficiently.
  • The pre-cooked, unsalted, and unseasoned rice is a convenient option for the birds. Plain rice is always preferred as compared to salted, sugary, and other preservatives as they can have negative effects on avian physiology.
  • You can simply boil or steam the rice without adding any salt or other seasonings. Don’t think about frying the rice as oils and other seasonings are not good for the birds.
  • After boiling, you can add the other seeds or chopped fruit that is healthy for the birds.
  • You can also prepare the puffed rice for your lovely feather friends. Simply take already cooked rice and dry them on a cloth or paper towel, and spread them onto a baking sheet. Place it in the oven for 2 hours at 50 degrees Celsius. Take it out, and the lovely crispy treat is ready for the birds.

Can baby birds choke on uncooked rice?

baby birds eating riceIf you are doing it yourself, It’s better to avoid giving uncooked rice to baby birds. Naturally the chocking of baby birds on uncooked rice is highly unlikely. The baby birds usually eat the uncooked rice that their parents bring for them. Their parents usually crush the rice grains and mixed them with other food items before offering them to their chicks in the nest. So rice couldn’t cause any problem for the baby birds. Even the dove and pigeon babies eat the rice as a whole grain due to their large esophagus. Parent birds usually switch to a high-protein diet when they are raising the young in the nest. At this time, the majority of the food that parents bring for their chicks consists of insects and small vertebrates. Baby birds usually do not feed much on rice.

Is it better to soak or cook rice before feeding to the birds?

soaked rice

Whether you soak or cook rice before feeding to the birds, it’s your personal choice. Larger birds and other birds whose beaks allow them to crush the grain don’t have any problem with either type of rice. They don’t have any problem handling raw rice grains. You can offer the soaked or boiled rice to the birds when it is the kitchen leftover. The birds with a general diet such as grackles, blue jays, blackbirds, and starling like to eat soaked or boiled rice. So, you can feed rice to birds on any farm, as long as it’s not fried in fat or seasoned oil; even lightly salted rice can also be bad for small birds.

Which backyard birds like the uncooked rice?

Some birds especially like to eat uncooked rice, such as sparrows and finches. Even the cardinals can also crush the rice with their strong beaks. Many larger species such as pigeons, blue jays, grackles, blackbirds, crows, and woodpeckers can swallow the whole uncooked rice grains. Moreover, the quails, wild turkeys, and pheasants also like to eat a lot of rice. If you want to keep these large birds away from your selected feeder, you can provide them with a separate platform feeder with a lot of uncooked rice.

What vitamins and minerals can birds get from rice?

Birds can get many essential vitamins from rice, such as vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B9, and vitamin E. All these vitamins are beneficial for forming and maintaining their cells and DNA. They also get calcium, iron, magnesium, and selenium from rice. All these minerals work together to ensure the proper bone and beak formation of the birds.


Rice is healthy food for birds. Birds can eat it raw or cooked. In fact, it is one of the best foods you can offer to birds. The only confusion most people have is whether they should offer cooked or uncooked rice. As in the discussion, we cleared this point that both types of rice are ok for most birds. They can handle both cooked and uncooked rice on their own.

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