Pigeons need a varied and balanced diet for their health and well-being.
They generally like to eat seed and grain mixes and there are certain foods that even the fussiest pigeons can’t resist.
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|Treat||How much to feed||Things to be aware of|
|Shelled Unsalted Peanuts||10 peanuts per pigeon||Processed peanuts and salted peanuts can be very harmful to your pigeon’s health so avoid them at all costs.|
|Boiled Eggs||One egg per week||Chop the egg up and feed them the whole thing, including the shell as it is a great source of calcium.|
|Cereals||Sprinkle a small handful of cereal on top of their regular feed a couple of times a week.||Avoid cereal with sugar in it.|
|Sunflower Seeds||Half a handful a couple of times a week.||Too many sunflower seeds can cause weight gain and diarrhea.|
|Safflower Seeds||Half a handful a couple of times a week.||Safflower seeds are high in fat so too many will cause weight gain.|
|Grapes||Two grapes a week.||Don’t overfeed grapes to your pigeons as they will eat this in preference to the food they need which can leave them with nutritional deficiencies.|
|Bread||Tear it into very small pieces and feed 1/5th slice of bread per pigeon no more than once a month.||Bread is essentially junk food for pigeons so don’t make a habit of feeding it to your birds.|
While it’s fun to offer pigeons tasty treats, don’t overfeed them and never give your pigeon apple seeds or fruit seeds, chocolate, salty food, avocado, or food with xylitol.
1. Shelled Unsalted Peanuts
Peanuts are a popular treat to give pigeons, they offer a high nutritional value with lots of carbohydrates, fats, fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.
While peanuts are an overall good snack for pigeons there are a few risks to be aware of.
First of all, only ever offer unsalted peanuts as salted peanuts can dehydrate a pigeon.
Also avoid processed peanuts that contain preservatives as these can include toxins that are dangerous to birds.
It’s also safer if you shell the nuts and break them up into smaller pieces before offering them to reduce the risk of choking.
Many pigeon owners feed Spanish peanuts as these are smaller in size so can be offered whole.
Peanuts are great because they give pigeons energy, offer a good boost of protein and fat, and they are easy to digest.
With that said, you should only offer a few shelled unsalted peanuts at a time.
2. Boiled Egg
Eggs are another brilliant treat for pigeons as they are healthy, inexpensive and easy to prepare. Eggs are highly nutritious and it’s common for animals, including birds, to eat eggs in the wild.
Eggs are high in protein, contain all of the essential amino acids, and egg yolk contains choline which is great for the brain and liver function.
One potential downside to offering boiled eggs to your pigeon is that they may have trouble digesting it if they have never had eggs before.
With this in mind, it is best to introduce eggs gradually by offering just a small amount at first. It’s also necessary to boil the egg to kill off any bacteria before offering it to the pigeons.
Once hard-boiled, the whole egg including the shell (which is a great source of calcium), can be chopped up and offered to the pigeon.
You can do this around once a week but, as with all treats, eggs are best offered on occasion rather than every day.
Cereal grains such as wheat and corn are fantastic foods for pigeons.
They are easy to digest and offer a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Cereals are often a favorite among pigeons so don’t offer them too much or they may overindulge.
Eating too much cereal may cause weight gain and this comes with several health issues.
The amount of cereal you can feed your pigeon will depend on their regular diet as many pigeon food mixes contain a mixture of seeds and cereals already so you may not want to offer too many extra cereals.
A small sprinkling of cereals is a good treat. If you are offering cereals to younger pigeons, consider soaking them first for easier feeding.
4. Sunflower Seeds
Seeds are a large part of a pigeon’s diet and the best seed is considered to be sunflower.
If sunflower seeds aren’t already part of your pigeons’ regular seed mix, they will appreciate a spoonful sprinkled around as a treat.
Many pigeons love sunflower seeds so much they will eat them as fast as they can.
Sunflower seeds offer a good source of protein, fiber, and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals.
All of this is great for pigeons’ immune systems and reproductive health.
Sunflower seeds can help fight inflammation too.
While pigeons love eating sunflower seeds and sunflower seeds are great for pigeons, feeding them too many may cause weight gain or diarrhea.
Birds need to eat more than sunflower seeds to get all the nutrition they need so make sure your pigeon is enjoying a balanced diet.
5. Safflower Seeds
Safflower seeds are another great seed option for pigeons, they are high in protein, fat, and provide good cholesterol.
These seeds are a great source of energy and a small amount goes a long way.
A small sprinkling of safflower seeds is a perfect treat.
Think of safflower as sweets for pigeons, they love them but don’t offer too many as this will introduce too much fat into their diet.
6. Chopped Grapes
Chopped grapes are loved by pigeons and other birds.
They make a tasty treat and are an easy way to boost your pigeons’ intake of vitamins and minerals.
It’s important to chop the grapes up as otherwise they can be a choking hazard.
Grapes should only be fed occasionally, offering too many grapes regularly could leave the pigeon underfed and undernourished because they won’t be eating a balanced diet.
Bread can be an occasional treat for pigeons but it isn’t very nutritious for them.
Pigeons seem to really enjoy eating bread but it should only be offered occasionally and in small amounts.
Bread is kind of the junk food option on this list, pigeons love it but it’s not great for them.
If you do offer your pigeons bread, make sure the bread is fresh and does not have any artificial toppings on it.
Don’t offer too much bread and be sure to tear the bread into small pieces otherwise it may block the digestive tract.
Take care if offering your pigeons bread.