Can Birds Eat Bread?
The answer to that question is a resounding Yes they can. Bread is a staple treat and an easy to by. Everyone loves bread, I mean what’s there not like except for its nutritional emptiness, so birds are likely to find it every corner or be fed with it by bird keepers and strangers. This being said, Bread is not toxic to birds however that doesn’t take away the fact that bread is a heavily processed food with loads of preservatives, hence there is still a danger lurking for birds especially where they consume to much it for a prolonged period.
Breads is a food that almost everyone has eaten and enjoyed as well, bread is basically carbs, keeps the stomach full and gives quick energy when needed, but it’s still just junk so that even though bread can be given to birds but it’s not the kind of food that you would give to birds with the intention of providing them with nutrients. So it should be given as treat and not the actual food.
Bread is mostly flour and yeast and bits of sugar/salt and nothing more, although some go ahead to add things like grated coconut or yeast while most of the bread sold in the stores are preserved with unhealthy chemicals. Bread is a heavily processed food that contains very little protein and vitamins that a bird would need to maintain a healthy skin and muscles.
Also Most of the bread that we have these days all contains bromate
Bromate has no known benefits infact it is carcinogenic and likely to cause Kidney problems, an issue which may prove fatal for birds, symptoms that your bird may have be experiencing the effects of toxic bromate varies but includes rashes and acne, diarrhea or digestive problems, headache, fatigue, sluggishness, impaired memory and concentration, irritability, emotional instability, insomnia and depression among others.
Bread has a high glycemic index which is known to increase the hunger and hence encouraging excessive eating leading to bird being overweight and bloated all the while gaining little or no nutrients.
So even if it will momentarily relieve hunger, it doesn’t contain any nutrients that can truly sustain the bird. And continuously feeding a bird with bread will ultimately result in malnourishment and stunted growth and deformed body parts.
Bread has the same effects as junk food will have on humans as filling up on useless and un healthy substance because of the level of process its ingredient goes through before it get to the finished product.
Though there are ways bread can be healthy for birds, it could be served in a healthy way for birds like having healthy toppings like nuts, little insects, vegetables, mashed fruits and other nutritious toppings.
When to Feed Bread to Birds
Weather and Age should be considered when feeding bread to birds.
At winter birds need the best nutrition for the purpose because at that point they will be exposed to difficult climate and to live it out, these birds must have a healthy skin and feather, and to ensure that their skin and wings are in top shape. Without a heathy skin and feather they will fall prey to the harsh weather condition during winter which makes it difficult to forage and move from place. So, any meal that the bird will take in such conditions must be of the best nutritional quality.
Age of the bird
The same can be said about baby birds, its no news that birds at their early stage of development need all the nutrients that they can get, so bread is a not a good feeding option for birds especially because at that stage of the development, bread will only present a false fill up, I call it false fill up because the it does not give any notable nutrients, and this will obviously spell malnourishment and retardation for the bird, now we don’t want that now, do we?
Birds are a joy to feed especially the wild birds because they come together and scramble for the food being thrown at them with enough zeal to keep anyone entertained. The most interesting part for me is watching them have little fights over the food and you are able to identify the boss and the nice guy amongst them, though bread is not toxic but it definitely falls into the realm of un healthy.
The Un-intended Results Of Feeding Birds With Bread.
It brings all the birds in the area to the spot where this treat is being distributed. One bird will tell the other and the other will tell another and before you know it, all the birds in the area will come rushing in, no one was going to stop them from receiving a piece of the treat and sooner than later, the birds will find no reason to leave the place.
They not only camp out in this little haven for free food, but they also end up procreating there, I mean why not, giving the steady of supply. This ultimately causes overcrowding and where there is overcrowding, there is disease.
Where there is overcrowding, there is excessive defecation and that alone health hazard, because then all the notorious bacteria in the zone will come and feast on it and that is a great recipe for the spread of diseases because birds are defecate just about any place and any time.
There is also the is the mold problem, when bread is left out in the open for a long time, it will become exposed to the elements and after a little while begins to grow mold. Mold is very toxic to a bird so much so that even when the area with the mold has been removed the mold roots still go deep into the bird that will eventually do damage to the bird.
This over crowing eventually causes the little bird babies suffocation and malnutrition.
What are the effects of feeding baby birds with bread
As it is known babies need the best nutrients to grow properly and feeding them with bread will only malnourish them and make them unable to reach their growth milestone at the right time, malnourished birds may not be able to learn lifesaving or survival skills to fly, forage, protect itself from the elements so that is what bread will do to young birds.
Secondly it will make them lazy and dependent on free food handed to them by the kindly humans since they would not have learnt any foraging skills/migration skills and just basic life preservation skills they will die.
Alternatives to bread as food for birds
We have the whole grain foods, so if you must feed your bird with mold then these alternatives may be used like corn, whole wheat, barley which is a more nutritious and has retained within it some protein, natural vitamins and minerals that would serve the nutrient needs of the birds.