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5 Reasons Why You Should Feed Your Birds Oatmeal

can birds eat oatmeal

Oatmeal is a healthy alternative, even for humans. This nutritious food, made from coarse flour of oat grains is a good energy source for the birds. Many birders think that birds just eat millet or seeds and they’ll be fine. Some even feed them with leftover pastries or breads. While they are probably great at attracting birds to the backyard, they may not be the best food to be offered to migrating birds that need the energy to journey beyond.

Personally, I have been feeding migratory birds since childhood. My father, one day, put up a few bird feeders just for the fun of watching them fight over food but bird feeders had become a permanent fixture in our backyard for as long as I can remember.

Of all the birds that visit our garden, I am always fascinated with the doves and that is perhaps because of their symbol as “peacemakers” in the human world.

Can Birds Eat Uncooked Oatmeal?

Yes, they eat oatmeal uncooked and cooked oats or even dried suet with gusto. A variety of birds likewise make sure that they come and get a taste of the dry spread of uncooked porridge oatmeal.

Of course tempting birds to land on a bird table, a feeder or even on the ground requires a bit of effort, drama and even colors at times. Knowing where to place those bird bribes is part of the game while considering benefits such as health, color change and the possibility of the birds coming back to your backyard for more.

Five Reasons Why You Should Ready Those Oatmeals Before The Bird Season Begins

can birds eat uncooked oatmeal

1. Attracting The Right Bird

The kind of bird food you put out makes a difference as to the kind of birds you get. Finches are seedeaters, woodpeckers love insects, cardinals like nuts and seeds. Most wild birds as well as pigeons and doves will surely find porridge oats a feast. Spread uncooked oats on a table or a flat surface and watch them feed in joy.
There are few genius ways to attract the birds regularly to your backyard:

  • Putting variety of food within their reach
  • Making a sweeter homemade oatmeal treats in oatmeal ball or in cake form
  • Providing a water source nearby so make sure the dry oats won’t choke smaller birds
  • A set of colorful feeders in your backyard will assure the birds that everyone can enjoy a variety of bird food.

2. Suet Cake is Rich in Fat That Birds Need Especially During Winter Time

Suet cake is achieved by cooking oatmeal, turning it into a ball or a square for suet cages, and leaving it for the birds to peck on. Woodpeckers, starlings, warblers are just some of the many birds species attracted to suet cake.
There are many benefits of preparing your own suet cake;

  • Making your own allows you to customize the ingredients
  • Adding nuts or dried fruits to your suet assures a more balance nutrition
  • Assurance that your suet is free from additives that may be harmful to birds
  • You can control the dryness or moistness of the suet. Too moist or too dry can be both deadly to specific types of birds
  • More affordable than buying commercial suet cakes

3. Excellent Source of Nutrition

Birds, like any other living organism, need balanced nutrition to maintain well being and achieve maximum performance. Birds need the energy to fly far distances especially during the migration season. Uncooked oats can have enough fat to add up to birds’ energy and overall health.

  • Oats are one of the most densely nutritious food one can eat, birds included
  • Oats are rich in fiber and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates work wonder in keeping the body’s most important source of energy. For the most part, the birds’ brain, heart and even muscles are fueled by carbohydrates.
  • Protein is always an important health nutrient in keeping the muscles ability to repair tissues as well as build them. Birds that fly long distance suffer from muscle sprain and possibly rupture so feeding them with protein rich food like oatmeal is a necessity.

4. Uncooked and Cooked Oats

Birds have a peculiar taste in food. Some birds would simply peck on the grains while some will feast on the uncooked oats joyfully. Doves, robins and pigeons will take anything dry and on a flat surface. Blackbirds will look for the pieces of apples so mixing your own oatmeal food is a great way to attract the best birds present in the area. Some of the most common additions to regular oats are nuts and dried fruits.
There are few things to consider when deciding whether to feed dry or uncooked or cooked oats:

  • Cooked oats turn glutinous or sticky and might not be safe for small birds. Birds choking on sticky food is a common issue among oat eaters.
  • Uncooked porridge oats is normally a safer option but it is best to provide a water source or a birdbath nearby especially during the summer to help them down the dry oats in their throats.

Maintaining Health and Habits

The health of the birds is always dependent on two things: their environment and the food they eat. The nutrients, fats and carbs are needed for them to stay warm during the winter months while water and some sweet treats are great for them during the summer months. Birdbaths allow them to cool down during the summer too! It is amazing what good food can do to the colors of these beautiful feathery friends.
To make sure you develop a good habit among birds, here are few things to consider:

  • Choose a proper location in your backyard to display the oats. Ground feeders such as starlings, cardinals and doves might not approach a suet or oats placed too up high. If your suet is on a feeder, make sure they are accessible to both flying and ground feeding birds
  • Save the oats from moist or wet areas. While it is advisable to put some into the ground, always think of their health. Moldy oatmeals should never be served to the birds. Throw rotten oats away.

Oatmeals are definitely a good choice for birds at any time. They can eat oats anytime of the year to help them keep their balance and strength needed for them to be able to do their activities especially during the migrating and nesting season.


Every birder hopes to attract the best and the most colorful birds during the birding months and I couldn’t agree more. When it was my turn to invite them over, we would fill every bird feeders and possible spaces the birds usually frequent with healthy choices of food including nuts, berries and healthy oatmeals. They used to come in droves and we all love that!

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6 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why You Should Feed Your Birds Oatmeal”

  1. I have read so many content on the topic of the blogger lovers except this article is in fact a fastidious
    piece of writing, keep it up.

  2. Can birds eat english walnuts?
    I know that nuthatches love peanuts so can I feed them some walnuts I can’t use
    We just had a snow storm and the birds are busy feeding

  3. Thanks for the guidelines! I’m in super-urban Brooklyn, and a couple weeks ago I started feeding birds using a take-out lid on our 6th floor fire escape. I’ve been mixing different raw seeds, nuts, and whole grains from our vegetarian household. All seeds and nuts go quickly (everything shelled, to cut down on mess), but I wasn’t sure if anyone was eating the oats. This makes me feel more confident about oatmeal being eaten, not just spilled.

  4. I’m 74 years young lady and just learned to not feed bread to the birds. I’m at Vero Beach FL and was feeding a little bread and then read article to not feed bread. At home in Oklahoma I put out lots of seeds out and had lots of birds. Seed now is expensive but the dry oats would be good for me carry in car when I go to Indian River and the ocean. Will the birds I feed oats to, get plenty of water in river and ocean?

  5. This information is very helpful because I never want to do anything to hurt a bird or any animal. Learning that they can eat oatmeal is allowing me to be able to give them a variety of food. Thank you so much!!


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