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Is bread good for birds? | Can I feed bread to birds?

Is bread even safe for humans to eat? Have you read the ingredients lists?!

Bread-fed Canada Goose
This Canada Goose (aka the cobra chicken) has been fed bread and is now a real-life monster.

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Is it okay to feed birds bread?

No. Full stop. DO NOT FEED BREAD TO BIRDS! Bread can be bad for humans, especially over-refined and artificial breads. Not only are there potentially harmful ingredients in the bread for birds, but the bread can also mold quickly in moist environments. These molds can spread disease quickly amongst the flock. Again, do not feed bread to birds.

In some areas, it is even illegal to attract ducks, geese, turkeys, and other gamebirds into an area by providing food. Check your local regulations.


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Cracked corn and wildlife feeds are a favorite for larger birds like swans, ducks, and geese.

*Feeding large birds, like waterfowl, can be dangerous to the birds, humans, and other wildlife. Check with your local regulations before feeding waterfowl or other birds.


What are the dangerous ingredients in bread for birds?

This is a difficult question to answer. Without significant study, we cannot fully answer what bread chemicals can harm birds. However, here is a list of ingredients that are not typically found in a natural diet for most birds and the potential problems they can cause.


What does it do?

Potential problems

Niacin, iron, thiamin, etc

Restores the nutrition lost from the refined grains.

Can create an imbalance of nutrients unnatural to birds.


Adds flavor

The effect of salt on birds is unknown. Can create dehydration issues.


Improves quality

Hydrogenated fats are not natural or healthy for any species.

High Fructose Corn Syrup


DUH. This is not good for ANYTHING.


Makes flour white.

Don't drink bleach. Dummy. Or feed it to birds. Dummier.


Prolongs shelf life.

Unknown effects to birds.


Color, shelf-life, etc

Unknown effects to birds.

Is bread good for birds?

Probably not. In fact, multiple studies have offered evidence of increased liver glycogens, decreased growth rate, and lower food-use efficiency (food becoming more bird mass). What issues do these cause? Increased glycogen levels can cause organ damage and failure, a decreased growth rate can increase predation rates and deformities, and lower food-use efficiency can lead to poor body condition. There are not a significant number of studies on other long-term issues of a bread diet in birds; however, look into long-term health issues on bread and humans to understand the potential pitfalls of birds and bread. Want more information on those studies? Reach out to us through our contact page!


White millet is a great, affordable option for feeding wild birds like ducks and geese, but also a favorite of sparrows and doves!


What can I feed birds instead of bread?

Want a safer solution for foods to feed birds? Try more natural options, like unrefined grains and oilseeds. What grains and seeds fall into those categories? Corn, millet, milo, and sunflower seeds. Want more ideas for foods to feed to birds? Check out our article on the best seeds for feeding birds! You can also check out waterfowl feeds, for ducks and geese, available on the markets but make sure to check ingredients and their sourcing. If they are not found naturally in the wild, do not offer them to birds.


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