As a backyard birdwatcher, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a variety of feathered friends flocking to your bird feeder. But have you ever wondered what other foods you could offer them besides traditional birdseed?
If you’re like me, you’re always on the hunt for new and nutritious options to keep your feathered friends happy and healthy.
One food that has piqued my interest lately is pumpkin seeds. With their high oil content and rich nutrient profile, pumpkin seeds seem perfect for birds. But can birds eat pumpkin seeds?
In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of pumpkin seeds for birds and find out!
Can Birds Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes, Birds can eat pumpkin seeds, and the seeds offer valuable nutrition for them. Pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber, calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin A, which can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet for your birds. The seed size may limit the accessibility for some bird species.
We have gathered some information that you will find helpful when adding these seeds to your bird’s diet.
Understanding what birds can eat pumpkin seeds and what you can do to make the seeds more accessible to a broader range of birds will have you saving all your pumpkin seeds for your feathered friends!
Are Pumpkin Seeds Edible For Birds?
Not all human food is suitable for birds; feeding them our food should always be approached with caution and further knowledge. Some food we eat can be hazardous for birds, but this is not the case with pumpkin seeds.
It is always advisable to approach feeding new food to your bird with caution, even if the food is beneficial to your bird. A sudden change in diet can irritate the bird’s digestive system and cause diarrhea.
Always slowly introduce a new food, including pumpkin seeds, to your domestic birds to see how they react to the food.
We often questioned whether all types of pumpkin seeds are suitable for birds. After all, a wide variety of pumpkins are available.
All pumpkin seeds are good for birds, and none require any particular caution when feeding them to your birds.
The only requirements are to give them only a few pumpkin seeds on their first day of eating this food and to make sure you do not offer pumpkin seeds with salt.
Can Pumpkin Seeds Be Added To The Daily Diet For Birds?
Pumpkin seeds are healthy for birds and do not contain empty calories that could introduce an imbalance in the bird’s diet.
You can offer pumpkin seed to your bird’s daily diet if you moderate the amount until your bird is accustomed to this food.
What Type Of Birds Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
There is a wide array of birds that eat pumpkin seeds, both wild and domestic birds. Most seed-eating wild birds will eat pumpkin seeds.
Some common pumpkin seed eaters include:
These backyard birds will visit bird feeders if pumpkin seeds are offered.
Domestic birds such as chickens, Parakeets, Parrots, and Cockatoos will readily take pumpkin seeds as a treat or part of their daily diet.
Can Birds Eat Raw Pumpkin Seeds?
Raw pumpkin seeds are fine for birds, as this is how most birds would eat these seeds in the wild.
Some people are concerned about pumpkin pulp still being attached to the seeds when they remove the pumpkin guts.
Can pumpkin pulp be harmful to your birds, or should you remove all traces of the pulp from the seeds?
Pumpkin pulp will not harm your birds, and most birds will relish eating the bits of pumpkin flesh from the seeds before eating the seeds.
The pumpkin pulp also has nutritional value and moisture content that benefits your birds.
Can Birds Eat Cooked Pumpkin Seeds?
Birds can eat cooked pumpkin seeds without causing problems to their digestive system. Pumpkin seeds can be boiled or roasted and still fed to birds.
Raw pumpkin seeds have a relatively high moisture content which can lead to mold development on the seeds if they are left on the feeder too long. Mold can be highly toxic to birds, and any moldy seeds should not be offered to your birds.
One way to limit mold development on the seeds is to roast them or dry them by placing them in an oven on a baking tray with the temperature turned to low heat.
This process reduces the moisture content in the seeds, lowering the risk of mold. The birds can eat the dried or roasted seeds without any issues. Slowly drying the seeds out will also make them store longer. So no more throwing away those pumpkin guts on Halloween!
How To Prepare Pumpkin Seeds For Smaller Birds
Pumpkin seeds are pretty large, which may limit the accessibility of the seeds to small birds. Smaller seed-eating birds cannot swallow a whole seed and may not have the correct type of beak to break up the seed into more manageable pieces.
The larger, flat pumpkin seeds can be processed to make them available as a food source for smaller birds. Some seeds can be cut into halves or quarters to make them easier for smaller bird species to eat.
Cutting the seeds into smaller pieces is only possible with raw pumpkin seeds, as they are still relatively soft when in their natural state.
Dried or roasted pumpkin seeds can be hard and should not be cut as the risk of injury to yourself with a knife is too great.
Dried or roasted pumpkin seeds can be ground once or twice in a food processor until the seeds are of the desired size to feed to your birds.
Whether whole or in pieces, birds enjoy eating pumpkin seed by itself or blending in some wild bird seed.
When Not To Feed Pumpkin Seeds To Birds
Pumpkin seeds are not only good for birds, but they are a popular health food for humans as well. Pumpkin seeds packaged for human consumption should not be fed to birds.
Salt and other flavorings are often added to these pumpkin seeds, which can harm your birds. Always check the ingredients on the packaging of any pumpkin seeds intended for humans to look out for these additives.
Never add other ingredients to the mix if you are preparing pumpkin seeds by roasting or drying. Your birds do not require any seasoning to be added.
If you are drying seeds for your use, you can add salt and other flavors, but produce a separate batch for your birds without these additives.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Birds Safely Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes, birds can eat raw pumpkin seeds and cooked and dried pumpkin seeds. The seeds should be free of additives such as salt or other flavorings.
Can I feed my birds pumpkin pulp?
Yes, you can feed your birds the leftover pumpkin pulp from the seed extraction process without any issues. The pumpkin pulp has nutritional value and moisture content that benefits your birds.
Can birds eat green pumpkin seeds?
Yes, birds can safely eat green pumpkin seeds. The seeds should be free of additives such as salt or other flavorings. Drying the green pumpkin seeds before feeding them to your birds will reduce the risk of mold development on the feeder.
Can Wild Birds Eat Raw Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes, wild birds can eat raw pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious food source for birds and are often included in birdseed mixes.
So, Can Birds Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Birds can eat pumpkin seeds, which can be given as a healthy treat or as part of the bird’s daily diet. The seeds can be raw, dried, or roasted and remain fit for your birds.
Never feed seasoned pumpkin seeds to wild or domestic birds, as their high salt content can be dangerous.
If you have fed pumpkin seeds to your birds, let us know! We would love to hear how you provide these tasty treats to your birds and share your experiences with our readers. Learning is a shared experience!
Remember to check our other blog posts for more information about birds and nature. Also, remember to share this article with your friends, family, and fellow bird or pumpkin seed lovers!