Can Birds Eat Uncooked Rice? Is It Bad for Birds?


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

can birds eat uncooked rice

Birds enrich our world with their beauty and vitality, playing a crucial role in our ecosystem. However, many misconceptions exist about what birds can and can’t eat.

One of the most persistent questions is, can birds eat uncooked rice? The short answer to this is yes! Contrary to popular belief, there’s no scientific proof to suggest that uncooked rice is harmful to birds in any way.

Keep reading as we unravel the five truths of this claim.

Fact 1: The Origin of the Myth Roots Back in the 1980’s


The myth or fact of whether rice harmful to birds has been circulating for decades. In the past, throwing rice on newlyweds during wedding ceremonies symbolized wealth and prosperity.

This tradition was discontinued when a State Representative, Mae Schmidle, introduced a bill that banned throwing rice at weddings and imposed fines for violators.

It was rationalized that preventing birds from eating uncooked rice is necessary for their safety, as the undigested grains can expand in their stomachs, causing them to explode, and eventually, rice kill birds.

While we have mentioned that uncooked rice bad for birds is all busted by Ornithologists or bird experts, let’s understand why uncooked rice is safe for birds.

Fact 2: Rice Doesn’t Swell Inside a Bird’s Stomach


The myth that birds explode when they eat rice is false. It may sound silly to others, but those people who don’t eat rice occasionally may think it is true.

Rice indeed swells when cooked. But here’s the catch: the boiling point of water needed for cooking is much higher at 100 degrees Celsius than the stomach temperature of birds, which only fluctuates around 37 degrees Celsius.

So, birds eating rice and exploding are busted as it’s impossible for birds to cook rice in their stomachs. Plus, remember their mighty anatomy that grinds these grains! Continue reading for the following fascinating fact.

Fact 3: Birds Have a Powerful Digestive System


We have already tackled that rice make birds explode is a total myth. But can birds eat rice?

Absolutely! Bird eating rice are quite common to see. As versatile eaters, birds are known to have a diverse diet consisting of fruits, seeds, insects, and even uncooked rice.

The truth is that birds are well-equipped to digest uncooked rice. Unlike humans, birds have a muscular pouch in their digestive system called the gizzard. This works like a powerful grinder to break down even the toughest foods that birds swallow.

In addition, small but mighty birds, like sparrows, have strong beaks capable of easily breaking down rice grains into tiny bits. Thus, rice enters their stomach and gets digested in no time!

So, is rice safe? Worry no more, as the common myth that rice hurt birds has been debunked. Rest assured that rice is a nourishing and harmless option for our feathered friends.

Fact 4: Many Birds Eat Rice


Rice is a vital staple food for millions of people around the world and is not just loved by humans but also by our feathered friends.

Many wild birds, like sparrows and some species, including pigeons and finches, feed on rice.

They are attracted to rice because it is high in carbohydrates and gives them the energy to fly, forage, and mate. Furthermore, uncooked or raw rice can even be integrated into a parrots diet.

Of course, it’s important to remember that not all bird species will be interested in eating uncooked rice. Some birds, such as hummingbirds, may not be as attracted to rice as other foods.

It is also worth noting that baby birds choke is not a matter of concern. It is unlikely to happen because bird parents usually feed their offspring with tiny bits of food. And often bring high protein scraps such as insects instead of grains. 

Fact 5: All About Rice


Now, we have come to our last fun fact. In this section, we will answer, is it good for birds to eat uncooked rice?

Definitely! Uncooked rice offers a pack of calories and nutrients beneficial for birds. As a matter of fact, birds have a diverse palate and enjoy indulging in more than just uncooked rice.

Birds eat basmati rice and also relish wild rice, red rice, and brown rice. Whether dry rice or soaked, rice makes a great addition to their diet! But don’t forget rice cakes, as they can be added to their snacks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Uncooked brown rice vs white rice: which is better for bird?

Brown rice contains 82 calories and 1.83 grams of protein compared to white rice, with 68 calories and 1.42 grams of protein. Brown rice also outweighs white rice in carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, and sodium.

So, compared to white rice, brown rice is a better choice for nourishing your feathered friends as it is packed with macro and micronutrients.

Can you feed birds cooked rice? Others made from rice?

Yes, you can feed birds cooked rice. If there is an option, unseasoned rice would be better. Other made from rice, such as rice cake, can also be consumed by birds.


Now that you’ve learned the truth about can birds eat uncooked rice. We hope you can spread the word that the myth that uncooked rice can harm birds is false.

So, while it is safe to feed birds uncooked rice, it is also essential to ensure the food is fresh and free from contaminants.

Overall, it’s essential to consider the birds’ nutritional needs and provide them with a balanced and healthy diet.

With proper care, we can help our feathered friends lead happy and healthy lives.

5/5 - (2 votes)

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