Can Birds Eat French Fries? 5 Risks Of Birds Eating French Fries

Rapid urbanization has forced birds to live closer to humans, these animals have also been forced to eat what we eat. We see birds eating all sorts of human food, junk food, and french fries in particular, but is this healthy? Can birds eat french fries? This article looks into it

Birds love french fries and flock to eat them but they really shouldn’t be eating them. French fries contain trans fats and salt. Trans fats can lead to obesity in birds and salt can dehydrate the bird. Also, the bird’s kidneys cannot handle all this salt, excessive salt in the bird’s body can lead to kidney failure

Can birds eat French fries?

Food can be difficult to find in urban areas. This is why animals that live in urban areas end up digging through your trash and picking at foods dropped on the ground. Birds do the same

French fries may be eaten by birds but they certainly aren’t good for birds.

The occasional fry won’t kill your bird, but feeding french fries to your bird on a regular basis can have disastrous effects. This is why french fries are bad for birds:

No nutritional value:

Birds are known to eat up to 12 percent of their body weight in food. This isn’t a lot of food considering how small they can be. These animals need foods that are nutrient-dense in order to maintain good health. French fries aren’t exactly nutrient-dense

If a bird fills up on french fries, on a regular basis, it can eventually develop malnutrition and die.

High salt content:

Birds cannot process the high amounts of salt in French fries. We humans may be able to eat the salt present in fries but a birds body is much smaller than ours, one serving of salted fries can negatively affect the bird’s health

Birds don’t do well with so much sodium in their bodies, the high levels of sodium can even cause kidney failure in birds, dehydration, a fluid imbalance, and even death.

Other chemicals:

French fries, especially the types sold at fast-food restaurants, contain a number of chemicals and preservatives. These chemicals and preservatives have not been tested on birds, how they will affect the bird is anyone’s guess.  

These foods may not affect your bird but they can just as easily wreak havoc on your bird’s body and cause illness.

French fries can also cause issues such as choking, severe constipation, a blockage in the bird bowels, or weight gain if given to birds.

Other condaments:

French fries that birds find in urban areas are not only covered in salts but they can be smothered with a variety of other sauces as well.

Sauces like ketchup, curry sauce, salad cream, mayonnaise, curry ketchup, tzatziki, garlic sauce, fry sauce, ranch dressing, burger sauce, honey mustard, barbeque sauce, and hot sauce are often used on fries.

These sauces contain a number of ingredients that are either untested or simply bad for birds.

Frying makes this food bad:

Potatoes aren’t inherently bad, if cooked correctly, french fries can be ok for birds, the problem comes when you deep fry the food.

Deep frying foods, potatoes included, at high temperatures can release carcinogens, carcinogens can cause cancer in humans, dogs and other animals like birds

In addition, the high oil content in french fries can cause obesity in birds if eaten too much.

Can birds eat potatoes?

Yes, birds can eat potatoes.

Potatoes are actually a great food to give to your birds. They can be eaten plain or mixed in with some birdseed to give the bird some variety as they eat.

Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates and healthy fats. Eating potatoes will give the birds a boost of energy.

Potatoes also contain a number of other nutrients that will be beneficial to your bird. Potatoes contain proteins, vitamin A, vitamin C, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.

Make sure to give your birds boiled, baked, or mashed potatoes, if you boil the potatoes cut them up into small pieces. Another vegetable that you can feed birds is broccoli. Read more here

What is the best thing to feed wild birds?

The best thing to feed wild birds is birdseed mix or pellets. Birdseed mixes are designed to give birds the nutrients that they need to maintain a healthy diet.

You can carry around a packet of birdseed mix and give some seeds to the birds when you see them.

Birdseed mixes cater to a variety of birds, a good seed mix will include flaked maize, peanut granules, and sunflower seeds. Different birds will be attracted to different elements in the seed mixes.

Small seeds such as millet will be loved by reed buntings, house sparrows, dunnocks, and collared doves. Flaked maize will attract blackbirds. Peanuts and sunflower seeds will be good for greenfinches.

If you want something that can feed a variety of birds then use pinhead oatmeal. Pigeons, doves, and pheasants love wheat and barley grains. If you can, don’t feed birds birdseed that contains split peas and lentils.

Generally, the only birds that will eat these dry are large bird species.

Other foods that you can feed birds are cranberries, uncooked oats, quaker oats, and pine nuts, click the links to read more.


French fries aren’t good for animals or humans. They may be an easy to access and tasty food but in the long run, they are not good for the health of the bird.

The high levels of fats and salt in french fries are damaging to your health and to the bird’s health as well.

Rather give birds boiled and cut-up potatoes, mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes. These are filled with carbohydrates and healthy fats and will give the birds nutrients as well as energy.

Read more about giving birds potatoes here.

You can also give the birds a mixture of potatoes and birdseed, this is a great way to give them a good combination of carbs and nutrients.

For an on-the-go snack, you can carry a packet of birdseed or bird pellets and feed birds that you see as you go about your day.

Can Birds Eat French Fries? 5 Risks Of Birds Eating French Fries
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