Can birds eat garlic?

Garlic is a delicious food that is on the ingredient list of a variety of dishes. The food is used to treat a variety of medical conditions and has many health benefits. Garlic is not only healthy but also delicious and is well-loved by many, even though it doesn’t necessarily leave you with the freshest of breath. But how about when animals eat it? Like birds? Can birds benefit from this delicious food? This article looks into the question of ‘can birds eat garlic’ 

No birds cannot eat garlic, this food, whether cooked, raw or in powdered form, is toxic to birds. If given to birds it will cause the animal to develop anaemia. To be safe, do not add any other seasonings like salt, onion or cayenne pepper to a birds diet either. 

Can birds eat garlic?

Garlic contains a number of beneficial nutrients and minerals that your body can use. It contains magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium, fibre, vitamin B1, copper, potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorous. The body can use it to combat sicknesses, reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Eating this food will also help with detoxifying heavy metals that may exist in human bodies. But how about its effect on birds? 

Unfortunately, birds and garlic don’t mix- unless they’re both on a plate. Whether cooked or raw this vegetable is not good for birds. Garlic contains a chemical called allicin. Allicin can cause anaemia in birds, it can also cause the bird to become weak. You cannot feed your bird’s garlic powder or any other garlic products either as any garlic product will have the same effect. This vegetable also contains organic compounds that contain sulphur. Sulphur can cause your bird to experience the rupturing of its red blood cells 

What other foods shouldn’t you feed birds?

Other foods that you shouldn’t feed birds include, but are not limited to: 

Chocolate: This will ruin your birds digestive system causing diarrhea or vomiting 

Apple seeds: These tiny seeds can be poisonous to your bird as they contain cyanide 

Alcohol: Alcohol isn’t particularly beneficial to humans and it can also be poisonous to birds. Alcohol can result in the depression of birds organ systems 

Salt: Considering how small birds are, salt can easily damage the bird. Salt can cause dehydration, excessive thirst, kidney dysfunction and even death 

Avocado – This delicious and creamy food can cause your bird to go into cardiac arrest and even cause heart failure in many bird species

Mushrooms – This is another tasty food that birds cannot eat. Mushrooms are a fungus that when eaten can cause an upset stomach and even liver failure in birds 

What do birds eat in the wild?

In the wild, you can expect birds to eat foods and insects that naturally exist in the area. This includes nuts, fruits, berries, pollen, nectar, plant matter, seeds, various types of grass, snakes, rodents, other smaller animals, grubs, worms and insects. The type of diet each bird eats may slightly differ depending on their feeding preferences and their location. In addition, different species of birds will eat different foods as they have different nutritional needs

What scent do birds hate?

Interestingly enough, birds are repelled by the smell of foods that they can’t eat. One of the scents that birds hate is garlic. In addition, birds also hate the smell of onion, cayenne pepper and essential oils. If you want to keep birds away from your property then strategically placing these foods on your property will keep these flying animals at bay. 

What is the best bird deterrent?

The best bird deterrent is something that is out of sight and out of mind.  Natural or non-toxic deterrents like onion, garlic or cayenne pepper can be used around your property and be quietly effective. These can be hung in hard to reach places away from your pets and kids.


In conclusion, no birds cannot eat garlic. This food may be helpful and beneficial to humans but it can cause birds to develop anaemia and can cause the red blood cells of birds to rupture. Other foods that you should not feed birds include onion, apple seeds, salt, cayenne pepper, alcohol, mushrooms and chocolate. You can use cayenne pepper, onions or garlic to repel birds as they are discreet and will not harm humans 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other bird related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Can birds eat gelatin?, Can birds eat honey?, Can birds eat ham?, Can birds eat hard-boiled eggs?

Can birds eat garlic?
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