Can birds eat uncooked oats? Nutrients, Digestion, and Serving

Raw foods are generally higher in nutrients, are not affected by the processing process, and still contain enzymes that the body needs.

Cooked foods, on the other hand, have the benefit of being easier to digest because the fibers and plant cell walls are broken down, this makes it easier for the body to absorb nutrients.

Also, cooked food can be more enjoyable to eat. But what about birds eating uncooked oats? This article explores whether birds can eat uncooked oats 

Birds have no problem eating uncooked oats, in fact, some seed mixes contain uncooked oats. Feed your bird uncooked oats as a snack or a treat but don’t serve it as a major part of the bird’s diet. You can feed birds uncooked oats by sprinkling them on the ground to allow birds to forage for it

Can birds eat uncooked oats? Nutrients, Digestion, and Serving

Yes, birds can definitely eat uncooked oats. Oats are given to birds quite often, there are many benefits to giving oats to birds and birds have no problem eating and digesting the food:

Birds digest uncooked oats easily:

Not only can humans eat uncooked oats but birds can eat uncooked oats as well.

Cooking breaks down foods to make them softer, animals don’t need foods to be broken down as they have internal systems to do this. Birds, for example, have a gizzard that breaks down food before digestion happens.

The gizzard is able to break down hard grains such as corn so you don’t have to worry about birds being able to break down oats. Uncooked oats are very easy to digest for both humans and birds.

Uncooked oats already exist in bird food:

Many birdseed mixes already contain oats, this breakfast food can be given as a tasty treat to birds as well.

Oats are often used as a “filler” ingredient in birdseed mixes. They are used as a filler ingredient because they are inexpensive, have a high carbohydrate content and are filling to birds.

Health benefits of giving oats to birds:

Iron: Oats are very high in iron, iron is important for birds as it helps with the manufacturing of hemoglobin in the birds body. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oyxgen in the birds body.

Manganese: Oats are also rich in manganese, birds of all types need this nutrient for wound healing, egg shell formation, and nutrient absorption

Beta-glucan: This is a fiber found in oats that help boost the birds immune function.

Other nutrients: In addition to the above, oats are also a good source of copper, selenium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B1 and vitamin C.

It should be given in moderation:

Oats may be good for birds but they should not be given as a major part of the bird’s diet. Other foods that should form a large part of the bird’s diet include pellets, seeds, insects, plant matter, and small animals.

Feeding your bird a variety of foods will give them access to different vitamins and minerals and will add excitement to their diet. Only offer oats when rewarding them as they train or as a treat 

Another reason to serve oats in moderation is that oats can contain a lot of calories. If you’re looking to get your bird to gain weight, then this is one thing you can add to your bird’s diet.

But if your bird is already overweight, feeding it oats won’t help them lose it, oats will rather do the opposite 

Can you feed birds cooked oats?

Uncooked oats may be beneficial to birds but feeding your bird cooked oats doesn’t always go down well.

Cooked oats are sticky and mushy, this texture may enable the oats to go down a bird’s beak easily, but some oats will remain on the bird’s beak. When these oats dry they can harden on the beak.

Thus, it is better to give your bird uncooked oats that won’t harden on the beak  

Which birds eat an enjoy oats:

Oats can be served to a variety of birds, birds that enjoy oats include:

  • Blue jay
  • Grouse
  • Mourning Dove
  • Red-Winged Blackbird
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Buntings
  • Common Grackle
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  • House Sparrow
  • Partridge

How to prepare oats for birds:

One way to prepare oats for birds is to simply scatter them on the ground and let the birds peck and forage for them.

This will not only make your birds exercise as they find their food but the birds will also enjoy the process of foraging and finding food for themselves rather than it being handed to them

If you choose to do this, do not scatter too much as crop impaction can set in. Crop impaction happens when the bird’s crop is packed tight with too much food that won’t go down.

To avoid this, feed them only small amounts of oats. Also, allow them to have access to enough drinking water while eating the oats

You can also add oats to suet cakes. Making these enables the oats to dry in the cake, this avoids a situation where the oats cake around the bird’s beak. Mix oats in with your other suet cake ingredients such as lard, fruits, and nuts 

Another way to serve this food to birds is to prepare an oat and egg meal. Making this helps to create variety in their diet as well as deliver a boost of nutrients.

To do this, combine your dried oats and egg until mixed well, then spread the mixture on a baking sheet. Pop this in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Once this is cooked and cooled, break it up into smaller pieces and offer them to your pet as a snack. These can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for around 3-5 days. 

Can birds eat uncooked quick oats?

Yes, birds can eat quick oats, also called instant oats. Instant oats are simply rolled oats that have been cooked, rolled, and dried to become instant oats.

You can feed your bird instant oats as long as they are flavorless. Birds can develop diabetes if they regularly ingest sugary foods, including sugar from flavored instant oats that have added sugar 


In conclusion, yes birds can eat uncooked oats, uncooked oats are better for birds as they can be foraged by birds, this gives birds the satisfaction of foraging for their own food and allows them to exercise.

Uncooked oats are also easily digested by birds and offer the animals a variety of nutrients.

Cooked oats can cake up and dry on your bird’s beak.

You can also serve oats with eggs, in suet cakes, or by simply sprinkling them on the floor.

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 uncooked rice?, Do wild birds eat lettuce?, Can birds eat uncooked pearl barley?, Can wild birds eat rice Krispies cereal?,

Can birds eat uncooked oats? Nutrients, Digestion, and Serving
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