Can Birds Eat Oatmeal? Yes, But Know This

Oatmeal is often regarded as a nutritious morning meal for humans, but does it offer similar benefits to birds? Being a bird enthusiast, you might be wondering can birds eat oatmeal? is it safe for bird to eat oatmeal, and whether oatmeal can be a great addition to their diet.

Can Birds Eat Oatmeal?

Yes, birds can eat oatmeal and it is a good food for them, especially in winter. Oatmeal is small in size, looks like bird seed, and it is rich in protein, which is an essential nutrient for birds.

Can birds eat oatmeal

Sparrows, Blackbirds, Cardinals, and Blue Jays, have a penchant for oats, they fall into the category of ground-feeding birds, often foraging on lawns.

Before you proceed with filling up your bird feeder with oats or spreading them on your bird table, let’s delve deeper into why oatmeal is a safe food for birds and discuss the types of oats you should consider.

Is Oatmeal Safe For Birds To Eat?

Feeding oatmeal to birds in moderation is entirely safe, as with any food.

Considered a nutritional powerhouse, oatmeal is rich in essential nutrients that improve a birds’ well-being, while offering a delightful taste.

As previously stated, oatmeal is rich in nutrients. Below, we’ve compiled a table that provides insights into the nutritional content of oats per 1 cup (approximately 81 grams) to show its impact on health.

NutrientQuantity per 1 Cup (81 grams)
Calcium, Ca43.7 mg
Carbohydrates53.7 g
Dietary Fiber8.6 g
Energy315 kcal
Fat5.6 g
Iron, Fe4.0 mg
Magnesium, Mg143.4 mg
Manganese, Mn3.9 mg
Niacin (Vitamin B3)0.778 mg
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)1.093 mg
Phosphorous, P423.6 mg
Potassium, K347.5 mg
Protein13.7 g
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)0.097 mcg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)0.112 mg
Sodium, Na1.6 mg
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)0.618 mg
Zinc, Zn3.2 mg

How Nutrients in Oats Benefit Birds

The nutrients in oats provide a variety of benefits for birds, including:

  • Energy: Oats are a good source of energy, which is important for birds to fly, migrate, and stay warm.
  • Feather health: The biotin in oats can help to promote healthy feather growth and development.
  • Immune system support: The vitamins and minerals in oats can help to boost a bird’s immune system and keep them healthy.
  • Digestion: The fiber in oats can help birds to digest their food properly and maintain a healthy gut.
  • Muscle and tissue repair: The protein in oats is essential for birds to build and repair tissues, including feathers and muscle.

In addition to these general benefits, some of the specific nutrients in oats can also offer specific benefits for birds. For example:

  • Calcium: Calcium is important for birds to build and maintain strong bones and eggshells.
  • Iron: Iron is essential for birds to produce healthy blood cells.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is important for birds to regulate their nerve and muscle function.
  • Manganese: Manganese is important for birds to produce energy and metabolize nutrients.
  • Phosphorous: Phosphorous is important for birds to build and maintain strong bones and eggshells.
  • Potassium: Potassium is important for birds to regulate their fluid balance and blood pressure.
  • Zinc: Zinc is important for birds to support their immune system and wound healing.

Are Oats Safe For Baby Birds?

Baby birds have different dietary needs than adult birds, so it is important to be aware of the following when feeding them oats:

  • Oats are safe for baby birds, but they should only be given in moderation. They should not eat as much as an adult would.
  • Fledglings need more animal-based protein, such as insects, which should make up about 75% of their diet.
  • Oatmeal may contain milk, which contains lactose. Baby birds should not be fed foods that are high in lactose.

Should Birds Eat Cooked or Uncooked Oats?

Birds will eat both cooked and uncooked oatmeal, but the safer option when it comes to feeding them this nutritious grain is uncooked porridge oats.

Uncooked oats are dry and easy for birds to digest or washed down with water. Dry Oats can also be mixed with other birdseed.

Cooked oats, on the other hand, become sticky which poses a potential problem for birds.

Birds can choke on sticky foods or have difficulty swallowing them when it is in or stuck in their beaks.

Therefore, uncooked oats is the safer choice.

Can Oatmeal be Used to Make Suet for Birds?

While Bird owners can feed raw, uncooked oatmeal to birds by scattering it on the ground or putting it in a squirrel-proof feeder. Another great option is to make suet cakes with Oat.

Suet cakes are blocks or cakes of animal fat, typically made from the hard fat found around the kidneys and loins of cows and sheep.

Can birds eat oatmeal

They are commonly used in bird feeding, providing a high-energy food source for wild birds, especially during the colder months when other food sources may be scarce.

Pre-made suet cakes can be bought online or in a local store or you can simply make your own.

Also Check: Can Birds Eat Watermelon

How To Make Suet Cake With Oatmeal

To make a suet cake for bird feeding, the fat is typically mixed with various ingredients like seeds, grains, dried fruits, and sometimes even insects.

This mixture is then shaped into cakes or blocks, which can be can be hung from trees, placed in special suet feeders, or even pressed into crevices in tree bark.

There are many recipes for homemade suet, and not all of them contain oats. Below is our own oatmeal suet cake recipe.


To make a tasty oats suet cake you will need the ingredients below.

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup of mixed wild bird seed
  • 1 cup of chunky peanut butter
  • 1 pound of plain suet, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of hulled sunflower seed or chopped pecans

Feel free to adjust the measurements of the ingredients to your taste or what you have available.


To prepare the oatmeal suet cake, start by melting the suet on low heat.

Once it’s melted, blend in the dry ingredients until everything is thoroughly combined. Allow it to cool slightly, ensuring it remains pourable.

Then, pour the mixture into a suitable mold, such as bowls, ice cream trays, or any household container.

Finally, refrigerate or freeze your oatmeal suet cake until it solidifies.

Other Ways To Feed Oatmeal To Birds

Whether you are trying to attract birds to your yard with oats in bird feeder or looking to feed them to your own pet birds, there are different ways you can feed oats to birds.

Below are some of the common ways feed oats to birds

Oats and Birdseed Mix

A common way to feed and attract backyard birds with oats is to create a seed/grain medley.

Birds generally relish grains and seed, So you can mix birdseed and oats to create nutritious grain mix buffet for your feathered friends.

Oats Balls

Mix cooked oats with a small amount of peanut butter (unsalted and unsweetened) and form small balls. Let them cool and harden before hanging them.

Plain Uncooked Oats

Don’t want to add anything to your oats? That’s okay! You can scatter plain oats on your lawn, bird table and fill up your feed with the nutritious grain so your feathered friends can enjoy.

When offering wild birds oatmeal, ensure there is water nearby. Excessive oatmeal consumption can potentially lead to dehydration in a bird’s beak.

Oatmeal Cookies

Bake simple oatmeal cookies without any added sugars, chocolate, or artificial flavorings. Crumble them into small pieces for birds.

Birds You’ll Most Likely Attract with Oats

Oatmeal will attract Most birds in your, however there are some birds that you will spot more often attracted by oats your spread on your lawn or low bird feeders:

  1. Sparrows: Many species of sparrows, including house sparrows and white-crowned sparrows, enjoy eating oats. They are ground-feeding birds and will pick up oats scattered on the ground.
  2. Juncos: Dark-eyed juncos are known to be attracted to oats. These small birds are ground feeders and will readily eat oats from the ground or low platform feeders.
  3. Doves and Pigeons: Mourning doves and pigeons are known to enjoy oats. Scatter oats on the ground or provide them in a low tray feeder.
  4. Blue Jays : Blue Jays are ground feeding birds that you will see often when your scatter oats based food in your backyard. Especially if they are offered in a blend with sunflower seed and peanuts.
  5. Blackbirds: Various species of blackbirds, such as red-winged blackbirds and common grackles, may be attracted to oats. They are often ground-feeding birds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can birds eat uncooked oatmeal?

Cooked or Uncooked Oatmeal for birds?

Can wild birds eat oatmeal?

Can birds eat instant oatmeal?

Can baby birds eat oatmeal

Can birds eat dry Quaker oats?

Is oat cookies safe for birds

Final Thoughts

Birds can eat oatmeal, which is a popular and nutritious food for them. While it is not as cheap as kitchen scraps, it is more nutritious.

However, it is important always serve oats to baby birds in moderation, but in general, it is safe to treat birds in your yard to uncooked oatmeal.

Mixing the oatmeal with bird seeds, grains, and dried fruits is a good way to attract birds to your yard and keep them coming back.

Also, it can be beneficial during the end of the summer as birds get ready for winter, if you make them into suet cakes it provides them with great energy source as other food will be scarce during winter

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