DRY CAT FOOD FOR BIRDS?

by Pascal
(st peters missouri)

I hope this is not ultimately bad for wild birds but for the last ten + years I've been feeding wild birds with fairly inexpensive generic dry cat food that I also feed my 2 cats. I've been doing this throughout the year but more so in the winter months. Blue jays, Robins, Cardinals as well as starlings all seem to love it (and the squirrels too!). I first noticed the birds stealing the dry cat food that I had put outside for the occasional stray cats in the neighborhood.


BUT if this is ultimately a bad idea by all means let me know!

Pascal


Comment
Pascal, offhand, I can't think of any reason why this would be bad for birds.
Susan

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Aug 09, 2016
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Feed the Wildlife NEW
by: Anonymous AA Member

I keep a bag of cat food in my car for the seagulls. I also feed parking lot birds. I usually have an ice chest for my own groceries, so I drain it in the grocery store lot, then sprinkle some kibble. Birds get food and water! The turtle pond occupants like cat food, too! It's better for the animals than chipsor white bread.

May 06, 2016
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Opinion NEW
by: Anonymous

I think dried cat food wood have more of a nutrient value

Apr 21, 2016
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NO BLACK SUNFLOWER SEEDS FOR BIRDS!!!! NEW
by: Anonymous

MY FRIENDS COCKATIEL HAD A STROKE...WAS VERY VEREXPIREY SICK...THE VET SAID CAUSED FROM HIGH CHOLESTEROL FROM BLACK SUNFLOWER SEEDS!!!! THEY NURSED HER BACK TO HEALTH...BUT NO MORE BIRD SEED WITH BLACK SUNFLOWER SEEDS IN IT!!!!

Apr 21, 2016
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NO BLACK SUNFLOWER SEEDS FOR BIRDS!!!! NEW
by: Anonymous

MY FRIENDS COCKATIEL HAD A STROKE...WAS VERY VEREXPIREY SICK...THE VET SAID CAUSED FROM HIGH CHOLESTEROL FROM BLACK SUNFLOWER SEEDS!!!! THEY NURSED HER BACK TO HEALTH...BUT NO MORE BIRD SEED WITH BLACK SUNFLOWER SEEDS IN IT!!!!

Mar 19, 2016
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dry cat food fir birds NEW
by: betsy

Meow mix is one of the WORST foods u can feed a cat!!! A vet told me years ago that it is really bad becuz of the dyes they put in it. Think about it- it does not look natural!!! I would not feed meow mix or any other unnaturally colored dry food to a stray or my cats or a poor hungry bird!!! Also stay away from the WET meow mix, it is the same way & can probably cancer & other problems.

Jan 28, 2016
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Cat food is NOT good for birds! NEW
by: Parchie

Please do not feed cat food to birds. Maybe every once in awhile is fine, especially if they are scavenger/carniverous/protein eating birds like crows and such. Cat food is made for cats higher need of protein. Even the lazy ones. It is not even good to feed cat food to dogs apparently they don't require as much and their food is made with less. Another reason not to feed birds or even your own pets cheap cat food is the quality is low and lots of added extra bad ingredients. Lots of animals who eat a super cheap diet with byproducts, preservatives and other crap have lots of health issues. Yes I know that might be your only choice for some people to give their cats and dogs but if you can try to give healthier then it is best. For birds outside it is better to not give them cat or dog food. Sure it tastes great to them, (my own Quaker parrot breaks out of his cage, jumps down to the floor and runs to steal the dog food and bee-line it back to his cage before anyone notices.)but eating a large amount of marbled beef, pizza, ext. everyday isn't good for us either. Please try to not make the cat food be a lot or any at all. Okay rant done! ;)

Dec 07, 2015
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cat food and birds BAD NEW
by: Brenda

Cat food is good for Cats it can even make dogs very sick if they consume to much
The backyard birds we get in summer and winter eat seeds and berries that is there diet and that is the only thing we should feed them...I make suet balls with clean beef tallow and i mix in dry or frozen blue berries, cranberries, and others...I have found by watching my birds the seeds they all like the most are the Black Oil sunflower seeds they like the black and white striped sunflower seeds to and then just a mix of regular wild bird seed in one feeder for the most part ...Just feed any animals you feed a diet that is specific to them
thanks

May 28, 2015
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Dry cat food is BAD for birds NEW
by: Sunetha

I too had been feeding dry cat food to my back yard birds who just love it. I wrote earlier querying whether it was ok to do so. I received some responses which advised me to first soften the food with water and then feed them.

I have been doing this for a few months. I had two special friends a crow with one foot who I called 'Johnny' after "long John Silver" of Treasure Island fame and another particularly friendly Magpie I called ' Magie'.

Magie came one morning and showed me she was in distress as if in heart failure. I stopped feeding her cat food and went back to giving bread crumbs but after a few days she stopped coming. I guessed she had died.

One morning a week later I heard the neighborhood crows crowing and wheeling like they do when one of their kind dies. Thereafter Johnny never visited me. I presumed it was Johnny who had died.

Since I identified these two dear friends I was able to know they had died. This may happen to other birds too but you would not know about it.

Most of us love sugar & chocolates (me included) although it is not good for us. Therefore my urgent plea is DO NOT FEED DRY CAT FOOD TO BIRDS however much they love it because it is fatal for them.

May 24, 2015
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MYTH: RICE AND ANYKIND OF FOOD DOES NOT SWELL AND KILL BIRDS NEW
by: Anonymous

It is a myth that a certain type of food like rice, corn, etc.. that birds eat can swell up in their stomach and kill them. Birds have a very high metabolism and food is quickly digested which is why they poop a lot. It doesn't hang around in their stomach. Granted they would enjoy the cooked rice more, but raw rice is fine, preferably brown. They need lots of protein so the rice can be an appetizer while they search for protein, which is why they like cat food so much. It's high in protein. I hate throwing away food that I will no longer eat,so I feed them everything under the sun. I cut up and remove any mold before feeding it to the birds. Fruits, vegetables, bread, crackers, plain chips, soaked in water so they don't choke on it, meats, potato when they start growing roots, lol (I bake them in the microwave or the Nuwave), tomato, etc...
I never give them nuts because they are expensive so I never have leftovers. I love them and eat them all up. lol
I call it recycling my food. My grandfather did it with his pigs. I started feeding birds accidently. I was actually feeding ants so they would not come into the house. Before I knew it the birds joined in. By the way no ants in the house. I wonder if the birds are eating the ants. Species generally know what to eat and what not to eat, if it causes them discomfort they won't eat it again. I see this with my cats.
Birds can eat most of the foods that you eat, but there are a few things you should avoid feeding:
•Chocolate
•Caffeine
•Avocado
•Alcohol
•Peanuts
•Apple seeds
•Stone fruit pits
•Raw dairy (milk, fresh cheese, ice cream)
•Raw onions
•Rhubarb
•Raw mushrooms
•Salty items
•Junk food
•Beef

Jan 24, 2015
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feeding the birds cat biscuits NEW
by: Mark

We have been feeding the blackbirds, starlings and minors cat biscuits for a few years now, the blackbirds in particular love it... and now are accustom to us and regularly just walk inside the house looking for it(they have the best friendly character I've seen in a bird). So far no bad side effects to feeding them this.. I've seen them drink water afterwards and it doesn't seem to cause swelling.. they will continue to eat after this also.

Nov 20, 2014
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Dry Cat Food For Birds NEW
by: Karin

I just read that any dry food (like rice they used to throw at weddings, and cat food) can swell up inside a bird after they ingest water and kill them. Birds have actually stolen some of our cat food before and seem to love it. But I guess I will have to make sure none is left outside now. Anyone else read this?

Sep 13, 2014
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Feeding dried cat food to birds in the wild NEW
by: Sunetha

I threw away a few pellets of left over cat food and found one of my regular Magpies swooping in on it. He/she now comes every morning and sits on the window sill until I throw a few cat food pellets. He just loves it and chases away all the other Magpies who want to taste it. I noticed that my regular Magpies is much fatter and bigger than the other fellow Magpies. I am worried that the cat food is making the fellow fat and at some point might find it difficult to fly on account of its weight. I have gradually cut down on the quantity I throw out as I do not want to disappoint him since he loves it so much. My question is "Is dried cat food safe to feed the birds?"

Thank you,
Sunetha

Jul 04, 2014
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birds and cats along with the puppies NEW
by: susie

I have so many birds coming and eating cat food it is scary..I live in the country, Red birds, Blue Jays,Sparrows, little yellow birds. little blue birds...everything but the 2ft tall black birds...I think I will move when that happens..they fight, squawk so loud I can't sleep at night....the cats are scared to death to come onto the porch and eat..thanks, I wasn't sure if it would harm the birds....

Feb 01, 2014
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Cat food or high dollar food
by: Gendyk

Pascal I think is a great idea I've been doing this for years and have the most beautiful birds all year.
Poppy alot of us on a tight budget can't afford to feed the top brand names to our animals or ourselfs. Please before you comment think a min. and try not to be so rude and hurt peoples feeling!

Apr 26, 2013
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Food for thought!
by: Katie from NS

Love all the recipes I've read. I was told some time ago that feeding dry cat/dog food to birds is not a good idea. The reason being that the dry food swells when it gets wet so when the birds eat it, it swells in their bellies and can harm them. Strictly food for thought or something to check in to. I only wanted to pass this information on to anyone that might want to investigate further. Keep the great ideas coming!

Jun 06, 2012
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Dry Catfood for birds
by: Mei

I would try this. It seems easy too! Thank you for posting this page about dry catfood.

Oct 10, 2011
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Catfood for birds
by: Montysmum

I've started feeding the birds dried cat food and also the leftover dregs of canned cat meat that my cats won't eat (fusspots). Female blackbirds used to come into the house in search of the cat biscuits before. They now wait by the kitchen door for it every morning!!

Feb 10, 2011
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cAT fOOD mIX
by: Marine Patriot

Just mixed Meow Mix cat food, raisens, dried cherries, and curnchy peanut butter. Used a small food processer to break up the cat food, heated the PB in the microwave and mixed it all together. We put it out on the patio in plates and the birds seem to like it quite a bit.

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Frying Pan Grease with bread - Good for Birds?

by Claire
(New Jersey)

Whenever I fry or bake meats like pork, chicken, sausage, bacon, I empty out the meat and instead of throwing away the fat, I soak several pieces of bread in the grease, add birdseeds and put this out for the birds. They love it. I hope this is OK and healthy and helps the birds survive in the winter.
But, I wonder about the spices I added to the meat, like garlic, salt and pepper(not a lot), parsley, and paprika. Is this OK for birds. Is anyone knowledgeable about this?



Comment
Claire, I think you've got a great idea!
The spices shouldn't harm them.
Susan

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Feb 08, 2011
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fryed bread
by: michael

I think It's common knowledge that too much plain bread is not that good for birds, as it has little nutritional value. So I've been frying bread in lard.
hope this is ok for them.

Jan 22, 2011
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Are Ginger cookies ok?
by: Hayley

hi since spices were brought up, i made these cookies and we didn'tlike them very much. There is ginger, allspice, and cloves in it. is this ok for birds to eat? thanks.

Comment

Hayley, most spices are derived from plants. I can't see any problem with feeding them to birds.
Susan

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Is wheat a food for birds?


(puyallup, WA)

Is wheat a food for birds?

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Mar 24, 2016
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Wheat berry NEW
by: Anonymous

Should I feed wild birds wheat berry?

May 13, 2011
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Using Wheat for birds
by: Roger

I regularly thin out my wild bird food with wheat as I think it makes it go further. However I have noticed that the finches 'wade' through the bird feeders quicker looking for other seed and I finish up with a nice crop of young wheat coming through the grass underneath the bird feeders if the pigeons aren't quick :)

Oct 29, 2010
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Can be
by: jerry

Some birds will eat wheat. It is sometimes used as a filler in bird seed mixes and when birds have a choice they will usually not eat the wheat.

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Help with Feeders

by Randy
(North Carolina)

Comments or Questions: I have been reading some of your info and am enjoying.
I finally filled my feeders with thistle and black-oil sunflower seed. I was using the mix that the birds just picked through and discarded the filler of course. I do not have now the number of birds that I had a few days ago....What am I not doing? Is there something else that I need to put into the feeders that will help? Maybe some type of fruit mix? Please help. Thank you....Randy

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Apr 05, 2011
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Sunflower seeds
by: Anonymous

Hi,
i have experimented with several bird food variates and I can tell you that Just SUNFLOWER seeds will attract all the favorite birds alone.

Thats all I use now and suet for the woodpeckers and safflower seeds in different feeders away from the sunflower seeds for cardinals, chickadees, and nuthatch and titmouse and the purple and house finches

My two cents from the midwest usa.

Jan 28, 2011
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Backyard birds
by: Susan

Randy, what kind of birds do you want to attract to your feeders?

Jan 28, 2011
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I don't think anything is wrong.
by: Hayley

I don't think anything is wrong but, I can tell you some popular seeds! White millet is widely liked, and so is cracked/whole corn. And black oil sunflower, is very much loved! I mostly just buy Black oil sunflower, whole corn, and white millet now and make my own seed mixes. I also like to put out left overs, make suet, and throw out bread (Which makes the jays pop out of no where to come eat it!) I hope this helps!

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Question and answers sections needed. Some people don't know whether something is good for the birds..

by Claire
(New Jersey)

Sample Questions: Is pasta with butter and cabbage OK? Are there some pastas that are not good - like spaghetti with tomato sauce? How about pasta that has garlic and oil - like leftover shrimp scampi? How about cooked rice? How about fish or sardines? How about left over meat like ham, steak or porkchops? Your recipes may contain oatmeal - can it be raw or must it be cooked? Please specify in your recipes. Thank you.

PS How about a listing of foods that are bad for birds.

Comments for Question and answers sections needed. Some people don't know whether something is good for the birds..

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Jan 26, 2011
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My Recipes
by: Hayley

In my recipes,(Hayleys super suet and Bird pancakes) I use raw rolled or quick cook oats, I don't cook them. I hope this helps!

Jan 26, 2011
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Homemade Food
by: Paul greenfield

We recently had steak at a restaurant. The steak was particularly fatty. I took it home and cut the fat up and cooked it until it was melted I then poured the melted fat into a cup ,mixed it with seeds, put a length of string into the center and waited for it to solidify overnight. A little hot water over the inverted cup in the morning freed the hardened mixture from the cup. It is hanging from a branch and the birds sit on it and eat. Nuthatches, chickadees and downy woodpeckers galore.

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Why Not Chicken Suet for Birds?

by Lilly
(Pr, USA )

Why would chicken fat suet be harmful to feed predatory wild birds? I have seen jays take baby birds from the nest as well as eggs and so forth--don't hawks kill chickens & eat them?

I put some hardened chicken fat out (ran out of beef) and the jays ate it up.

Also why wouldn't raw beef fat be okay to feed? BIRDS eat raw meat in nature? Thanks.



Comment

You ask very good questions, Lilly.

Question #1: As a point of caution, a wild bird nutritionist and wildlife manager responding to your question, discouraged the use of chick fat for the following reasons: lower melting temp & its tendency to soften.
Because it is softer than beef it can clog birds nostrils , and also wreak havoc on their feathers.

Question #2: Rendering fat is to prevent the fat from going bad.

Happy Birding,
Susan

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Jun 16, 2015
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Suet Cakes NEW
by: Mary

I make suet cakes for the outside birds year round for winter. Scraps of dried out cat food that my cats won't eat, bits of left over crumbs off our plates from meals...are all placed in a suet form in the freezer. Once it is half full and I make hamburgers on my counter top grill, I pour that grease that has been rendered off the meat into the form and freeze it with the scraps...and I have a suet cake ready for winter feeding. I store them in zip lock bags in the chest freezer until winter comes and I need them for the birds. I always have an ample supply of suet cakes for the birds. I also add sunflower seeds or wild bird seed as an added treat.

Oct 23, 2011
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chicken fat with seed
by: Anonymous

I wonder the same thing - only I'd add some seed instead of or in addition to flour. This is fat skimmed off when I stew a chicken. I AM sure it might melt fast - unless hardened like recommended above. (melt harden several times) - does that process drive off liquid?

May 02, 2011
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chicken fat cake?
by: Juliet

I understand about chicken fat having a lower melting point than suet. so how would it be to mix some flour into the chicken fat? That would make a solid "cake", like uncooked pie crust. I would like to know if this would be OK. Thanks.

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