Birds can have fries – I mean – if you stick out a piece of chips near their beaks, they will break and down it. As a matter of fact, they love French fries so much, and you will find many of them flocking around a bag of these fatty snacks. But, birds shouldn’t be eating them. There are two components in French fries that make them unfavorable for birds – salt and fats. While the kidneys of your bird cannot handle the sodium between the salt, fats can make the winged creature grow fat and develop obesity.
Birds and humans occupy the same spaces – an effect of urbanization. Human-bird engagements have introduced the birds to our food, and they eat much of it – including French fries. While it is cute to see a bird nibbling down some human snacks, a question comes up – is this or that good for birds? In this article, we will explore the nitty-gritty details of French fries concerning their consumption by birds.
The Health Details Of French Fries
The most common (and only?) way of preparing French fries is by deep-frying since it is inexpensive. Because of this cooking method that includes many oils, French fries get full of calories and fats.
Frying food decreases its water content while increasing the oil content. In turn, the calories’ and fats’ details go up.
You should know that the digestion process of birds does not very-well accommodate fats. For birds, whose kidneys are not as powerful as ours, fats make them susceptible to some conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Also, the high amount of salt in French fries may invite dehydration within the bird’s body.
Birds And Eating French Fries
Although birds may find French fries a great love – just like we do – they shouldn’t be exposed to fast food. Birds frequenting urban centers will find French fries easy – in dustbins and even sidewalks. This is in contrast to the herbivore-like diet that should be available for the birds to take on.
A bite of French fries injects birds with a lot of energy. A little taste of the snacks gets birds in a Frenzy. Since birds are not strict carnivores, their inclinations to sugar and fat are activated.
The high salt amounts in French fries can trigger kidney failure. Salt, being a blend of sodium and chlorine, injects the body with high levels of sodium – these are unfriendly to the bird.
Apart from the salts and fats, French fries contain many additives, some chemically unsafe. Some of the chemicals are even unfit for human consumption, so what about the delicate body of a bird?
Other issues sited as possible occurrences due to French fries consumption by birds include:
2. Severe constipation
3. Gastrointestinal blockage
What About Potatoes?
Potatoes are French fries, but minus the deep frying and the salting. Birds can comfortably eat potatoes with no worries. Actually, potatoes are one of the best bird-related treats. You can serve them plain or by mixing them with bird seeds. This will inject variety into the bird’s diet, much to their liking. Potatoes help the birds well as they are a good source of healthy fats and carbs. Also, the potatoes serve as a good energy boosts.
Between each bite of a potato sits many nutritional elements that will be of great benefit to the birds. Vitamins A, C, and proteins will make sure that your bird has the nutrients they need.
You can either serve the potatoes raw, boiled, mashed or baked. Ensure that you cut the potatoes into small pieces to make it easy for the birds to poke them. You can serve the potatoes alongside broccoli or any other vegetable.
Issues Around Feeding Wild Birds
Feeding animals in the streets induces a feel-good feeling in our hearts. But, we should avoid that kind of behavior because it disrupts nature, especially if the animals involved are wild. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t feed wild birds:
1. Overdependence – when you keep feeding wild birds at a specific spot, they will mark that area. Then, the birds will keep coming back to you, expecting you to show the generosity you showed the other day. This will make them lose their sense of survival – it is more like taking them out of the wild. Remember, most birds are scavengers, and food isn’t handed to them on a silver platter.
2. Overcrowding – birds will behave like stray cats and dogs. Once they mark a spot as a ‘food zone,’ they will come back, and in larger numbers than the last time. When this happens in an urban center, humans may develop fear because of the invasion of their spaces. They may call a bird exterminator who may harm the birds, thus reducing the number of winged animals. Also, bird-related diseases will start occurring, thus endangering the birds’ numbers.
3. Infestation By Rats – while you give wild birds lots of food, they don’t eat all of it alone. The food leftovers are likely to get into the hands of other animals, such as rats. Rats are scary, and some of their diseases have devastating effects on humans. Do you remember the bubonic plague? Who was guilty? Yes – rats were guilty!
4. Poor Nutrition – Human foods are prepared for human stomachs. Thus, they may be having strictly human components. What we feed birds – French fries, bread – does not have the nutritional content meant for them. There is food in the market that is made for them, so exploit the available options.
What is best to give birds of the wild are birdseed pellets or mixes. These treats have been specially designed to provide the winged creatures with the necessary health requirements. They help by offering birds the much-needed nutrients and minerals, thus maintaining their immune systems. If you love feeding wild birds, consider buying a packet of the treats. Whenever you see a flock, throw pellets in that direction.
The mixes take care of many birds. A good one includes peanut granules, flaked maize, and sunflower seeds. Some birds will get attracted to some elements, and others to other components.
Birds such as house sparrows, reed buntings, collared doves, and dunnocks will love nibbling on small seeds like millet. Blackbirds will get attracted to flaked maize, while greenfinches will love sunflower seeds and peanut granules.
If you want a one-snack-fits-all thing, go for pinhead oatmeal. Birds that love barley and wheat grains include doves, pigeons, and pheasants. Avoid feeding birds with birdseed that has lentil or split peas. These are dry treats, and they are the best fit for large species of birds.
So, what do pellets contain? They have fruits, vegetables, seeds, vitamins, and minerals. All these are bombarded together to form a shell. Apart from pellets, you can give pine nuts and cranberries to the wild birds.
What You Should Not Feed Birds – Ten Of The Worst!
If you have birds in your backyard who have made you a sort-a birder, you may be moved to offer your chirpers with a buffet. This acts as an attraction for more birds. The question begs – of the foods given to birds, which are the bad ones? There are many adverse effects of feeding low food to birds such as disease, malnutrition, and obesity. These conditions inhibit the natural avian responses, and they become instant targets of predators. If you avoid the following ten foods, you will be saving your birds from the nightmare of consuming the wrong things.
1. Spoiled Seed – like other foods, birdseed goes bad – especially if you store it improperly, and then it gets rotting. Rotten seed invites bacteria, mold, and bugs that can bring about diseases, especially among feeder birds. At all times, ensure that the birdseed is freshly dry and does not have and sharp odor. Birdseed that has soaked should be changed. Also, make sure that any moldy, sprouting or clumped seed gets discarded.
2. Bread – It is not absolute but feeding birds with a tiny amount of bread is acceptable. On the flip side, feeding your feathery friend with large-quantity bread adds little or no value to them. If you so-much want to provide your bird bread, consider whole grain varieties, which are healthy options. Also, you can make a sandwich for your bird and include seed, suet, and peanut butter, among other necessary foods. Strictly avoid rotten or moldy bread.
3. Older-Than-Old Nectar – be advised to use fresh nectar as it is easy and quick to prepare. To spot old nectar looks out of discolorations, cloudiness, and floating particles. Spoiled nectar harbors bacterial and mold that can drive your birds to a fatality. Every few days, ensure that you refresh the nectar while cleaning the feeders at the same time. This will help avoid contamination.
4. Pesticides – Any seed or fruit treated with herbicides, pesticides, or other potentially-toxic chemicals should be avoided. These tidbits of toxins can poison the bird. Eventually, the bird may develop breeding problems that may get transmitted to young ones. If you’re not sure about the food item, wash it using running water.
5. Potato Chips – In many places, the snacks are known as chips – there are bad for birds. Apart from offering little nutritional value, they contain processed chemicals that haven’t been tested against bird systems. If you’re going for unique treats, give your bird popcorn that has been plainly air-popped. Avoid adding any toppings or salt to the snack.
6. Raw Meat – Most birds’ systems accommodate carnivorous diets, but you should avoid meat in all its forms – meat scraps or ground meats. Meat spoils quickly, which leads to an influx of bacteria between its pieces. This infected item may harm and even kill birds. Also, it may bring in rodents. If you intend to inject some protein, go for suet.
7. Cookies – these and other sweetly-baked goods look good at face value, but they offer very little nutritional value. They have processed additives and ingredients, which may take a toll on your bird. You can make your bird cookies by combining, among others, the following: cornmeal, suet, and peanut butter.
8. Honey – as a natural sweetener, honey is a healthy food item for humans. However, all that sweetness is not for birds. Between the puddles of honey, mold and bacteria may be growing. While you make nectar for your birds (hummingbirds or oriole nectar), do not include any honey.
9. Milk – like many other animals, birds are lactose-intolerant, and large milk quantities are not their cup of tea. Avoid giving your bird soft cheese. Instead, focus on giving them a healthy diet.
Tabled Info On Foods That Are Poisonous To Birds – Avoid Them!
In the previous section, we went through foods that you shouldn’t feed your birds. In this one, we’re all about toxic foods. The items mentioned here should never get near your bird’s bill. Check the following table for details:
|No.||Food Or Snack Type||Why It Is Toxic|
|1.||Chocolate||Chocolate bits affect the digestive system of a bird, together with its central nervous system. The snack can cause diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and finally, death.|
|2.||Apple seeds||Together with peaches, cherries, and apricots, apple seeds have traces of cyanide, a fatality-inducing component.|
|3.||Alcohol||It causes depression of the bird’s organ systems. This is a precursor for a fatality.|
|4.||Salt||The high levels of sodium can cause dehydration and excessive thirst, kidney dysfunction and failure, and ultimately, death.|
|5||Avocado||The pit and skin of avocados bring about cardiologic problems, which lead to heart failure. That is why you shouldn’t let your bird dip his beak into the bowl of guacamole.|
|6.||Mushrooms||These are a fungus type that invites digestive upset in many birds. If your bird gets to nibble on stems and caps of some types of mushrooms, they may get liver failure. And no – neither cooked nor raw mushrooms are good.|
|7.||Tomato leaves||Although the tomato fruit is a good treat for your bird, avoid feeding its vines, leaves, or stems. Those parts are highly toxic to your bird pet.|
|8.||Caffeine||Caffeine has the potential of causing bird cardiac malfunction. Also, it is associated with arrhythmia, increased heartbeat, cardiac arrest, and hyperactivity.|
|9.||Onions||Avoid onions or any of its relatives (garlic) since they may give your bird nausea, among other digestive problems.|
|10.||Dried beans||While cooked beans are an A-Okay treat for many birds, dry ones have a poison called hemagglutinin.|