How Does Rice Kill Pigeons?

Rice does not kill pigeons. The rumor that uncooked rice swells in a bird’s stomach and causes it to explode is simply not true. The temperature in a bird’s stomach is not hot enough to cook the rice. Both cooked and uncooked rice are safe for wild pigeons to eat.

Pigeons and doves will enjoy rice, especially in winter when they need filling, easy-access food. It is important to feed them unseasoned rice, with no salt, spices, or herbs. The type of rice, whether short or long grain, does not matter to pigeons. Overall, rice is a suitable and appreciated food for wild pigeons.

How Does Rice Kill Pigeons

Can Rice Or Alka-seltzer Kill A Pigeon?

No, neither rice nor Alka-Seltzer can kill a pigeon. Rice, as discussed above, is safe for wild pigeons to eat. Alka-Seltzer does not pose any risk to wild pigeons either. The active ingredients in Alka-Seltzer are sodium bicarbonate and citric acid; both of these substances are harmless to birds when taken in small doses. It is important to note that Alka-Seltzer should not be used as a substitute for regular food.

1. Rice:

  • Use dry rice for this purpose.
  • Dried rice expands after being exposed to liquid, making the pigeon’s stomach fuller and potentially causing it to burst.
  • Pigeons are experts at regurgitating, so this method may not be very effective in killing them.
  • It can be used to drive away pigeons temporarily, but not as a surefire way to kill them.

2. Alka Seltzer:

  • Similar concept to the rice method – gas accumulation leading to pigeon explosion.
  • Pigeons have natural mechanisms that allow them to survive.
  • Not very useful for killing pigeons, but can be attempted for peace of mind.
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Which backyard birds like uncooked rice?

Finches, sparrows, cardinals, quails, wild turkeys, and pheasants all like to eat uncooked rice. Larger birds such as pigeons, blue jays, grackles, blackbirds, crows, and woodpeckers also eat uncooked rice but prefer to swallow it whole.

To keep these larger birds from dominating bird feeders meant for other songbirds, it can be helpful to provide a dedicated area with a platform feeder where uncooked rice is served.

This will attract the larger birds to a separate area, allowing the smaller songbirds to enjoy the more expensive delicacies intended for them.

Can Birds Eat Uncooked Rice?

Despite the myth that uncooked rice can kill or even cause birds to explode, it is not true. The idea that uncooked rice will absorb water in a bird’s stomach and cause it to expand or explode is simply a myth.

When rice is cooked, it reaches a temperature of 212 degrees, much hotter than a bird’s stomach, so it would not cause any harm.

Additionally, birds in the wild eat seeds, grains, and grasses, including rice, without any adverse effects. Therefore, it is perfectly safe for birds to eat uncooked rice.

Can Baby Birds Choke On Uncooked Rice?

Baby pigeons are highly unlikely to choke on uncooked rice. This is because young pigeons in the nest eat what their parents bring to them, and if the parents are small birds, rice grains are crushed into smaller pieces, mixed with other food items, and offered to the chicks in the nest.

Additionally, larger pigeons such as doves and pigeons eat rice as a whole grain, and their esophagus is much larger, reducing the risk of choking. Breeding pigeons are expected to bring only a small amount of rice to the chicks, and they switch to a high-protein diet while raising the young in the nest.

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During this period, insects and small vertebrates become the majority of the food items brought to young birds in the nest, with very little rice or similar grains low in proteins. Therefore, baby pigeons would not be fed much rice while in the nest, reducing the possibility of choking on uncooked rice.

Can Rice Be Dangerous To Pigeons?

Contrary to popular belief, rice is not dangerous to pigeons. The theory that dry rice will expand in a bird’s stomach and cause harm is largely overstated. In reality, the expansion of rice in a bird’s stomach does not occur.

Pigeons can safely eat rice without experiencing any negative effects. Therefore, there is no need to avoid feeding rice to pigeons based on this misconception.


Does feeding rice to pigeons kill them?

No, feeding uncooked rice to pigeons or any other birds does not kill them. This is a common misconception. Birds, including pigeons, can digest uncooked rice without any adverse effects.

Why is there a belief that rice kills pigeons?

The myth likely originated from the misconception that uncooked rice expands in a bird’s stomach, causing it to rupture or leading to health issues. However, this theory has been debunked by ornithologists and experts in bird biology.

What happens when birds eat uncooked rice?

When birds consume uncooked rice, it gets moistened in their digestive systems before being digested. Their bodies process the rice similarly to other grains they consume, breaking it down as part of their natural diet.

What foods should be avoided when feeding birds?

While uncooked rice is safe for birds, some foods should be avoided, such as processed foods, salty snacks, moldy or spoiled foods, as well as sugary or salty items, as they can be harmful to their health.

What are the best foods to feed pigeons and birds?

Birds, including pigeons, have varied diets. Offering them a mix of birdseed, cracked corn, oats, and various grains is a good way to provide nutrition. Additionally, fruits like berries or chopped vegetables can be suitable supplemental foods.

How Does Ingestion Of Rice Kill Pigeons?

When pigeons eat rice, the rice expands in their stomachs and can cause them to die.


There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that rice kills pigeons. However, some people believe that rice swells up inside the pigeon’s stomach, causing it to die.

If you still have any questions about how rice can kill pigeons, feel free to comment below.

Kathy Gonzales

I'm an author of I have kept pigeons as pets for over 20 years and have written several articles. Here in this blog, I cover topics such as how to care for pigeons, what to feed them, and how to keep them healthy.