What Can You Feed to Pigeons?

Pigeons are a common sight in urban environments around the world. Whether in parks, plazas, or city streets, these birds often seek out any available food source. However, not all food is suitable for pigeons, and feeding them the wrong items can be harmful to their health. Knowing what to feed pigeons can help ensure their well-being and reduce the risk of attracting large numbers of these birds to public areas.

Food You Can Feed To Your Pigeons:

  • 1. Wheat
  • 2. Biscuits
  • 3. Corn
  • 4. Millet
  • 5. Sunflower
  • 6. Water
  • 7. Berries
  • 8. Bread
  • 9. Nuts
  • 10. Rice
  • 11. Seeds
  • 12. Vegetables
What Can You Feed to Pigeons

How to Feed Your Pigeons

To ensure a balanced and nutritious diet for your pigeons, here are some foods you can feed them:

1. Corn

Corn kernels can be fed to pigeons either by cutting them into pieces or mixing them with pigeon food. Corn is a versatile cereal food that provides essential nutrients.

2. Wheat

Wheat is a crucial ingredient in pigeon food and is widely used in human foods as well. It can be included in packaged pigeon food or mixed with other grains. Some breeders feed pigeons solely on wheat for a specific period, depending on their digestion and health.

3. Pearl Millet

Pearl millet is another common cereal grain that can be fed to pigeons. It is often used as a main ingredient in pigeon food, especially during the summer season. Mixing it with wheat and corn can provide a nutritious diet for your pigeons.

4. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are an important source of energy for pigeons, especially during the winter season. Including sunflower seeds in their food helps them combat the cold weather. They can be a beneficial addition to pigeon food.

5. Linseed

Linseed is a great source of power and energy for pigeons and is often included in their diet, particularly during winter. Adding linseed to their food can provide essential nutrients and support their overall health.

6. Boiled Rice

While not as common as other foods, boiled rice can be fed to pigeons. Some experts include rice in pigeon food, but opinions may vary. Boiled rice can be a suitable alternative or occasional addition to their diet.

A combination of corn, wheat, pearl millet, sunflower seeds, linseed, and boiled rice can provide a complete and healthy diet for your pigeons. Ensure to take care of their water and food during the summer season to keep them well-nourished.

What Do Pigeons Eat In The Wild

Pigeons in the wild have a varied diet depending on their species and habitat. They are omnivorous and can eat a variety of food. Wood pigeons, for example, forage for seeds, berries, fruit, and grains.

Pigeons can also be seen pecking on lawns and in fields, searching for seeds, and sometimes insects and earthworms. They are also skilled at cleaning up any leftover scraps or seeds that have fallen from bird feeders or tables in backyards.

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What Do Pigeons Eat In The City

City-dwelling pigeons, also known as feral pigeons, primarily eat scraps of food dropped by humans or food found in garbage bins. They have adapted to their urban environments and can eat a wide range of food items. These resourceful pigeons are able to find food and generally do not go hungry in the city.

What Are Pigeons’ Favorite Food

Pigeons enjoy a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, seeds, and grains. Wild pigeons are not picky eaters and will readily consume fruits, vegetables, seeds, and grains. Woodpigeons, in particular, have a fondness for leafy green vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage.

Domestic pigeons, on the other hand, have more limited access to food and often rely on commercially available pigeon seed mixes that contain grains and vegetables like corn, peas, wheat, and sorghum.

What Do Pigeons Eat In Captivity

In captivity, domestic pigeons are typically fed commercial seed mixes that contain grains and seeds such as cracked corn, millet, wheat, and sorghum. These mixes are often enriched with vitamins and brewer’s yeast. It’s also important to provide fresh vegetables and fruits, including cabbage and other leafy greens, to ensure a well-rounded diet for pigeons in captivity.

What Seeds Do Pigeons Eat

Pigeons eat a variety of seeds, with their favorites being grass seeds and sunflower seeds. They also enjoy eating grains like wheat, corn, sorghum, millet, rice, and flax. These seeds and grains make up a large part of their natural diet.

What Insects Do Pigeons Eat

Pigeons eat a variety of insects, including ants, flies, beetles, spiders, and earthworms. While insects do not make up a large portion of their diet, pigeons will eat them if they come across them while foraging on a lawn or woodland floor. Insects provide pigeons with proteins and fats that are beneficial to their diet.

What Fruit Do Pigeons Eat

Pigeons are opportunistic eaters and will enjoy a variety of fruits. Some fruits that pigeons commonly eat include grapes, raisins, plums, cherries, and blueberries. They can also eat bananas, apples (without the seeds), and pears, but it’s important to chop these fruits into small pieces to prevent choking.

What Not To Feed Pigeons

Pigeons should not be fed avocados, as they are toxic to them. Additionally, apple seeds should be avoided. It is also important to avoid feeding pigeons food with a high salt content, as well as anything containing oil, caffeine, or chocolate.

What Do Pigeons Drink

Pigeons drink water to stay hydrated. They have bills that allow them to drink water in a unique way, using a straw-like mechanism that enables them to swallow continuously without having to tip their heads backwards. They do not need any other liquids besides water.

How Often Do Pigeons Eat

Pigeons are known to be opportunistic feeders and can often be seen searching for food or perching in various locations. On average, adult pigeons consume approximately one-tenth of their body weight each day. In a captive setting, pigeons typically only need to be fed once a day, but they will naturally graze and pick at food throughout the day if it is available.

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What Time Of Day Do Pigeons Feed

Pigeons do not have specific feeding times and will eat throughout the day. They are opportunistic feeders and will scavenge for food whenever they can. They may graze on lawns, peck at fallen leaves and shrubs, or search for food around urban areas and garbage bins. Pigeons are always on the lookout for something tasty to eat.

What Do Pigeons Eat In The Winter

In the winter, pigeons will eat anything edible that they can find. City-dwelling pigeons will continue to eat the same scraps dropped by humans that they eat in the summer. In rural areas, their usual food sources of grains and seeds may be scarce during the coldest months, so they will eat acorns, leaves, and grasses to survive. Pigeons are resourceful birds and can find food in various sources.

What Do Pigeons Eat In The Summer

In the summer, pigeons have access to a wider variety of food. They eat seeds, grains, fruits, and berries that are naturally available during this time. They also forage for insects and grubs on the ground.

Pigeons in urban areas may scavenge around refuse bins and areas where humans leave leftover food. Unlike other bird species, pigeons breed all year round, so they don’t have an urgent need for extra protein during the summer months.

What Do Baby Pigeons Eat

Baby pigeons primarily eat a substance called “crop milk” for the first four days of their life. This milk is regurgitated by their parents and is rich in fat and protein. After four days, they continue to be fed crop milk along with seeds for an additional five days. Once they reach nine days, they start eating mainly seeds, fruits, and occasionally insects and earthworms.

Pigeon milk can be replicated by blending oats with water or using a special baby bird liquid formula. Baby pigeons can start eating solid food after about three weeks, but their bills won’t be strong enough to consume hard seeds for another two to three months.

How Do Pigeons Find Food

Pigeons find food by searching for it in various places. They are known to gather beneath backyard feeders, where they can easily pick up fallen seeds or leftover scraps. In rural areas, they often peck through farmers’ fields in search of grains and fresh vegetables. With their ability to eat a wide range of foods, pigeons don’t have to search too hard to find their next meal.

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How Much Do Pigeons Eat

On average, a pigeon will eat about a tenth of its body weight each day. This means that a 350-gram pigeon, which is about the size of a tin of soup, would consume approximately the equivalent of a slice of bread each day. However, solely relying on a slice of bread would not provide enough nutrition for the pigeon in the long run.


Do Pigeons eat bread?

While bread is not harmful for pigeons to eat in small amounts, it should not make up a large portion of their diet. Pigeons need a balanced and diverse range of healthier foods to get all the nutrients they need. Feeding them too much bread can cause them to miss out on these essential nutrients.

Do Pigeons eat rice?

Yes, pigeons can eat rice. Both cooked and uncooked rice are safe for them to eat. While rice may not be the most nutritious option, it can still be part of a balanced diet for pigeons. Wholemeal rice is a better choice as it offers more nutrients compared to white rice.

Do pigeons get fat?

Yes, pigeons can get fat. They are known to be homebodies and enjoy lazing around, perching, and feeding. Pigeons often become plump from constantly feeding from a bird table in a garden. However, this is usually not a sign of a health issue. Many birds, including pigeons, require high-fat diets, and they are good at efficiently fattening themselves up.

What animals do Pigeons eat?

Pigeons primarily eat grains and seeds, but they also need some fat and protein in their diet. They can get these nutrients from nuts, as well as from other sources like earthworms, snails, and small lizards. In urban areas, feral pigeons may scavenge for discarded chicken and burger scraps.

Should I be concerned about what my pigeon eats?

Yes, you should be concerned about what your pigeon eats. While pigeons and doves can consume a wide variety of foods, it is important to ensure they have a healthy diet of seeds, fruits, nuts, and vegetables to keep them healthy. Be cautious of urban pigeons that may consume harmful foods from rubbish bins or other sources.


In conclusion, pigeons can be fed a variety of foods including seeds, grains, fruits, and vegetables. It is important to ensure that any human food given to pigeons is safe for them to consume. Avoid feeding them foods that are salty, sugary, or processed, as these can be harmful to their health.

Providing a balanced diet for pigeons can help keep them healthy and maintain their natural behaviors. However, it is important to note that pigeons are also capable of foraging for their own food in the wild. If you choose to feed pigeons, do so in moderation and with consideration for their well-being.

Kathy Gonzales

I'm an author of pigeonsmatter.com. 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.