Do Pigeons Eat Sunflower Seeds

Do Pigeons Eat Sunflower Seeds? Everything You Need To Know

Though pigeons primarily feed on to seed-type food, all types of seeds might not be good options for them. Thus, while feeding sunflower seeds to any pigeon, it’s mandatory for you to be concerned about their quality and validity. 

So, do pigeons eat sunflower seeds? Yes, pigeons of all ages eat sunflower seeds. You can say sunflower seeds are pigeons’ favorite foods.  However, you should be aware of baby pigeons as seeds can sometimes result in health issues in their cases.  

In this article, we will discuss every detail of sunflower seeds related to the pigeon’s diet. If you have a pet pigeon, you should stay with the article for the benefit of you and your pet. 

Can You Feed Sunflower Seeds To Pigeons?

Yes, you can feed sunflower seeds to pigeons as they are quite fond of this. Not only pigeons, but you can also feed sunflower seeds to any other bird. Sunflower seeds are a good source of nutrition that can keep pigeons healthy. But the whole nutrition can’t be fulfilled by the sunflower seeds only. 

According to some experts, feeding sunflower seeds to pigeons is one of the best foods. Not only for the nutrition but also the taste of these seeds is good that attracts the pigeons. However, don’t feed them an excess amount otherwise, it will cause some health issues.  

Can You Feed Sunflower Seeds To Pigeons

The pigeons love sunflower seeds more than you love your pet. But there is a question, in which form should you feed the sunflower seeds? The answer depends on the type of pigeons. 

Sometimes mature pigeons eat sunflower seeds with shells. They can easily break through the shells to get kernels. But feeding shells to baby pigeons are not recommended because their digestive system is not good enough. 

Moreover, you can feed mature pigeons two types of seeds. One is the striped sunflower seeds and the other one is black oil seeds. They often like to eat black oil seeds more than striped ones. On the other hand, you can feed sunflower seeds mixed with other seeds also. 

You can feed them with feeders. But most pigeons like to eat directly from the ground. You have to take extra care in feeding that pigeons take no excess amount of sunflower seeds. 

Do Pigeons Like Sunflower seeds?

Yes, they like sunflower seeds. Even 50% of their nutrition can come from sunflower seeds. Also, the sunflower seeds have a good taste that pigeons love to eat. For this reason, they may sometimes eat an excess amount of these seeds. 

Do Pigeons Like Sunflower seeds

The sunflower seeds contain a good amount of fat that satisfies the bird’s diet. Likewise, these seeds have other nutritional value along with fat. Therefore, they like to eat sunflower seeds more than other common seeds. 

Health Benefits And Risks For Pigeons Eating Sunflower Seeds

Though sunflower seeds may sometimes be risky for pigeons, they will benefit pigeons’ health more. However, the seeds are advantageous for humans and pigeons. Here we mention sunflower seeds’ health benefits.

  • Sunflower seeds contain vast amounts of minerals and vitamins. Vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and even the majority of the vitamins present in these seeds. 
Health Benefits And Risks For Pigeons Eating Sunflower Seeds

These vitamins can fight against any disease as they can boost the immune system. Besides, eating sunflower seeds will improve blood flow.

  • Also, seeds contain some other essential elements, including potassium, magnesium, fiber, zinc, and many more. These components can keep pigeons’ hearts well enough.
  • Sunflower seeds have a good amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. For this reason, you can say it is a good source of energy for all types of birds as well as humans also. The fat content above 28% satisfies pigeons more than any other elements.
  • Another health benefit is it can reduce any inflammation that occurs in pigeons. 
  • Some experts explained that sunflower seeds are good for maintaining blood sugar 

Though there are widespread benefits, there are some risks to getting sunflower seeds. Some of these are- 

  • The black oil seeds have one problem that can result in diarrhea in pigeons. Mainly the seed oil is responsible for this
  • Occasionally these seeds can weaken the pigeons if you feed excess amounts

How Do You Prepare Sunflower Seeds For Pigeons?

How Do You Prepare Sunflower Seeds For Pigeons

To prepare sunflower seeds, these are the things you must follow accordingly,

  1. You have to harvest sunflower seeds first
  2. When it is ready to harvest, you should cut off the flower
  3. Then hang it in warm conditions. Make sure that the place is dry and has good air circulation conditions
  4. After hanging it for three or more weeks, the seeds will drop automatically
  5. Some seeds will remain on the heads. You can drop them by knocking them against anything
  6. Then fully dry them to reduce the moisture content to a minimum level
  7. Then you can feed them to pigeons without any processing

How Much Sunflower Seeds Should Pigeons Eat?

The pigeons should not eat excessive amounts of sunflower seeds. Anywhere between 30 to 35 grams or one small cup is a healthy amount for their consumption in this case. Excessive amounts can cause health damage to pigeons. As we mentioned before, excessive amounts of taking black oil seeds can cause diarrhea. Sometimes it can result in weight gain. 

How Much Sunflower Seeds Should Pigeons Eat

Moreover, excessive amounts of striped seeds can hinder the performance of pigeons. However, to maintain proper health and avoid diseases, pigeons should eat a limited amount of sunflower seeds. 

Can You Feed Sunflower Seeds to Baby Pigeons?

Yes, baby pigeons are also fond of sunflower seeds because of their taste. The parents of the pigeons feed them sunflower seeds. As baby pigeons need a good source of nutrition and energy for their growth, you can feed your pets sunflower seeds. 

However, one thing you should keep in your mind is that you don’t feed seeds with shells to the babies. That’s because the digestive system of baby pigeons is not well developed. They can eat anywhere they want. Here is a video that shows baby pigeons eating sunflower seeds. 

If you’re interested in learning more about pigeon dietary habits and preferences, you might find our articles on do pigeons eat bees and do pigeons eat insects, is it safe for them helpful. Our article on do pigeons eat bees sheds light on whether pigeons consume bees and if it has any effects on their health, while our article on do pigeons eat insects, is it safe for them explores the benefits and risks of incorporating insects into the pigeon’s diet. Check them out to deepen your understanding of pigeon dietary habits and preferences.


In this FAQ section, we will discuss some frequently asked questions about pigeons eating sunflower seeds.

Q: Can Pigeons Crack Open Sunflower Seeds?

Yes, most pigeons can break through the shells quite easily. Pigeons usually don’t eat the shells as they are not too swallowable. They just need the inner kernel. If you provide them with the shells, they can easily crack open the seeds. 

Q: Are Sunflower Seeds Good For Baby Pigeons?

Yes. Sunflowers seeds are good for baby pigeons as seeds contain essential elements. But it can cause digestive problems in baby pigeons periodically, which is quite harmful. Also, the high-fat content can result badly if you feed an excess amount. 

Final Words  

Sunflower seeds are one of the best sources that can provide pigeons with energy and other essential elements. 50% of pigeons’ daily diet can come from sunflower seeds. As they have fewer health problems compared to the benefits, they can be added to a daily diet of pigeons. 

Through this article, we answered the question in detail, Do Pigeons Eat Sunflower Seeds? Overall, always be wary of the time when you feed the seeds to pigeons that you should avoid excessive amounts. 

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