Do Wild Garden Birds Like Porridge Oats & Is it Good For Them?

Shaun Bird | Updated: October 14, 2020

Oats or ‘porridge oats’ are similar in size to birdseed, they’re classed as a ‘superfood’ and humans can eat them without any issue but can a bird eat porridge oats too?

The simple answer is yes, birds can and should eat porridge oats.  Oats are healthy, nutritious, and inexpensive food to feed birds as an occasional alternative!

oats

Just ensure the birds have an adequate amount of water available separately, then porridge oats are an incredible alternative for any bird owner.

Nutritional Value of Oats

Check out the nutritional value of these typical ‘Quaker’ JUMBO rolled oats

Typical Values Per 10g
Fat 0.8g
of which saturated 0.15g
Carbohydrate 6g
of which sugars 0.11g
Fibre 0.9g
Protein 1.1g
Salt 0.0g

Allergy Advice:  May contain Wheat & Barley

How Do I Prep Oats For the Birds?

There are a number of ways to do this. The easiest and simpler way is to place them out as you would any other form of birdseed.

Pour a small handful of oats onto a tray or bird table, load them into a seed feeder, or simply scatter the uncooked oats on the ground for them to discover or mix with larger seeds.

What about a bird feeding station like below?

Tom Chambers Grand Bird Station
Gardman A04391 Complete Bird Feeding Kit, Natural, 45.5x45.5x226 cm
Honeyfields 78486097 Large Wild Bird Feeder Pole Station with triple hooks & INCLUDES 3 hanging feeders for peanuts, seed, sunflower, fat balls, Black, 18.0 cm*50.0 cm*9.5 cm
Kingfisher Bird Feeding Station
Riverside Woodcraft Premium Bird Feeding Station With Anti Bacteria Coating
Brand
Tom Chambers
Gardman
Honeyfields
Kingfisher
Riverside
Total Height
2.30 metres
2.26 metres
1.88 metres
1.90 metres
1.8 metres
Pole Dimension
32mm
25mm
20mm
N/A
55mm
Water Bowl
Feeders Included
Weight
7.0kg
1.0kg
2.06kg
0.259kg
N/A
Tom Chambers Grand Bird Station
Brand
Tom Chambers
Total Height
2.30 metres
Pole Dimension
32mm
Water Bowl
Feeders Included
Weight
7.0kg
Reviews
Gardman A04391 Complete Bird Feeding Kit, Natural, 45.5x45.5x226 cm
Brand
Gardman
Total Height
2.26 metres
Pole Dimension
25mm
Water Bowl
Feeders Included
Weight
1.0kg
Reviews
Honeyfields 78486097 Large Wild Bird Feeder Pole Station with triple hooks & INCLUDES 3 hanging feeders for peanuts, seed, sunflower, fat balls, Black, 18.0 cm*50.0 cm*9.5 cm
Brand
Honeyfields
Total Height
1.88 metres
Pole Dimension
20mm
Water Bowl
Feeders Included
Weight
2.06kg
Reviews
Kingfisher Bird Feeding Station
Brand
Kingfisher
Total Height
1.90 metres
Pole Dimension
N/A
Water Bowl
Feeders Included
Weight
0.259kg
Reviews
Riverside Woodcraft Premium Bird Feeding Station With Anti Bacteria Coating
Brand
Riverside
Total Height
1.8 metres
Pole Dimension
55mm
Water Bowl
Feeders Included
Weight
N/A
Reviews

Disclosure:  Shaun Bird, Owner of Bird Feeder Expert is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

This makes sure that, if there are numerous ones in a single sitting, no one bird is consuming only oats, but rather that they are more evenly distributed amongst the group.

Consider taking the time to put the oats into a suet cake. This fatty treat is perfect during the winter months and is certainly enjoyed by birds.

It’s important to ensure you only feed them small amounts in any one sitting and that they have enough water available.

Unlike seeds, oats, as with other cereal grains, quickly turns to a pulp when exposed to liquid. It’s why your cereal turns “mushy” or “soggy” when in milk for too long.

 

Will This Help? >> Feed Small Birds with these feeders <<

 

Never cook oats for the bird. Hardened porridge can be difficult for birds to eat and even damage their beaks so it should be avoided at all costs.

As the majority of oats for sale are uncooked, this will rarely ever be an issue for most people.

Are Porridge Oats Good For Birds?

Porridge Oats are, without a doubt, excellent for most birds. However, there are certain rules one must abide by when feeding them.

Firstly, they must be fed in moderation.  Too much, without water readily available or after being cooked can actually be harmful to the bird.

Oats are an excellent source of both carbohydrates as well as fibre and contain more protein and fat than most other types of grains.

They are loaded with many important vitamins and minerals as well as numerous antioxidant plant compounds.  Only half of a cup of dry, uncooked oats contain:

They are incredibly healthy for both humans and birds alike, arguably one of the most nutrient-dense foods birds can eat.

Oats shouldn’t be eaten at the exclusion of other foods.  As part of a balanced diet, there is little else that can compete nutritionally with porridge oats.

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Many studies have also shown that oats are rich in anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants, but also a specific antioxidant is known as “avenathramides”.

This antioxidant can help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. Antioxidants on their own are also powerful and helpful, even for humans!

They provide protection against the effects of the environment, toxins and the harmful free radicals.

Antioxidants, as the name actually implies, work to break down toxins and poisons existing inside the body, actively working to help make you and your bird healthier.

The Bottom Line

So long as oats are uncooked and fed with plenty of water, your bird will be happy you included this healthy and tasty addition to their meal.

Just be prepared for a lot more chirping once they realize you’ve really got the goods!