Can Birds Popcorn? A Comprehensive Guide

Find out if it's safe for birds to chow down on a snack we all love. Discover the types of popcorn that are suitable and the appropriate portion size for feathered friends.
Can Birds Eat popcorn?

Yes, birds can eat popcorn. However, it is important to consider the portion size and the type of popcorn given to birds as some forms may not be suitable for them. Understanding bird diets and nutritional needs is crucial when feeding them supplemental treats like popcorn.

Understanding Bird Diets

Popcorn as a Supplement to Bird Diets

Popcorn can be offered to birds as an occasional treat, but it should not be a staple in their diet. Like any treat, it should be given in moderation. Popcorn can be a fun and enriching snack for birds, but it should not replace their regular, balanced diet.

Nutritional Benefits of Popcorn for Birds


Popcorn contains antioxidants that can help promote a bird's overall health.


Popcorn is a good source of fiber, which can aid in digestion and help maintain healthy gut flora.


Popcorn contains trace amounts of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc that are beneficial for birds.

Low-Calorie Snack

Plain, air-popped popcorn is a low-calorie snack that can be part of a healthy diet for birds, as long as it's fed in moderation.

Potential Risks of Feeding Popcorn to Birds

Choking Hazards

While rare, there is a possibility of choking hazards with popcorn, particularly with small or un-popped kernels.

Digestive Issues

Overfeeding popcorn to birds can cause digestive issues.

Unhealthy Additives and Seasonings

Popcorn with added salt, butter, or other seasonings may not be safe for birds to consume.


Feeding too much popcorn can lead to weight gain and other health issues for birds.

Preparing Popcorn for Birds

Air-Popping Method

Air-popping is the safest method to prepare popcorn for birds, as it results in plain popcorn without any added oils, salt, or butter.

Oven-Popping Method

Oven-popping plain popcorn without added ingredients is another safe option.

Microwaving Plain Popcorn

Microwaving plain popcorn without additives is also acceptable for bird consumption.

Alternatives to Popcorn for Birds

Puffed Rice and Puffed Millet

Puffed rice and puffed millet can be suitable alternatives to popcorn for birds.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should make up the bulk of a bird's diet and are excellent alternatives to popcorn.

Cooked Grains and Legumes

Grains and legumes can serve as healthy supplements to a bird's diet.

Birdseed and Pellets

High-quality birdseed and pellets are essential staples in a bird's diet.

Tips for Feeding Popcorn and Other Treats to Birds

Monitor Bird's Reaction

Observe how your bird reacts to popcorn and other treats, as every bird is different.

Introduce New Foods Gradually

Introduce popcorn and other treats to your bird's diet slowly to avoid digestive issues.

Combine Popcorn with Other Healthy Foods

Try mixing popcorn with fruits or other healthy snacks your birds enjoy.

Observe Portion Control and Frequency

Feed popcorn and other treats in moderation, keeping to small portions.

Species-Specific Considerations

Parrots and Popcorn

Small to medium-sized parrots can typically safely eat popcorn, but portion control is essential.

Songbirds and Popcorn

Songbirds can also enjoy popcorn but may prefer softer foods.

Pigeons and Doves and Popcorn

Pigeons and doves may find popcorn appealing. However, monitor their intake closely.

Chickens and Popcorn

Chickens generally enjoy popcorn and can benefit from the added fiber in their diet.


In conclusion, birds can safely eat a small amount of plain, air-popped popcorn as an occasional treat. However, it is important to consider the portion size and to avoid giving birds flavored or unhealthy types of popcorn. As with any treat, it is important to feed popcorn in moderation and to ensure that birds are still receiving a balanced diet. Offering a variety of foods and recognizing signs of a healthy bird diet is crucial in maintaining your bird's wellbeing.

Medically Reviewed by Ibrar Ahmed, DVM

Dr. Ibrar Ahmed is a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) who took a Master of Philosophy in Animal Nutrition. He is looking after 2 dog shelters and a well-established dog research center in terms of food and care since 2019.

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