The 10 Best and Worst Things to Feed a Crow
Whether you own a pet Crow, take care of one in your back yard, rehabilitate corvids, or take frequent walks in the wilderness to feed them, you should know what things will delight them the most – and which to avoid!
Chocolate is a wonderful treat to share with human family members, but it can be harmful or fatal to your pet bird. Chocolate poisoning first affects a bird’s digestive system, causing vomiting and diarrhea. As the condition progresses, the bird’s central nervous system is affected, first causing seizures and eventually death.
2. Apple Seeds
Believe it or not, apples – along with other members of the rose family including cherries, peaches, apricots, and pears – contain trace amounts of Cyanide within their seeds. While the fruit of the apple is fine for your bird, be aware that in addition to the poisonous seeds, there may be pesticides present on the fruit’s skin. Be sure to thoroughly cleanse and core any apple pieces that you share with your bird to avoid exposure to these toxins.
The skin and pit of this popular fruit had been known to cause cardiac distress and eventual heart failure in pet bird species. Although there is some debate to the degree of toxicity of avocados, it is generally advised to adopt a “better safe than sorry” attitude toward them and keep guacomole and other avocado products as far away from pet birds as possible.
While the use of limited amounts of onion or garlic powders as flavorings is generally regarded as acceptable, excessive consumption of onions causes vomiting, diarrhea, and a host of other digestive problems. It has been found that prolonged exposure can lead to a blood condition called hemolytic anemia, which is followed by respiratory distress and eventual death.
Although responsible bird owners would never dream of offering their pet an alcoholic drink, there have been instances in which free roaming birds have attained alcohol poisoning through helping themselves to unattended cocktails. Alcohol depresses the organ systems of birds and can be fatal. Make sure that your bird stays safe by securing him in his cage whenever alcohol is served in your home.
Mushrooms are a type of fungus, and have been known to cause digestive upset in companion birds. Caps and stems of some varieties can induce liver failure.
7. Tomato Leaves
Tomatoes, like potatoes and other nightshades, have a tasty fruit that is fine when used as a treat for your bird. The stems, vines, and leaves, however, are highly toxic to your pet. Make sure that any time you offer your bird a tomato treat it has been properly cleaned and sliced, with the green parts removed, so that your bird will avoid exposure to any toxins.
While all living beings need regulated amounts of sodium in their systems, too much salt can lead to a host of health problems in birds, including excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, and death. Be sure to keep watch over the amount of salty foods your bird consumes
Caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and tea are popular among people – but allowing your bird to indulge in these drinks can be extremely hazardous. Caffeine causes cardiac malfunction in birds, and is associated with increased heartbeat, arrhythmia, hyperactivity, and cardiac arrest. Share a healthy drink of pure fruit or vegetable juice with your bird instead – this will satisfy both your bird’s taste-buds and nutritional requirements.
10. Dried Beans
Cooked beans are a favorite treat of many birds, but raw, dry bean mixes can be extremely harmful to your pet. Uncooked beans contain a poison called hemaglutin which is very toxic to birds. To avoid exposure, make sure to thoroughly cook any beans that you choose to share with your bird.
fruits, grains, nuts, acorns, snails, mussels, small birds, eggs, rabbits, mice, toads, crayfish, snakes, lizards, salamanders, rats, grasshoppers, cutworms
Blueberries, strawberries, apricots or other “wild” fruits normally found in your neck of the woods or just about any kind of fruit imaginable is good for your bird. Full of taste and various vitamins, fruit is a wonderful source of nutrients and is a favorite among the vast majority of birds.
Crows scavenge a wide variety of nuts during their daily routine, primarily pine nuts, walnuts, acorns and chestnuts. They also have a sweet tooth for unsalted, shelled peanuts.
Not the kind of commodity you can find in your local grocery, but check your local fish bait or reptile supply for non-toxic snails and your crow will thank you.
Raw egg yolks, whole eggs or hard-boiled eggs are a favored treat high in needed protein. Organic eggs are best.
5. Worms and Grubs
Another natural favorite, worms and grubs can be bought from most fish bait shops or reptile supplies. Try putting them inside a toy the crow can get into with a tool or its beak to give your bird a little extra entertainment.
6. Whole Grain Bread or Pasta
No matter whether it’s cooked or uncooked, birds love pasta. The good thing is, it’s full of energy-enhancing carbohydrates! Try boiling some bowtie pasta with vegetables and serving it to your bird when cool. If your pet prefers his pasta crunchy, fill a few raw macaroni noodles with peanut butter for a fun and tasty snack.
Whole grain breads taste great, and are a wonderful source of fiber. Try offering your pet small bites of nutty breads as a treat for good behavior. Be careful not to confuse this with white bread, which is nothing but empty calories and sugar that can gum up their little bellies.
Believe it or not, manybirds enjoy snacking on popcorn! You can serve your bird either popped or unpopped kernels. If you choose to serve the popcorn unpopped, boil the kernels for a bit in plain water to soften the tough hulls. If you desire, you can pop the kernels for your bird using a very light amount of pure vegetable oil. Be sure to never give your bird microwave popcorn. These varieties are extremely high in fat and salt, which can be harmful to a bird’s health.
8. Raw grains
Grain farmers often complain when flocks of wild birds descend on their crops to feast. A hungry group of birds can strip a field of grain in no time — because grains are nutritious, and very good for them! Whole grains are another good source of vital protein, not to mention beneficial carbohydrates. Most pet supply stores that carry quality bird feed will have a good balance of grains and seeds.
9. Low Phosphorous Cat Food
If you’re in a pinch, a crow will usually find cat food palatable, but you need to take care that it is quality food with low phosphates, as most brands contain a lot of filler and additives that are not good for your bird (or your cat, for that matter). The label will usually tell you, or look for the variety advertising renal health and a good PH balance.
Although many humans have trouble eating spicy peppers, birds can definitely take the heat. It seems that our avian friends lack the taste receptors that pick up on a pepper’s stinging bite, which makes them a favorite of birds around the world. Try giving your pet a nice fresh chile or banana pepper and watch him chomp through it to get to the meat and seeds inside. You may find out that you have quite a hot little tamale on your hands!