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Can Birds Eat Quinoa? (Uncooked and Cooked)

Quinoa is considered a super grain. It contains myriads of nutritious elements. Not only does it fill your stomach but, it has extreme health benefits. Apart from humans, a lot of animals eat quinoa as well. Our focus today will be quinoa as bird food.

What if you can replace the toxic bird foods with this super healthy quinoa instead? Will birds love them? Here we have details on if birds eat quinoa and whether it is beneficial for their health or not! 

Can birds eat uncooked and cooked quinoa?

Birds can eat quinoa. In fact, Most of the birds enjoy the taste of it. Quinoa can be served both cooked and uncooked to your birds. Quinoa is a superfood. You can ensure your birds’ good health as quinoa is packed with various nutrients. Red quinoa is considered the best for birds. 

Quinoa is one of the tastiest and wholesome grains that you can offer to the birds. Birds love eating it. It contains protein, calcium, iron, fiber, potassium, flavonoids, and vitamins. Quinoa varies slightly in taste and nutritional contents according to its types and colors.

Some common varieties are white, black, red, purple, green, and orange quinoa.

For birds, red quinoa is the tastiest and most nutritious. The difference depends on the concentration of the plant compounds. Again, red quinoa has betalain in it that is responsible for the red color.

However, one should not stress about not finding the red one specifically. Instead, give any quinoa as all types are healthy.

Raw quinoa can be served soaked in water and sprouted. Again, the cooked quinoa is nothing but boiled in water.  One can also add other ingredients such as vegetables, corns, birdseed, unsalted nuts, sweet potatoes, and eggs with quinoa.

How to feed quinoa to birds?

Birds can eat both cooked and uncooked quinoa. We have written down some ideas on how you can feed quinoa to your birds. 

Cooked quinoa:

Cooking quinoa is one of the best options. It does not take much time and effort. 

First, wash the quinoa properly to get rid of contaminants. Begin with boiling some water into a pan. Then put the quinoa grains inside. You will understand it’s fully cooked when you see the grains become bigger and softer. 

Quinoa usually takes 10 to 12 minutes to cook. For enriched flavor one may add seeds, unsalted nuts, corns, vegetables, and eggs. Serve the quinoa once it reaches room temperature. Also, to avoid making it repeatedly, cook quinoa in bigger batches and store it for later. 

Quinoa sprout:

The sprouted quinoa tastes good as well. It also requires easy processes. First, take the amount you will serve your birds. Wash them to avoid any germs or contaminants. 

Now, put the quinoa grains in a bowl and pour some cold water into it. Soak the quinoa for at least 1 hour. After 1 hour, rinse and drain the water. Transfer the quinoa to a fine colander. Rinse the quinoa every few hours. 

Sprouting of the quinoa will take at least 24 hours. However, you can keep it for two days for a softer consistency. 

Quinoa flakes: 

Quinoa flakes are flattened grains for instant cooking. They contain the same nutritional value as the unprocessed ones. 

It does not require washing. You can either serve it uncooked or cooked to your birds. When cooking, use the boiling water technique. Quinoa will form a soft and fluffy texture.  

If you are serving it uncooked, you can mix some water or other ingredients such as vegetables, eggs, or corn. Moreover, you can give the dry quinoa flakes to your birds. 

Dry uncooked quinoa seeds: 

Not all birds would enjoy the dry uncooked quinoa seeds as they include an outer saponin coat that is bitter. If you want to avoid the bitter taste, you can buy organic quinoa from the markets. The suppliers remove the bitter outer coating.

Without bitterness, the birds can surely enjoy the dry uncooked quinoa seeds. Again, you can serve it with sweet potato, unsalted nuts, eggs, vegetables, and more. 

Another possible way to serve uncooked dry quinoa is to make them sprouted. For that, you can soak them in water for several hours and they will be ready to serve.

Is quinoa good or bad for birds?

Quinoa is healthy for birds. With its super nutritious value, quinoa could ensure positive health for your birds. Your birds will enjoy them both cooked and uncooked. 

Major nutritious elements found in quinoa are essential flavonoids, quality fiber, iron, magnesium, and vitamins. These are good for a bird’s heart and body development.

Garden and wild birds: 

Both garden and wild birds can eat quinoa. They will not have any problem adjusting their diets to quinoa. Again, it does not matter whether you give them cooked or uncooked quinoa. They will enjoy any type for sure. 

However, if it is uncooked dry quinoa, make sure you buy the organic one. The organic type does not contain any bitter coating of saponin. Otherwise, many birds may not even touch it. 

Baby birds: 

For baby birds, quinoa is equally good. Nevertheless, since they are babies, you should be more careful and not serve them dry or raw quinoa. It will be difficult for them to swallow. Also, their digestive system may not find it suitable.

You can also avoid the sprouted version. 

Babies require more soft foods. Hence it will be best if you can serve the baby birds with cooked quinoa. Cooked quinoa is usually soft and fluffier in consistency. 

Is quinoa safe for birds? Can these birds eat quinoa?

By now, we have got fair ideas on the benefits of quinoa as bird food.  Here we have listed several birds to find out whether all birds eat quinoa.

Parakeets, Budgies, and Lovebirds:

These birds are small to medium-sized. Despite that, it is safe for them to eat quinoa. The texture, grain size, and nutty flavor make quinoa a very relish food. It is healthy for their diets as well.


Quinoa can be given to parrots as well. Quinoa is high in protein. Protein is essential for parrots to develop their feather and keep their body temperature warm.

Parrots can eat both raw and cooked quinoa. Parrots can even eat the leaves of quinoa trees.


Cockatiels need 60 to 70 percent of seed and grains on their diet. Quinoa as grains can serve with plenty of nutrition. You can either serve it cooked, raw, or sprouted to cockatiels. Cockatiels also eat the leaves of a quinoa tree.


Though canaries may need seeds only, a balanced mix of seed, dry food, grains, various greens is necessary for their diet. Quinoa can be an ideal grain for it is healthy and safe. The canaries will devour it for sure.

Doves and Pigeons:

It is safe for doves and pigeons to eat quinoa.  They love eating quinoa. It can be served to them as cooked, uncooked, or sprouted.


This type of bird mainly feeds on insects and worms. Though robins may not depend on quinoa for their diet, they would not mind eating it. It not only tastes good but also can bring many health benefits.


Finches feed on seeds, grains, certain fruits such as berries, grasses, insects, and vegetables. So yes, quinoa can be the ideal food for them. It is beneficial for their diet and health.

How healthy is quinoa for birds?

Quinoa is a super grain for birds as it holds many nutritious values. So what are some of the key health benefits of feeding quinoa to birds? 

Nutritive elements:

Quinoa contains fiber, protein, copper, thiamin, and vitamins. Protein is essential for birds to develop their feathers and also maintain body temperature. 

Quinoa also contains iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate. Magnesium is crucial for the bone development and metabolism of birds. 

Fiber in metabolism:

Studies suggest that quinoa contains more fiber compared to other grains. Fiber helps in digestion and also lowers the cholesterol and sugar levels of a bird’s body. 

Benefit of flavonoids:

In quinoa important flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol are found. These flavonoids help in antiviral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-depressant effects in birds.  

Keeps heart healthy: 

The fiber in the quinoa lowers the level of cholesterol. It also contains omega-3-fatty acids. Both of these factors works wonder in keeping the heart healthy and lessening the risk of coronary diseases.

Benefits of lysine: 

Quinoa is packed with lysine. The amount is significant than most other grains and legumes. The deficiency of lysine can cause diseases such as anemia, tiredness, bloodshot eyes, and reproduction.

Final thoughts:

Birds can eat both cooked and uncooked quinoa. They enjoy the taste. This superfood help birds keep healthy as it has a plethora of nutrients. While red quinoa is considered best, the others have nutritive value as well. Hence, replacing toxic bird foods with such super grain would be a great idea.