In cities, pigeons peck at almost any leftover food they find. However, this food is not species-appropriate. Because the birds are actually grain eaters. We will show you how to feed pigeons in a species-appropriate manner.

pigeon feed

Pigeons (Columbidae) are naturally vegetarians. Since they cannot crush seeds, fruits and berries, they ingest the pigeon food whole and swallow it. For a healthy diet for birds, their feed should contain the following nutrients:

  • carbohydrates
  • protein
  • fat
  • Vitamins
  • minerals
  • trace elements

A species-appropriate feeding also includes water, since pigeons need liquid to digest and process the feed. Therefore you should offer a bowl of tap water next to the pigeon feed.

favorite food

Pigeons prefer to eat grains. It is not possible to say exactly which ones they particularly like to eat. As with other wild birds, this depends on the animal in question. Human food such as cooked pasta, potatoes, pizza leftovers and, above all, bread crumbs are only supposed to be among the birds’ favorite foods. They only serve as a substitute to satisfy their hunger, but this food is not species-appropriate. They are harmed by the high salt content in food. Bread crumbs can also begin to ferment in the stomach, which causes pain and can lead to death. Therefore, when feeding, you should avoid human food and offer wild pigeons a mixture of grains.

Feed pigeons appropriately

The ideal pigeon feed contains a mixture of different components. Feed pigeons correctly and species-appropriately with the following foods.


Grains popular in pigeon birds are:

  • Anis
  • Buckwheat: carbohydrates
  • beans
  • Dinkelkorner
  • dried peas: protein
  • dried corn: carbohydrates, fat
  • Barley: carbohydrates
  • Oats: carbohydrates
  • Hemp (especially popular): protein, fat
  • Millet (especially popular)
  • Flaxseed (especially popular): protein, fat
  • Cardinal
  • Marine thistlesate
  • Rapeseed: protein, fat
  • sesame together
  • Soybeans: protein
  • Sunflower seeds (ideally shelled): protein, fat
  • Wheat: protein, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc
  • raw brown rice: carbohydrates
  • Wicken
Tip: Unsalted peanuts are also very popular with wild and breeding pigeons. They are also a good source of protein and fat for the birds.

vegetables and herbs

Herbs and vegetables should not be the main component of the feed. The proportion should be less than ten percent.

Have a high proportion of beta-carotene:

  • carrots
  • lettuce
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach

The following are suitable for strengthening the immune system:

  • chives
  • Knoblauch
  • onions
  • rosemary
  • eucalyptus
Tip: So that pigeons can eat the herbs and vegetables offered, you should chop them up and mix them with the grains.

pigeon grit

Grit is a digestive aid for pigeon birds. These are insoluble quartz grains two to three millimeters in size with a rounded grain shape that support the grinding effect in the stomach. In this way, the feed can be better utilized, which increases the well-being and vitality of the birds.


Pecking stones as an additional offer provide pigeon birds with minerals, especially magnesium, sodium and calcium, as well as trace elements (zinc, manganese, copper, selenium). The stones are also said to help the birds relieve stress.

Note: Pigeons only peck at the pecking stone when they need it. Nevertheless, you should offer the mineral stone in a trough all year round.

frequently asked Questions

It is optimal if you adapt the pigeon feed to the season. In winter, help the birds by feeding them yeast. In spring, wheat, seeds and peas are ideal. Pigeons need more nitrogenous feed and protein from late summer to early autumn, as the renewal of their plumage takes a lot of energy.

You can feed the pigeons at any time in your own garden, balcony or terrace. If it is a rented apartment, you should first take a look at the rental agreement or consult the landlord. Feeding pigeons on public streets, squares etc. is forbidden in many towns and communities.

Pigeons are creatures of habit. Once wild pigeons have discovered the food source, they wait for the food. Therefore you should always offer the pigeon feed at the same time. Mornings and evenings are ideal when it is light outside.

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