snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Archived Forums » Critters Archive » Is candy ok for birds?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Is candy ok for birds?
Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


Icon 14 posted      Profile for Joseph Z   E-mail Joseph Z   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Ok. This is a puzzling question I have.

Mentos recently released a commercial of momma bird feeding her baby bird a mentos mint. So it brought up to mind can you feed candy amongst bird food to birds?

--------------------
Joseph Z

Posts: 1356 | From: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
lynnejanet
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for lynnejanet     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Um. Why would you want to?

Do you mean, would it be harmful to the birds?

It is so unlike their natural diet that I'm not even sure if they would eat it. If they did, I'm sure that it would certainly not do them any good. Processed cane sugar, chocolate and food colouring would cause some harm, I'm sure.

--------------------
lynne"insert appropriate punny phrase here"janet

Posts: 1460 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Horse Chestnut     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Well, actually there are some birds that do live on sugars, like orioles or hummingbirds, so it wouldn't necessarily do them harm. But eating a hard candy like a mentos might give them pause.

Parrots eat fruits and hard nuts or seeds, so I suppose if one got ahold of a Tic-Tac or something it probably wouldn't drop dead.

Birds that only eat seed or insects would probably just turn up their nose at a candy.

Posts: 1651 | From: Columbus, Ohio | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Chimera     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I don't know if its healthy but I think my dad feeds his humming birds mostly sugar water IIRC (I'll ask tomorrow) and they always come back for more. Either there is a heck of a lot of them (since they are always around) or the "home brew" isn't killing them off.

--------------------
"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

Posts: 7622 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Psihala
Little Sales Drummer Boy


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Psihala   E-mail Psihala   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
From this article from Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff, it looks like anything high in sugar for pet birds is on the no-no list:

quote:
Foods to Avoid
Some foods are on the do-not-feed list. These include foods that contain high amounts of sugar or fats (junk foods: potato chips, doughnuts, etc.), avocado (guacamole), chocolate, alcohol, or caffeine. Do not give fruit pits. Persimmons are also on the do-not-feed list.

As for the wild birds, it's harder to find an online reference of what NOT to feed them. Searching on "sugar" and 'birds' most often brings up articles about hummingbirds. Hummingbird feeders generally have openings too small for other birds. There are a variety of feeders available for these birds, though it looks like many of them take seed or mixes rather than sugar-water.

"Candy" and "Birds" in Google brings up lots of articles about what types of foods are 'like candy' to birds, but not specific to candy itself.

There are numerous online articles when Google searching for "feeding wild birds". Most of them seem to advocate buying food that is more in line with what they eat naturally, though at least one suggested:

quote:
Be creative and see what you can attract. Try popped popcorn, peanut hearts, soaked raisins, pieces of fruit like grapes or oranges or apples, fruit seeds (melons, apples), grape jelly (another oriole favorite), cooked potatoes, leftover oatmeal or ready-to-eat cereal. Some birder watchers even go so far as to put out a tray of live mealworms for the Bluebirds!
I got the impression from many of the articles that I read that if a bird can't eat hard seeds, they wouldn't be able to do much with a hard piece of candy. Their beaks just can't break it up. Natural sugars found in fruits seem to be okay for many wild birds and pet birds alike.

~Psihala

--------------------
StealthPost™

Posts: 3020 | From: Colorado | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Bela Drosmorr 100
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bela Drosmorr 100   E-mail Bela Drosmorr 100   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
My ex-boyfriend and I used to have an African Grey parrot, and although we'd feed him his good food (fresh vagetables and fruits) he had a habit of going after our sodas. For instance, if my ex left a soda on the table, our parrot would hop up there when we weren't looking and take sips until we'd catch him. Of course, soda is probably not good for him, but that didn't stop him from liking it.

As for candy, we never gave him any and he never tried to be sneaky and try some when we weren't looking. I don't think it would have killed him, though, considering the amount of high fructose corn syrup in the soda that he coveted so much.

--------------------
But that's ok, darling, because I love you. And that's why you have to let me eat your brains. -- Return of the Living Dead

Posts: 767 | From: Corpus Christi, TX | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Chimera     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Hijack:
Bela, you had an African Grey? I am so jealous. I've always wanted one but ended up with having a child instead... so I put off getting the bird since they seem to like lots of attention (as does my now 6 year old kid). Do you think that its a bird you can have with a young child in the home? What if I also take a regular job in the near future and no ones home most of the day? I think they are inteligent and I wouldn't want one to feel bored or lonely. They seem like extremely curious animals. If I were to get one, what kinds of things could I give it to keep it amused?

--------------------
"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

Posts: 7622 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dark Chi
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Chimera:
Hijack:
Bela, you had an African Grey? I am so jealous. I've always wanted one but ended up with having a child instead... so I put off getting the bird since they seem to like lots of attention (as does my now 6 year old kid). Do you think that its a bird you can have with a young child in the home? What if I also take a regular job in the near future and no ones home most of the day? I think they are inteligent and I wouldn't want one to feel bored or lonely. They seem like extremely curious animals. If I were to get one, what kinds of things could I give it to keep it amused?

African greys are definetely birds that need alot of attention. I have a young grey, and its very difficult to keep her entertained. Her toys generally don't keep her entertained for long, if I'm home and don't have her out she mostly sits quietly on her perch watching me, looking extremely bored. I try to keep her entertained while I'm at school by rotating her toys and making her new ones. Generally toys with a peanut or a treat inside that she has to work to get out keep her entertained. She likes toys she can chew or shred. I make toys for her by taking paper towel rolls or cardboard boxes and stuffing them with shredded newspaper with treats inside. She also likes to watch TV. I think once she gets older she'll probably learn to entertain herself better. It could definetely be a problem if no one was home most of the day, but if it got several hours out of its cage each day it should work.

Greys aren't generally considered good birds with children, but this isn't neccessarily true. It really depends on the bird and the child. If a child is gentle with the bird and carefully trained to perform step up practices while being constantly supervized they have great potential to have a good relationship. If you didn't want them to have a relationship and just kept them seperated, that would also probably work out. I really can't say either for sure though since I don't know anyone who has a grey and a child.

If you don't think you're ready to bring a bird that requires as much as an african grey into your life right now, there are plenty of other species of parrots that may be right for you. Its also not a bad idea to start off with a smaller bird if you're new to owning parrots. My black-capped conure is extremely sweet and intelligent, and is excellent at entertaining himself. I let him wander outside his cage on my dresser and he can spend hours playing by himself, and he never goes anywhere he shouldn't, unlike my grey who needs constant supervision(of course my conure needed constant supervision too when he was a baby). He is quite a little clown and is extremely entertaining to watch. He does need alot of time with me out of his cage, but he is extremely tolerant of me spending more time with my african grey, who needs more attention. Greys are extremely intelligent and sweet birds, but so are many other parrots. You might want to look into smaller birds like conures, caiques, or senegals and possibly get one of those and then move onto a grey a few years later. If you get a grey it will most likely be with you for the rest of your life, so theres no need to rush.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Bela Drosmorr 100
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bela Drosmorr 100   E-mail Bela Drosmorr 100   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I had the smaller African Grey, called a Timneh. He was extremely bright, but not very friendly. In fact, he could get down-right mean. There were times when he'd come up to me for no reason and bite the holy living NFBSK out of my toe. And believe me, they can bite. I believe some can be pretty friendly, but from my experience with this parrot and from what other owners have said, many times they have a slight mean streak. I suppose with a lot of affection and encouragement you could train them to be more gentle, but mine never seemed to 'rehabilitate' so to speak.

They do need a lot of attention, as in, you should let them out of the cage to walk or fly around and let them know you're there to play with them if they want. They like being talked to, and are fairly social birds (they live in colonies in the wild) so if you find a sweet, friendly one, your child could have a lot of fun talking and playing with it. (It's hilarious to see which sounds they'll decide to mimic, too. Don't be surprised if it starts to copy your child's laugh.)

As for not being hom during the day, I don't think it's too much of a problem, as long as you give him special cuddles and love when you come home. Also, be sure to keep things in his cage to keep him occupied, like hanging toys and such. When he's out of the cage, believe me, everything is going to be his toy. They're very imaginative and curious, so they'll find all sorts of things to chew and tear up. So be careful. [Wink]

--------------------
But that's ok, darling, because I love you. And that's why you have to let me eat your brains. -- Return of the Living Dead

Posts: 767 | From: Corpus Christi, TX | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
nerdymcnerd
Little Sales Drummer Boy


Icon 1 posted      Profile for nerdymcnerd   E-mail nerdymcnerd   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Joseph Z, you must keep repeating to yourself: TV isn't real.

--------------------
Skunks hate the sound of industry.

Posts: 2723 | From: Geneva, Illinois | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2