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Do Pigeons Eat Clay? All You Need To Know

Pigeon Eating Clay

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Do Pigeons Eat Clay?

The pigeons eat waste food or leftover food by humans so they are assumed to be flying garbage bins sometimes. In the variety of food they eat, the clay is also one of the items they relish on. The main reasons for eating clay are:

  • Curiosity: pigeons eat a variety of things or it can be said almost anything.
  • There is salt in clay which helps break down nutrients. This makes it easier to absorb them.
  • Clay absorbs toxins from a pigeon’s diet.
Pigeon Eating Clay

Clay is a Source of Salt

As the pigeon is a herbivore, it will not get the whole range of nutrients it needs from a plant-based diet. For many metabolic reactions and healthy growth, pigeons need vitamins and minerals, and seeds, nuts, and grasses cannot provide the whole nutrients.

Besides providing nutritional benefits, clay is used as grit in the grinding process in the intestinal tract. Different types of clay contain various salts rich in sodium, potassium, magnesium, and silica. So, by eating such salts deficiency of salt can be fulfilled.

Machelle Pacion in his research identified the relationship between sodium and digestion in the aforementioned Amazon Macaws. Although, there are similarities in birds so the same can be applied to pigeons also.

Sodium extracts the digestive juices that carry hydrolysis, the reaction in which nutrients are broken down to help in absorption.

Pigeon Eating Clay

Clay Helps to Absorb Toxins

Another assumption is that pigeons eat clay to promote toxin absorption. When the birds eat everything available, they are at risk of taking harmful substances. The clay protects the pigeons from these chemicals without harming the body.

Toxins are neutralized by the clay. The clay is helpful in the same way as charcoal pills detoxify the toxins in human beings. Clay body wrap treatment on the body is based on the same fact that it helps to absorb toxins.

The poisonous things that pigeons eat are acorns, apple seeds, almond nut pith, and peach pits. Foodstuffs that contain compounds like quinine and tannic acid more than a safer level are also not good for pigeons.

Parrot eating clay
Do Other Animals Eat Clay?

Clay is indeed essential for overall good health and stable homeostasis of pigeons. Birds eat clay from places like shallow river beds regularly. Many other animal species have been discovered to ingest the same substances for toxin absorption and nutrient supply.

The types of animals that eat clay are in significant numbers such as:

  • Elephants
  • Monkeys
  • Buffalo
  • Deer
  • Parrot
  • Butterflies
  • Big cats

Animals are always at greater risk in the environment. A large number of food items may contain traces of toxins. So, the clay acts as a natural cleanser for the detoxification of substances. This method is also helpful for migratory birds as they take long journeys and are exposed to various types of food and water resources.

So, this is all about the reason for eating clay by the pigeons. It is wonderful to know about the animal kingdom to live in harmony with them in nature. Hence the pigeon is wonderful as a giant elephant.

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