Do Pigeons Eat Grass? All You Need To Know
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The pigeons do not eat grass and the reason behind this is that it is not nutritious and also it is tough to eat as pigeons do not have teeth.
Why Can’t Pigeons Eat Grass?
The grass is mostly eaten by grass eaters such as cow, sheep and goats because the grasses are considered as a tough, fibrous plant that needs to be chewed constantly. Moreover, pigeons do not eat grass because pigeons have no teeth.
They do not reproduce the grinding motion of molars that breaks down the grass. Pigeons swallows its food whole that is stored at the base of the throat.
The food then passes through the digestive system where it gets broken down to obtain the nourishment. The process happens in the stomach where the food is ground down by the grit.
The energy expended in the action of grit that act as grindstones and is insufficiently productive to make the nutritional benefit for pigeons to eat grass even if they were predisposed to do so.
Grass vs Grass Seeds
Although the pigeons do not eat grass but they do eat the grass seed. The seeds are a vital part of the diet which contains all the minerals, vitamins and key nutrients. Moreover, not only pigeons, all the birds eat seeds.
There are a number of benefits of grass seeds as they are easy to swallow and are small. Any type of beak the pigeon has, the grass seeds can be easily picked up and they enjoy the taste.
The nutrients that the grass seed contain include the riboflavin (B7), biotin, niacin (B3) and pantothenic acid (B5). This B group of vitamins are very important for pigeons. Grass seed is also rich in healthy fat and digestible starch that is carbohydrate.
Grass seed is not a common component of birdseed mix. The pigeons are generally feed grass seed because of the taste and nutrition. The examples include the sunflower seeds, red millet, maize, red dari and milo.
Some of the birds also seed food that ultimately leads to the germination and sprout grass. The grass seed is actually not a grass in the strictest sense.
It looks like millet or milo as both of them look same like grass. The millets are green and are shinny where as milo is actually a sorghum which is a cereal grain and is a part of grass family.
If Pigeons Don’t Eat Grass, Why Do They Peck at Lawns?
The birds are generally seen to peck the grass because some of them eat the grass while some of them are just breaking the stalks off to build the nests. This does not follow for pigeons.
The question that commonly arises is that are pigeons looking for grubs and larvae when they are pecking at lawns. The domesticated pigeons will do this as they get enough food from their owners.
The pigeons will do this occasionally because it is genetically inherent behaviour that has not been bred out from the pigeons. But the feral pigeons made the holes in the lawns.
The pigeons have scratched the surface down to bare soil to find the grubs and larvae where the grass has been torn up and the problem has grown up to larger areas.
How to Stop Pigeons Eating Your Grass Seed?
To improve the existing lawn, someone has to grow the lawn or are reseeding it. The pigeons show persistent characters and it can take upto 4 to 5 weeks for the grass seeds to germinate.
A number of measures have to be taken to protect the newly sown lawn from being eaten. Not only pigeons, there are other methods as well that apply to other birds as well. The methods such as repellent cover, fake birds of prey, feeding station and decoy area, scarers and planting of extra seed.
It has seen a toss up between the beautifully kept lawn or enjoying the sight of pigeons and other birds in the garden.