Do Pigeons Eat Lentils? All You Need To Know
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Do Pigeons Eat Lentils?
Lenticles are not advisable to pigeons but they would probably eat them if given to them. On this particular issue, pigeon fanciers are divided.
What are Lentils?
Lentils are nothing but legumes that mostly grow in pods and split evenly in half and are filled with edible beans or seeds. It is very rarely seen that pods are eaten. Just like other pulses, lenticls are typically sold dried.
There are actually four main varieties of lentil and that are brown lentils, green lentils, red/yellow lentils, speciality lentils. Speciality lentils are further been divided into black beluga lentils and puy lentils. There are a number of popular forms of vegetable protein around the world but the main question arises is that are they really good for pigeons?
The Pigeon Diet
At first, it would appear that lentils slot nicely into what a pigeon eats. Whether the pigeon is domesticated or feral, the average diet of pigeon consists of seeds, grains, grasees , nuts and berries. The feral pigeon will supplement with anything that is edible and easy to access.
There are urban pigeons also that would love to feast on discarded human food. Whereas the domesticated pigeons mostly reply on their owner for food as well as filling up the bird feeders with a decent mix.
The feeders are also supplemented with fruit such as bananas or mealworms. Pulses are basically a seed and there have been around 8000 years. They are easily cultivated and are also readily avaiable.
They are a nutritional powerhouse packed with a variety of nutrients, minerals and vitamins that a pigeon needs. There are a number of birds that enjoy the lentils and there are some fanciers that do not recommend lentils for pigeons.
Why Should Pigeons Not Eat Lentils?
The pigeons do not eat lentils and the main reason behind this is simple and physical one. If we see the spectrum of seeds and grains , lentils appear on the larger side of scale. It is believed that lentils are too big for the digestive system of the pigeon and are a choking hazard for them.
The first stage is that food is passed into the crop that is large enough and it accept big lentils but the passage through which it has reached the gizzard is ground up for digestion and is proventriculus. The passage is narrow and the lentil can block it.
Another reason of avoiding the lentils to pigeons is highly scientific as lentils contain a protein called hemagglutinin. The presence of this protein is often recommended to humans and legumes are first soaked and are then cooked at a very high temperature so that they are very safe to eat.
It will become toxic if the hemaggulutinin is untreated. If the pulses are not prepared properly and are not cooked properly, they can cause a number of problems such as nausea, vomiting and dizziness. If the pulses are consumed too many and if they are treated properly also then also it can cause gas and bloating.
These kinds of side effects of hemagglutinin are not rarely seen in pigeon. The pigeon owner is aware of the fact that there must be a link between bird flu and hemagglutinin. It could be a problem to feral pigeons as it is unlikely that they would bother of pecking through pods to reach the lentils within.
Be Careful of Your Seed Mixes
Although the lentils are not a good idea for the pigeons and the most annoying thing is that not all parties involved in pigeon food products agree. In the pet stores as well, there would be several cheaper seed mixed that contain lentils and other pulses.
Any pigeon will tuck into the mix and will not realize that there is a problem with the lentils. Therefore, it is advised to check the ingredient list and remember those with the highest proportion in the contents that are listed first.
Here the point is pigeons should not generally be given the option to eat the lentils , especially in a domestic setting where the pigeon owners are able to dictate what they eat. The pigeons are opportunistic feeders and they will peck at pretty much anything so that lentils are not available.