Can Birds Eat Hemp Seeds? (Expert Answer)


Birds can eat hemp seeds, but they are not a great choice as regular feed, only as snacks. You should avoid seeds as much as possible because birds have susceptible digestive systems, and their systems are not designed to digest large amounts of seed. shelled Hemp seeds can also be harmful to small birds who choke on them.

Hemp seeds may be one of the healthiest foods you can feed your bird, but they aren’t necessarily the best. Many bird owners enjoy feeding hemp seeds to their birds, and some birds prefer them to other seeds. But keep in mind that hemp seed isn’t a perfect option for every bird species. Let’s look at this food and see why some birds eat hemp seeds, which type of birds love eating hemp seeds, and which ones should avoid them.

Natural hemp seed is un-shelled and thus not suitable for most wild birds. To make shelled hemp seed available to birds, you must shell the seeds and then throw the shells away. Shelled hemp seed is often used for feeding other animals such as pet parrots and pet chickens.

What Kinda Food Is The Best For Wild Birds.

The best food for wild birds is fresh fruits and vegetables, soaked whole grains, cooked beans and legumes, cooked egg yolk, meal-worms, crickets, and live foods like earthworms and grubs. Sunflower hearts, corn kernels, dried meal-worms or crickets, peanuts in the shell, freeze-dried meal-worms or crickets (check the package label for ingredients), unsalted mixed nuts (with no salt/sugar coating), fresh berries, and sprouts are also good choices.

Smaller birds like finches or sparrows can choke on more oversized items such as whole beans or large sunflower seeds (unless cut into smaller pieces).

Can birds eat shelled hemp seeds?

Can birds eat shelled hemp seeds? It depends on the bird but generally speaking, NO. Birds can’t digest shelled hemp seeds, and because of their hard outer shell and small size, birds don’t even try.

Trying to get into the seed is a waste of time for birds, so they usually leave shelled hemp seeds alone. However, there are exceptions. Some birds will attempt to crack open the seed’s hard outer shell with their beaks before eating the soft inner seed. 

What wild birds eat hemp seeds?

Many people love feeding wild birds and want to attract all kinds of beautiful feathered creatures to their backyards, but some aren’t sure what to offer. Fortunately, hemp seed is an excellent addition to any bird feeder. It’s high in protein, so it’s terrific for any bird that needs extra nutrition, such as nesting mothers or baby chicks.

Tiny birds love hemp seed too. Warblers, finches, and other tiny beauties can find plenty of nutrition in these seeds. It’s also a popular choice for backyard hummingbirds since they are attracted to the bright orange color.

All wild birds love hemp seed because it is so easy to digest. This makes it ideal for birds that need extra nutrition, like young chicks or adult birds with damaged digestive tracts. Hemp seed also has a long shelf life, making it convenient for people who don’t have time to buy lots of birdseed every time they go to the store.

Hemp seed is an ideal food for people who want to attract wild birds to their homes or those who already have many bird sightings in their yards. It’s also inexpensive and easy to use. Simply fill your bird feeder with hemp seed and watch the wild birds flock!

This is not always successful, but it is enough to make shelled hemp seeds undesirable to many bird species.

Hemp seeds are too small for most birds to swallow them whole without choking. Birds swallow large seeds whole or crush smaller seeds between their tongue and a hard surface before swallowing them. With its small size and hard shell, a hemp seed won’t do this well.

Some birds have adapted to eat shelled hemp seeds, however. These include jays, nutcrackers, and parrots that crush the shells with their strong beaks before swallowing the soft insides of the seed.

Birds who consume shelled hemp seeds do more than just enjoy a crunchy snack! Hemp seeds are high in protein and other nutrients.

What seeds are bad for birds?

What seeds are bad for birds?

Birds enjoy eating seeds from various sources, including trees, shrubs, and plants. Seeds provide an excellent source of nutrition, but not all seeds are safe for birds to eat. Some types of seeds can cause harm to birds if they eat them.

The seeds that are dangerous to birds contain a chemical compound called alkaloids. Alkaloids are not present in all types of seeds, though; only a few species contain these poisons.

Toxic seeds to birds fall into three categories:

1) Seeds with Alkaloids

These include aconitine, which is found in monkshoods (Aconitum spp.), and oleandrin, which is found in oleander (Nerium oleander). Poisoning symptoms usually occur one to two hours after eating the seed and cause muscle tremors, seizures, and paralysis. Death can occur within 24 hours after ingesting the seed.

2) Seeds with Cyanogenic Glycosides

Many wild fruit seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides, compounds that release hydrogen cyanide when digested by animals or people. These kinds of seeds include apple seeds and cherry pits. Hydrogen cyanide prevents cells from using oxygen.


Examples of Common bad seeds for birds

Common question bird lovers have what seeds are bad for birds. This is an excellent question because all bird food should be safe for the birds, so you need to be careful about feeding your feathered friends. They can get quite sick if they eat something that isn’t good for them.

Description: Here are some types of seeds that are bad for birds:


This can cause problems with their digestive system and even kill them.

Avocado Seeds

Avocado seeds contain a toxin that is harmful to birds and can cause them to become ill and even die.

Hulled Sunflower Seeds

Hulled sunflower seeds can choke small birds, but black oil sunflower seeds or the sunflower hearts are very good source of energy for birds.

Cherry Pits

Cherry pits contain cyanide and can be toxic, even fatal, to birds if they eat too many of them.

Citrus Seeds

Citrus seeds also contain toxic properties and should never be fed to birds.

Pine Nuts

These contain oils that can have a toxic effect on wild birds if they consume them in large quantities.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins contain substances toxic to wild birds, and consuming these items can lead to illness and death.

What seeds are good for birds?

The best seeds for birds are nutritious, safe, and easy to digest. Birds are naturally drawn to seeds that meet all three of these criteria, but they may not go for every seed in your garden. Knowing what seeds are good for birds can help you determine which to plant.

This is especially important if you’re planning on planting a bird feeder. Certain seeds may be more popular with birds than others, so choosing the right mix of seeds can make it easier to attract the types of birds that live near you.

The best seeds for birds tend to be small and round or oval. They also tend to have hard shells that birds need to crack open to get their nutritious insides. Some of the best seeds for bird feeders include:

Sunflower seeds

While these aren’t exactly small, sunflower seeds offer a lot of nutrition in a relatively compact package. Sunflower seeds give many birds their primary source of the fat they need during the cold winter months. They are an excellent source of protein and vitamins A, D, and E. Birds won’t eat the shells, but if you have a bag of shelled sunflower seeds, be sure to put them in a mesh bag so the shells can’t hurt birds. They’re also very popular with other types of wild birds, so they make an excellent choice for your backyard bird feeder. 


While popcorn’s nutritional content isn’t ideal for humans, it’s great for birds and makes an excellent snack food for backyard feeders.


Many types of wild birds love wheat, especially when it’s

Sunflower hearts

These are also called “thistle hearts” made from dried sunflower seeds. They are a good source of fat for birds. 

Safflower hearts

These have a higher oil content than sunflower hearts and are more suitable for colder climates where it’s harder for birds to get enough fat from food sources. They’re also very high in protein and lower in fiber than sunflower hearts, making them easier for some species of birds to digest.

Niger seeds

This is another favorite of finches and cardinals. Niger seed is very high in iron and calcium but can be very hard on birds’ digestive systems if they get too much of it at once. Some consider Niger seed to be the most nutritious seed.

Which is better, chia or hemp seeds for birds?

Hemp seeds and chia seeds are nutritious, so it’s not a black-and-white decision. But there are differences between the two that will help you decide which is best for your birds.

Type of seed. 

Technically, hemp seeds are fruit seeds, while chia seeds are from a plant in the mint family. The difference is that hemp seeds don’t need to be ground up to be edible — birds can swallow them whole. This makes them easier to use and more convenient for pet owners. Chia seeds do need to be ground up before being fed to birds.

Nutritional value. 

Hemp seeds contain about 21 percent protein, along with Omega-6 and -3 fatty acids; chia seeds contain about 22 percent protein, with Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; and flaxseeds contain about 25 percent protein, along with Omega-3 fatty acids. 

However, both hemp and chia have higher amounts of Omega-3 than flaxseed, making them better choices for birds that might not like the taste of fish oil — finches, parakeets, and cockatiels, for example. Hemp also contains Vitamin B1, B2, and E, as well as iron and zinc; chia contains calcium,


Hemp seeds tend to have a nutty flavor that birds like. Both types can be used whole or ground up into a fine powder. Hemp seeds tend to be more crunchy, while chia seeds tend to be softer.


Chia seeds are not toxic to birds; however, they are slightly acidic, so it’s essential to ensure your bird has access to fresh water every day. Hemp seeds, on the other hand, can be poisonous if ingested in significant quantities by birds. As with any food, it is best to keep them out of reach of your bird when it is unsupervised.

Can parrots eat hemp seeds?

Yes, parrots can eat hemp seeds. However, it is not advised that you include hemp seeds in your parrot’s diet.

Tropical parrots, including parakeets, cockatiels, and lovebirds, are fond of hemp seeds. The problem with hemp seeds is that they contain very little fat but protein.

When the protein to fat ratio is too high in your bird’s diet, it may cause liver damage or other medical problems.

Hemp seeds also contain polyunsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols, which are harmful to your bird if eaten in large amounts.

If you decide to feed your bird hemp seeds, keep the amount small and make sure they are accompanied by other foods such as fruits or vegetables. You should also remove any uneaten food after a few hours so that the seed doesn’t spoil and cause an infection in your bird’s crop or intestines.


When it comes to feeding your bird hemp seed, there are some things to consider:

It is essential to note that there are different hemp seed varieties on the market for human consumption, with different uses and contents. When it comes to birdseed, you must get “bird” hemp seed instead of any other variety.

Hemp seeds can be used as a substitute for safflower or shelled sunflower seeds in your bird’s diet, although they are larger than the latter two types of seeds.

The nutritional value of hemp seeds is suitable for your bird’s growth and development; however, there are some concerns about the amount of protein contained in them.

1 thought on “Can Birds Eat Hemp Seeds? (Expert Answer)”

Leave a Comment