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Old 02-11-2010, 09:08 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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Feeding cooked rice to backyard birds

We've been having some serious snow here, and I'm worried about the birds (cardinals, chickadees, wrens). I don't have seed for them, but have been putting out bread crumbs.

I've got some leftover cooked rice that I was going to throw out (i.e., onto the compost pile) -- would it be okay to put it out for the birds? Would they benefit? Would it make them sick?
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2010, 09:12 AM
Athena Athena is offline
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I put out lots of stuff for birds/squirrels/deer in the winter. Rice is usually a big hit, as is any sort of bread product. Go for it!
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:23 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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There was a myth going around at one time that uncooked rice would hurt birds (hence the move away from rice-throwing at weddings), but Snopes sez it ain't so.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:25 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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No problem.

In fact, it's almost a certainty the local birds have been plundering your compost pile all along. Which is no problem, because bird shit is an excellent addition to compost so it's a win-win for everyone.

But yeah, cooked rice is no problem. Other leftovers they can eat include peas, corn, any sort of cooked grain, green beans, peppers both bell and hot, and noodles. If there's butter or margarine on anything that's no problem, wild birds can use the calories to keep warm in cold weather.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:45 AM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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I concur that cooked rice would present no problem for the birds, and it will benefit them in snowy conditions.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:55 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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Thanks, everyone -- and the birds thank you also.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:31 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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I've been throwing all my old/spoiled food out my back door, too (including cooked rice), and I haven't seen any birds dropping dead around here. I was surprised when I put a bird feeder outside my home office window, and got an eyeful of a squirrel chowing down on it (ate about half the bird food in a day, the fuzzy little bastard), but my husband doesn't mind feeding squirrels too, so we're feeding birds AND squirrels now. I have a new understanding of why squirrel-proof bird feeders exist, though.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:40 AM
Aestivalis Aestivalis is offline
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I have to be cautious about leaving any food outdoors, where it will attract skunks, raccoons and coyotes. Otherwise I try to fill up my compost bin with the leftovers other than meat.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:08 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aestivalis View Post
I have to be cautious about leaving any food outdoors, where it will attract skunks, raccoons and coyotes. Otherwise I try to fill up my compost bin with the leftovers other than meat.
I was thinking the same thing aren't squirrels or something much worse, just gonna push the birds out of the way and take the rice?
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:29 AM
Gymnopithys Gymnopithys is offline
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Last time I went to Madagascar I got sick and had to get out of the bungalow in the middle of the night to vomit my rice supper. Early in the morning I went out to cover the mess with sand...

It was all gone. Chickens had cleaned up everything.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:09 PM
Turek Turek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gymnopithys View Post
Last time I went to Madagascar I got sick and had to get out of the bungalow in the middle of the night to vomit my rice supper. Early in the morning I went out to cover the mess with sand...

It was all gone. Chickens had cleaned up everything.
That's a charming story on several levels. <insert pukey smiley here>
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:58 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aestivalis View Post
I have to be cautious about leaving any food outdoors, where it will attract skunks, raccoons and coyotes. Otherwise I try to fill up my compost bin with the leftovers other than meat.
I have a completely fenced backyard, in the middle of a city. I suppose those critters are possible, but they don't seem very likely (a stray dog would be more likely). I seem to just get a lot of magpies, squirrels, and birds.
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2010, 12:59 PM
BleizDu BleizDu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gymnopithys View Post
It was all gone. Chickens had cleaned up everything.
It took me some time to understand why the big ol' poops of our former dog were nowhere to be seen.
Then one day I saw a handful of very enthusiatic chickens around something...

--
I would suggest putting out water for the birds too. They often suffer from thirst in winter, if all is frozen.
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