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Can Birds Eat Cheerios? (All You Need to Know)

Cheerios are suitable for people of all ages including some animals, even squirrels. Many kitchen items are fed to birds and cheerios can be one of them. Birds love crunching so they might want to have a bite of your breakfast cereal.

But is it safe for all birds? If it is, can they eat all types of cheerios? Let’s find out!

Can birds eat cheerios?

Birds can eat certain types of cheerios. But they should not be the main meal. Plenty of birds enjoy having cheerios and they are not necessarily unhealthy. Plain cheerios that have low-sugar and low-sodium content are safe to feed. Only feed a small amount as large chunks can be hard to chew. 

Cereal that has high sugar content can be harmful to birds. This is why cheerios should only be fed occasionally. Unsweetened and natural plain cheerios should be fine to consume every once in a while.

Let’s talk about the types of cheerios available and which ones you can feed your bird. 

Honey cheerios:

Honey cheerios do sound tasty but they are not healthy for birds. Honey cheerios usually have the highest sugar content which can be fatal for birds if fed regularly. But if you have no other option, it is okay to feed them once or twice.

Honey itself is bad for birds. Avoid feeding honey at all times. 

Chocolate cheerios:

That’s the last thing you want to feed your bird. Chocolate is bad for birds. If you want to feed cheerios, ensure there is no cocoa or chocolate present in the ingredients.

Chocolate contains theobromine which is fatal for birds and also cats and dogs. As little as two grams of chocolate can hurt your bird. 

Honey nut cheerios:

We’ve already established that honey is bad for birds. But honey nut cheerios contain the least amount of artificial flavorings. Hence, they could be the better choice when compared to other types of cereal.

They don’t have any nutritional value though. Feed only a moderate amount. 

Apple cinnamon cheerios:

Cinnamon is widely fed to birds because they include fiber, iron, calcium, and manganese which is healthy for birds and tasty too. Although cinnamon is great for birds, it does not apply to cheerios. 

Most cheerios include artificial flavorings which are not safe for birds. 

Strawberry cheerios:

Strawberry cheerios usually have high quantities of sugar. They might look appetizing to your birds but do not feed it to them. Sweeteners are not good for birds. 

Multigrain cheerios:

You should not feed multigrain cheerios. If you are bound to feed it, check the package for sugar content. Ensure that it contains less than 2 grams of sugar. These multigrain cheerios are not even safe for babies. 

Some birds such as pigeons, doves, and pheasants, like wheat grains.   

Plain cheerios:

This is the best type of cheerios for birds. They are free from artificial flavorings and elements and perfectly safe for birds. They are free of sweeteners and do not contain high quantities of salt. Feed it dry but it should not be your bird’s main meal. 

You can also mix it with water but do not serve it with milk. 

Are cheerios safe for birds? Can wild birds eat cheerios?

Cheerios are the safest cereal choice for birds because most of them have a low quantity of sugar. But not all cheerios are safe for birds. Only feed plain cheerios to birds and make sure

the sugar content is less than 2g. Check how many artificial colors and flavorings it contains. 

As much as birds love cheerios, they are not meant to be fed as a regular meal. Occasionally is acceptable. Avoid cereal as a whole to maintain a healthy diet for your bird. 

Can baby birds eat cheerios?

Not all baby birds can eat cheerios. For example, young crows can have cheerios that are made for babies. This is because baby crows need a lot of protein and a soft diet. The cheerios will not provide any nutritional value but it will not be harmful as long as it is unsweetened and plain.

Some birds can have any type of cereal but it is better for their health to feed them the healthier version.  

How do I give the birds cheerios?

Feeding birds cheerios is quite simple. Do not add any milk because birds are lactose intolerant and cannot digest milk. Baby birds shouldn’t be fed milk either. Large quantities of milk are bad for them. You can feed a few pieces without any liquid or add some water with the cheerios

If your bird’s beak is too small for the cheerios, crush the cheerios with a rolling pin. This way, they won’t have issues swallowing the cereal. If you’re trying to feed cheerios to a wild bird, the best way is to do it with a string or wire.

You can also use a shoelace. Thread the cheerios to the string or wire then tie the ends together. Hang them high on a branch or tree. This will keep the birds safe from predators and other large birds. This is a fun activity for kids. 

How much cheerios can I feed to birds?

Cheerios are like fast food to birds. Too much of it can be harmful. Only feed a small amount, as much as you would feed to a baby. Cheerios that are manufactured for babies are the healthiest option for birds from the other types.

For small birds, do not feed more than 4 to 5 cheerios.  

Do not feed too much at once and do not feed cheerios on a daily basis. Once a week as a treat should be fine

Can all birds eat cheerios?

Not all birds can eat cheerios, especially baby birds. Sugar can be worse for baby birds than adults. However, there is not enough research or studies to show which birds can eat cheerios.

Some owners have tried feeding their bird cheerios so let’s see if it was safe or not. 


Some Veterinarians say that it’s safe to feed unsweetened, natural cereals to Cockatiels. Feeding cheerios once or twice a week is fine. 


Feed only two or three cheerios. They could be too large for them to eat at once so break the cheerios to pieces or crush them before feeding. Feeding too many can make your birds sick.


Do not give a whole bowl of cheerios. Parrots enjoy cheerios a lot! But do not feed honey nut cheerios as there is too much sugar in them for their small body. 


Budgies can eat a small number of cheerios but they prefer eating granola, muesli, and other oat-based food.    


You can keep some cheerios in the garden for robins to feed on. They are a fan of cheerios and a couple of them won’t hurt. 


That depends on what kind of cheerios you are feeding them. You can feed regular cheerios to lovebirds to train them. But do not feed honey nuts or other flavors of cheerios.  


Crows can eat almost anything and that includes cheerios. As mentioned earlier, you can feed cheerios to baby crows too.  

Why won’t birds eat cheerios?

Birds typically enjoy having cheerios. But if your bird doesn’t want to eat it, that’s completely fine. Birds, in their natural habitat, are not familiar with cheerios or processed human food. This especially goes for wild birds.

Most birds will eat cheerios if they notice cheerio feeders. Birds eat all kinds of things. If you’re specifically trying to grab their attention at the park, try to add a floral or colorful ribbon with your cheerio feeders. 

Whether or not they eat the food you offer depends on the bird and time of the year. Birds are mostly deprived of food sources during temperature rises, migration, late winter, and early spring. 

How do you make cheerio bird feeders?

Making cheerio bird feeders is very easy. Even a two-year-old can do it. To make cheerio bird feeders, you need the following items: a pipe or a string, and a bowl of cheerios. First, make a loop at one side of the pipe cleaner.

Start by putting the cheerios to the pipe or string one by one. Leave some space at both ends. You will need it to tie them together. Tie the ends together and you’re done! You can now bend it to any shape you want. Add a ribbon to place it anywhere you want. 

You can also use a wire. It’s better to shape the wire, pipe, or string first. This is because it is more difficult to bend the wire once the cheerios are on. The cheerios could break off and you might have to start all over again.

So you might want to start by shaping them. Some popular shapes are hearts, circles, and trees. 

What kind of cereal can birds eat?

Birds love cereal but they can’t eat all kinds of cereal. You can feed stale or leftover cereal to your birds but make sure they have low sugar content. Whole grain cereals that are low in sugar are the ideal choice for birds.

Look out for artificial dyes as well. Pick a cereal that contains fewer artificial flavorings and colors. 

Cereals with marshmallows are also not acceptable for birds because they only contain sugar and fat. Chocolate cereal is also bad for birds. They provide no nutritional value but sometimes cereal can be fed as a tasty treat. 

  • Bran flakes
  • Toasted Oats   
  • Plain Cheerios
  • Corn Flakes
  • Plain Cereals

Final Thoughts:

It is best if you don’t feed cheerios to birds. Processed human food is generally unhealthy for birds and other animals due to its high sugar content. You can feed plain and unsweetened cheerios occasionally if you are out of bird food. Feed only a small amount so that it does not hurt your bird.