Skip to Content

Can Birds Eat Hamster Food?

Not only is the number of people keeping pet birds at an all time high right now but the number of people feeding wild birds in their area is also rapidly increasing too.

This has resulted in a number of people reaching out with different questions about caring for birds with many people asking for advice on suitable foods for birds.

Over the last few weeks, we have noticed a number of people reaching out and asking various questions about if birds can eat hamster food or not.

This may be due to the person also keeping a pet hamster or due to a person just noticing that hamster food is much cheaper than bird food in their local area.

Either way, there have been enough people asking questions recently that we have decided to publish this article on the topic to try and help as many of our readers as possible.

Please note though, prior to going any further with the article, we just want to quickly say that the information below is generic and different birds can have different dietary requirements depending on the specific bird.

That said, most of the information below should be correct for most birds that are herbivores and many birds that are omnivores.

What Is Hamster Food Made From?

The vast majority of hamster food that is available to purchase these days is made up from a variety of different seeds, cereals, and nuts.

These foods are all high in energy but also contain a good amount of protein and fat too which helps to ensure that your hamster stays healthy and active.

Some brands of hamster food also contain a small amount of dried fruit too which helps to add some variety to the diet as well as an extra source of vitamins and minerals.

Is Hamster Food And Bird Food The Same?

Although many hamster food and bird food products look very similar to each other due to having similar ingredients, the actual ratio that these ingredients are used within the food mix can be very different to each other.

This means that the actual macronutrient profile of the foods can vary wildly depending on the ratios that these foods are used in even if the ingredients list is exactly the same.

That said though, this is also correct when comparing different brands of bird food designed for different species though.

For example, a bird food designed for a large pet bird that does fly around much can have the exact same ingredients as a bird food designed for small wild birds but the ingredients are used in totally different ratios.

In some situations, hamster food can actually work out to be closer to what some birds may need in their diet when it comes to their macronutrient profile rather than other bird foods.

This is due to how wide of a range the macronutrient profile for different bird species can actually be.

Can Birds Eat Hamster Food?

The simple answer to this question is yes, birds can technically eat hamster food without any issues.

However, that does not mean that hamster food is good for birds or that it should be fed to them on a regular basis for the bulk of their diet.

When it comes to feeding hamster food to birds, there are actually a few potential issues that can occur.

The first potential issue is that many of the ingredients used in hamster food may pose a choking hazard to some bird species due to their small size.

This is particularly true for small bird species such as finches and canaries that have very small beaks in comparison to their body size.

Another potential issue with feeding hamster food to birds is that it may not provide them with the right balance of nutrients that they need in their diet.

This is because, as we briefly touched on above, the macronutrient profile of hamster food is usually quite different from what most birds need in their diet.

The final potential issue with feeding hamster food to birds is that it may contain ingredients that are actually toxic to them depending on the type of bird you keep.

For example, many hamster food mixes contain sunflower seeds which are safe for hamsters to eat but can actually be quite toxic to some birds.

So, whilst birds can technically eat hamster food, it is generally not advised to do so due to the potential risks and issues that it can pose.

If you are concerned about what to feed your bird or whether the food you are currently feeding them is adequate, we would advise speaking to a qualified avian vet for more advice.

Does Hamster Food Meet The Nutritional Requirements Of Birds?

As we touched on earlier in the article, just because hamster food contains many of the same ingredients as some bird food products, these ingredients can be used in very different ratios.

Still, in many cases, hamster food can often meet the nutritional requirements of some birds for a short period of time.

This means that you can use hamster food as a temporary food for your pet bird if needed with minimal issues.

Using Hamster Food For Wild Birds

If you are looking to use hamster food as a food source for wild birds this tends not to be much of an issue as the hamster food will usually only make up a small part of the overall diet of a wild bird.

This is why many people offer the wild birds in their area hamster food due to how cheap it is as well as how small of a portion of the bird’s diet the hamster food will make up.

For example, a wild bird may visit your garden and eat some hamster food one day and then go off and eat various other food sources for a couple of days or even a week before coming back to get more hamster food.

Using Hamster Food For Pet Birds

Due to most pet birds usually needing you to provide them with all of their food, hamster food can end up making up too much of their overall diet so we would usually recommend against using it for more than one meal per week.

Even then, you should really be looking into the specific nutritional requirements of your specific bird.

Many species of birds that are kept as pets that are omnivores often need insects in their diet for the essential fats and hamster food does not include these food types.

This is why we would recommend that you do some research into the specific needs of your bird as well as the ideal macronutrient value for your specific bird species to see if it matches up with hamster food.

In some cases, some herbivore species of bird can have large parts of their diet made up with hamster food but this is rare and most birds will only be able to have small parts of their diet made up with hamster food.

How Much Hamster Food Can Birds Eat?

Unless you are sure that the hamster food mix you have meets the nutritional needs of the specific species of bird you keep, we would only recommend that you use hamster food as a small part of the overall diet of your bird.

This can range from one meal per week to one meal per two to three days depending on how you go about trying to balance the overall macronutrient, vitamin, and mineral needs of your bird.

It is usually not worth the effort of trying to balance the dietary requirements for your pet bird to add hamster food to their diet for the long term though as it can take a surprising amount of effort.

That said, if you do keep a large number of pet birds or you just want to feed wild birds then hamster food can work well.

We already covered the advantages of feeding wild birds hamster food earlier in the article but people who keep a large number of birds can end up saving a large amount of money in some situations by using hamster food.

A Hamster Food And Bird Food Mix

If you are keeping a large number of pet birds that can eat hamster food then we would usually recommend that you mix the hamster food with your bird food rather than try to give your bird dedicated meals of hamster food.

It is usually much easier to just mix the bird food and hamster food together to bring the overall costs down without changing the nutritional profile of the food by much.

These ratios can range from 10% hamster food and 90% bird food all the way up to 50% hamster food and 50% bird food in some situations.

If hamster food is much cheaper than bird food in your area then this can quickly add up.

On top of that, most people who do keep a large number of pet birds usually have more experience with keeping birds as pets making it easier for them to work out the required macronutrient profile breakdown for their pet birds too.

Do Birds Like To Eat Hamster Food?

Many birds do enjoy hamster food but due to most brands of hamster food sharing a number of ingredients with their normal bird food, it is usually not really suitable for use as a treat food due to the tastes being so similar.

As we touched on earlier in the article, some hamster food mixes will have dried fruit in them and this can sort of act as a treat food option in some situations.

For the most part though, actual bird treats or fresh fruit will usually end up being a much better treat food option for most birds and they will prefer that over hamster food if possible.

Still, as a stable or temporary food source, most birds who can eat hamster food without issue usually will and they will usually do it without issue.

Can Hamster Food Make Birds Sick?

Much like any other food, there is always the potential for hamster food to make birds sick if they eat too much of it or the wrong types of hamster food.

This is usually not an issue for most people though as long as they use common sense and mix the hamster food with other bird foods or at least supplement it with other foods.

The biggest risk usually comes when people who are not experienced with keeping pet birds try to use hamster food as the sole food source for their bird without supplementing it or mixing it with other bird foods.

This can quickly lead to nutritional deficiencies and health problems in pet birds so it is always best to err on the side of caution if you are not sure about something.

In most cases, a small amount of hamster food added to the diet of a bird will not cause any issues but it is always best to speak with a veterinarian or someone experienced with keeping pet birds before making any major changes to the diet of your bird.


In conclusion, hamster food can be a good option for pet birds in some situations but it is not usually the best option overall.

That said, if you are experienced with keeping pet birds and you know what you are doing then hamster food can be a good way to save money or provide a change of pace for your bird.

Just make sure that you do your research and speak with a professional before making any major changes to your bird’s diet.

If you are having problems finding bird food or you accidentally forgot to get a new bird food mix but you keep a pet hamster, you can use the hamster food as a temporary food source for many species of herbivorous and omnivorous birds with minimal risk to the actual bird.