Do Pigeons Explode From Eating Rice or Soda? [What Do They Explode From?]

You may have heard that you shouldn’t throw rice at weddings because it’s bad for birds. Because they will eat it and it will expand in their stomachs and hurt them and make the birds like seagulls and pigeons explode, but here’s the truth of pigeons exploding from eating rice or baking soda and what do they explode from.

Neither rice nor baking soda or Alka seltzer makes pigeons explode, so is for other birds. The myth that rice expands in the pigeon’s stomach and eventually explode is not true and neither backed by science. Likewise for the Alka Seltzer and soda that is assumed to produce gas in the pigeon’s stomach and makes pigeons explode isn’t correct. Some materials which may burst birds bellies or other parts of their digestive system are gunpowder, calcium carbide, magnesium silicide.

Starting from domesticating them 5,000 years ago, pigeons have come a long way with us. First, they were farmed for a source of protein like chicken, then we bred them as messengers, and lastly, pigeons had reached their ultimate peak which was in the 16th century. They were kept and bred for show. And that’s why Europeans who migrated to North America brought some pigeons with them.

After which, they escaped and exploded especially in cities. From that point, we have come along with pigeons increasing significantly. Because cities are essentially tailor-made for these birds because of our food leftovers. And also due to the buildings and heights which is their native range and by having places for pigeons to nest in.

As they are live in the cities, they may make nests, poo, and eat whatever they get that would lead you to think do pigeons explode from eating soda or rice. Here’s the answer.

Do Pigeons Explode From Eating Rice?

Maybe you’re keeping a pigeon pet, is a pigeon or birds lover, or jsut want to get rid of pigeons. Whatever the case, pigeons are unlikely to be hurt or explode from eating rice.

The myth rumors that pigeons eating dried rice will explode because the rice expands considerably in the pigeon’s stomach that there will not enough room in the stomach so the pigeon will burst. But this is just a myth. The bird’s stomach is expandable and can expand some inches. As well as, if birds can regurgitating for their babies, they can also regurgitate for themselves too. When they are more than full, birds will regurgitate it.

The experiment from the “Reactions” channel showed that rice does expand like many other pigeon’s foods and doesn’t hurt and makes pigeons explode. They ended up with” If rice is a bird gut explosion risk, so is every other kind of seed they might conceivably want to eat.

The myth has come far away starting from the 1980s preventing people from throwing uncooked rice at weddings assuming the rice will absorb significant water and expand in the pigeon’s stomach and make birds explode. With that though, people now throw bird seeds to the wedding.

Do Birds Fart?

When you eat or drink and breathe oxygen, you swallow excess air. Going to the digestion, the bacteria in your gut break down food that will include the air that creates a gas which the gut sends out as fart.

But though pigeons have an anus and could technically fart, they do not have the bacteria producing gas in their gut to help with digestion due to their very different diet. In which case, birds do not fart. That means they do not produce gas so they do not fart, neither need to.

Do Birds Burp?

Unlike farting, birds do burp necessarily just like humans. When you breathe, eat, drink, you swallow excess air that comes out in form of burping which is also known as belching. This does not need to happen when the stomach is full or air in it but can also happen when there’s little or more air in the stomach.

That is the same for birds. This means, birds including pigeons do swallow excess air and expel it through burping. However, the way it happens is different for pigeons and you but both are essentially the same.

How About The Instant Rice?

Though instant rice expands way more than regular rice but does not expand very much compared to other seeds. The reason it expands way too much is because it has already been cooked and dried out again. The cooking process doesn’t just draw in water. It also starts to rupture the structure of the rice grains, as well as expand cracks that were created during the milling process.

So when you cook the rice a second time, there’s probably even more room for water to creep in and expand. And with those cracks, they sock up water and air. So does that mean instant rice is dangerous and pigeons explode from eating instant rice, not from regular rice. The answer is: Though it expands but the explosion is never so huge that would make pigeons explode.

That ends up with, no, instant rice won’t explode birds. Well, birds including pigeons don’t seem to like it very much. However, pigeons and my other birds, they picked plain rice over instant rice. But even if they eat which is not likely, it didn’t seem to hurt.

An experiment was also done from “Today I found” Youtube channel with instant rice. A group of 60 doves and pigeons were fed a diet of nothing but instant rice and water for 12 hours and they were all able to eat as much as they wanted. The result was all of the birds were completely fine. As they were also monitored, not a single bird showed the slightest discomfort from eating the instant rice.

Do Pigeons Explode From Eating Soda?

Do Pigeons Explode From Eating Rice or Soda? [What Do They Explode From?]
No, pigeons do not explode from eating soda or rice and have never done so. The myth calls pigeons eating soda will create a significant gas that is so large that will explode the pigeon. Assuming, the gas will be so huge that is more than space that a bird can hold. Supposedly because birds do not pass the gas out from the rear by farting. As a result, the pigeon or bird will explode and blast into pieces.

The baking soda may create gas but is never so significant that will make the pigeon explode and neither cause issue or any damage. However, just like avoid feeding chocolate to raccoons, if you have pigeons, do not feed soda, not only to pigeons but any birds or any other animal.

Do Pigeons Explode From Eating Oats?

Somehow like rice, oats expand the volume simply because it absorbs the water it is in. It expands dramatically that 1/2 dried cup raw = 1 cup of cooked oats. While this might sound pretty surprising, it doesn’t harm peigons neither other birds just like rice expanding myth.

No birds including pigeons don’t explode or poisoned or bombed from eating oats. In fact, if you like to feed oats to birds, you should better feed them raw oats than cooked oats. Because cooked oats become sticky and birds can’t eat and digest easily. Oats are very helpful for digestion and nutritious for both birds and humans.

Do Eating Baking Soda Help Pigeons Digest?

While backing soda helps people digest food and gas through fart and burp, however, it does pretty much the same to birds. With that done, the baking soda will create a gas in the pigeon or bird’s stomach but the gas won’t be so large that will explode the bird. With that explained, its never smart to feed animals the food and medicines made for us. You should not feed human’s food to animals and birds especially chocolate (That is fatal to squirrels also), bread, soda, to name a few.

And if they become ill, never feed the medicines you use or is used for people. In fact, that might even be toxic for them. Something that is helpful for us doesn’t mean it is also useful for birds and vice versa including medicines.

What Do Pigeons Explode Eating From?

Fortunately, it takes more than a few rice or soda to explode pigeons. If you’re looking to get rid of pigeons or birds in general, you can feed those some of these. There are a few things which could explode pigeons and also hurt people badly if eaten.

Feeding pigeons some calcium carbide or magnesium silicide will explode those pigeons and cause them to paint the sidewalk with its insides. What this do is calcium carbide create so much gas ” acetylene” that will make a strong explosion in the pigeons stomach when its reaches oxygen which will then explode the pigeon.

What To Feed & What Not To Feed Birds?

While birds like lots of terrible things to eat, feeding those without realizing is poisonous for them. Feeding those once a while is fine but not all the time like bread. While bread is birds favorite, its probably not the best thing to feed. Not only it is not nutritious, but it is even lethal if fed for a long time. If not, it will definitely cause some issues inside it.

What To Feed & What Not To Feed Birds?

However, it is not as fatal as chocolate, candies, and beverages. And that doesn’t end there, there are more to it.

Avoid these foods and instead feed seeds and grains like nyjer, millet, oats, sunflower seeds, greens, berries, fruits.


There are no evidences, or experiments of the rice, baking soda or Alka Seltzer being a bird bomb, and that’s just a myth presumed by people. Instead, there are many studies and experiments which prove it wrong like the Reactions.

Just like birds regurgitate food for their youngs, they can also regurgitate excess gas stacked inside and as well as by burping up. And if they can pass food on one side and gas on the other side, Alka-Seltzer is also not going to hurt them.

That comes down to no rice, soda, Alka-Seltzer, or oats explode pigeons and other birds.

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