MYTH: You shouldn’t throw rice at weddings because if birds eat it their stomachs will swell up and rupture killing them in a bloody mess.

TRUTH: Birds can eat as much rice as they like and it won’t hurt them.

Most of the seed commonly found in commercial bird food actually swells by about 40% when wet compared to 33% for normal rice. Even instant rice (which is usually too expensive to just throw on the ground anyway) which can expand up 270% does not swell enough to harm birds. A study at the University of Kentucky found that pigeons and doves fed instant rice not only didn’t explode but preferred the starchy snack over other foods they were offered.

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