I'd start with a small amount because they gel and expand A LOT when wet. Put a few in a dish with a bit of water and you will see. People eat them because they are supposedly very good for you. If you google them you can see all the health benefits of eating them. The one thing I saw that was a negative was since they can lower blood pressure in people they say not to eat them if you are on blood pressure meds. I actually just bought some a few weeks ago for me. Maybe I'll share them with the birds.