Cockatiels mainly eat seeds and pellets along with fruits, vegetation, and nuts. They can eat almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and even cashews.
So, can cockatiels eat peanuts? Yes, peanuts are safe for cockatiels to eat. Peanuts are rich in nutrients like proteins, potassium, and calcium, which are vital for birds. These nutrients make peanuts a great snack that should be fed to cockatiels in moderation to avoid upsetting their diet.
However, before you give your pet cockatiel some peanuts, read on to learn the risks, how to prepare the snack and how big the servings should be.
Can Cockatiels Eat Peanuts?
Yes, cockatiels can consume peanuts safely. Peanuts are rich in essential nutrients that boost your pet bird’s health.
According to USDA, 100 grams of peanuts contains the following nutrients;
|Vitamin B6||0.3 mg|
Carbohydrates and sugars are broken down to provide energy that the cockatiel expends in its daily activities. The fiber in peanuts facilitates digestion and cleans the digestive system. Hence, it improves the gut health of the cockatiel.
Likewise, peanuts provide a lot of proteins that are essential for tissue and muscle growth. They also help to repair and maintain body tissues while playing a key role in the immune system. Proteins help form blood and hormones and accelerate the healing of wounds.
The table below shows the nutrient facts and their benefits in brief.
|Magnesium||Magnesium helps regulate your cockatiel’s metabolism, increasing its energy levels. It also regulates blood pressure and helps the bird deal with stress.|
|Vitamin B6||Vitamin B6 promotes brain development and supports your pet bird’s immune system.|
|Potassium||Potassium helps to maintain the fluid and electrolyte balance in cells. It also plays a role in the nervous system.|
|Iron||Iron is a key part of haemoglobin – the part of blood that transports oxygen around the body. Iron also helps form strong bones.|
|Calcium||Calcium plays a central role in forming strong bones and teeth. This is important for egg-laying cockatiels since it helps form egg shells.|
|Sodium||Similar to potassium, sodium helps maintain the right balance of fluids and electrolytes in the cell. It also plays a role in muscle and nerve function. Calcium also helps maintain a normal heart rhythm.|
As discussed, peanuts are a rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, and other minerals. Their high mineral content makes them an excellent snack for your pet cockatiel.
Though peanuts offer many great benefits for your pet bird, there are a few risks to look out for. These risks include;
1. Peanut shells
Since peanuts shells are potentially toxic, you should avoid feeding them to cockatiels. The shells contain aflatoxin, a chemical that has been proven toxic to birds and other pets. If you feed your pet bird peanut shells regularly, it may develop liver problems and eventually die.
Similarly, if you’re feeding your cockatiel with stored peanuts, ensure you remove the shells. Stored peanuts often have mold on their shells. The mold is harmful to birds because it also contains aflatoxins. Hence, you should avoid feeding your cockatiels any peanuts stored in a damp area.
Moderate amounts of fat are good for your cockatiel, but too much will cause issues. Over-consuming fats can lead to rapid weight gain and obesity. Thus, excess weight causes high stress on your bird’s joints which can lead to arthritis.
Peanuts can choke your cockatiel, especially if it’s young. If your bird is small or young, break the peanuts into small pieces that the bird can easily swallow.
Peanuts are rich in oxalates, which are safe for birds to consume in small quantities. However, peanuts contain high amounts of oxalates, which pose problems if fed to cockatiels regularly.
Accordingly, oxalates bond with calcium, reducing the amount available for absorption. Therefore, feeding your cockatiel with peanuts regularly will cause a calcium deficiency and weaken bones.
Most store-bought peanuts contain additives like salt. In general, additives upset the gut health of cockatiels. Salt affects your cockatiel’s electrolyte and fluid balance, causing issues like kidney failure. Consequently, you should avoid feeding your pet bird any seasoned peanuts.
How to Prepare Peanuts for Cockatiels
Peanuts are an excellent snack for your cockatiel, but you must prepare them properly to avoid harm. The first thing to do when preparing peanuts is de-shelling. Simply crack the shell and extract the nut. If you want to feed your bird raw peanuts, just crush one or two and put them in the feeding container.
You can also feed your cockatiel roasted peanuts. To roast peanuts, preheat the oven to about 177 degrees Celsius. Spread them evenly on a cookie tray and place them in the oven. Leave them to bake for 15 minutes before removing them. Cool the peanuts and then feed them to your cockatiel.
Another way to prepare peanuts for your feathered friend is by soaking them. Soak them for about six hours and then dry them in the sun or low heat. Once they get dried, feed them to the bird. This method can help reduce the amount of salt or seasoning in store-bought roasted peanuts.
Are Roasted Peanuts Safe for Cockatiels?
Yes, roasted peanuts are safe for your cockatiel. Raw peanuts contain some potentially harmful substances like phytic acid and oxalic acid. These substances are harmless in small quantities, but regular consumption can lead to issues like mineral deficiencies.
Besides, roasting peanuts eliminates these potentially harmful substances and makes peanuts healthier for your cockatiel. However, the roasted peanuts you feed your cockatiel do not have any salt or preservatives.
How Many Peanuts Should Cockatiels Eat?
Although peanuts contain many essential nutrients, they also contain a high amount of fat. High amounts of fat are harmful to birds, so you must limit how many peanuts your pet bird eats. Moreover, too many peanuts can upset your bird’s diet, potentially causing health problems.
So, the safe amount of peanuts for your feathered friend is one or two per week.
Can You Feed Peanuts To Baby Cockatiels?
Yes, you can feed peanuts to baby cockatiels. The high protein content is great for baby cockatiels since it accelerates the growth of tissues. However, you must crush the peanuts to a manageable size to prevent choking. You should also soak the peanuts to make them moist and easy to eat.
Here are some answers to some common questions about feeding peanuts to cockatiels.
Should I feed my cockatiel with peanut shells?
No, you should never let your pet cockatiel consume peanut shells because they contain aflatoxin. This toxin harms birds and can lead to serious issues like liver damage if consumed regularly. Never feed your bird any moldy peanuts or leave peanut shells scattered in your bird’s cage.
Can cockatiels eat peanut butter?
Yes, peanut butter is a great treat to give your cockatiel. However, since it contains many calories and fat, you should only give your bird a small portion at a time.
Since preservatives are harmful to cockatiels, ensure the peanut butter you feed them is free of additives.
Peanuts are an excellent treat for your pet cockatiel since they contain several essential nutrients. However, despite their many benefits, eating too many peanuts is harmful to your feathered friend. You should always ensure that your bird only eats plain peanuts with no shells or additives.