Nuts like cashews can be really high in calories, so is it a good idea for cockatiels to eat cashews? I answer this question below.
If you have a pet bird at home, you already know they are picky eaters.
And if your feathered friend is a cockatiel, it could be a tough task to get them to take a balanced diet.
Most cockatiels need a variety of seeds, pellets, fresh vegetables, and fruits in their diet. But is an occasional power-packed treat like cashews out of the question?
In this article, I discuss this in detail. While cashews aren’t (and shouldn’t be) a staple in cockatiels’ diet, once in a while, they can be good for them.
Learn about a few things you should know before offering cashew to your birds.
Cashews Nutritional Info: Is It Good For Cockatiels?
Cashews are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that your bird can benefit from.
These nuts contain copper, magnesium, and different type of vitamins that can keep your cockatiel healthy overall.
The USDA says that an ounce of raw cashews has the following nutrients:
- Calories: 157
- Fat: 12.43 g
- Protein: 5.17 g
- Carbs: 8.56 g
- Fiber: 0.9 g
- Sugar: 1.68 g
- Calcium: 10mg
- Potassium: 187 mg
- Phosphorus: 168 mg
- Magnesium: 83 mg
- Zinc: 1.64 mg
- Sodium: 3 mg
- Iron: 1.89 mg
- Vitamins B, C, E, K, and Folate (trace amounts)
Let’s look at how some of these nutrients can be good for your bird.
These are some of the important nutrients that cashews contain which are good for your birds:
- Vitamins B6, E, and K are important for cell function, skin, and body circulation
- Calcium helps in egg production and the overall health of the body
- Magnesium and zinc help the immune system of birds
- Iron helps in the production of blood cells in their body
- Cashews also have healthy fats that are important to maintaining the weight of your bird, important in a balanced diet
How Should Cashews Be Given To Cockatiels?
If you are thinking of feeding cashews to your cockatiel, the best idea is to offer them raw.
Birds like nuts because they can play around a bit with them, explore them with their beaks, and then pick them up from their food bowls.
Let’s look at some ways in which you might be thinking of giving your bird cashews and whether they are right or not.
Raw and unsalted cashews are the best form to give your cockatiels.
Birds enjoy the texture of raw cashews, and they have the highest amount of nutrients.
However, raw cashews have oxalates in them, which inhibit calcium absorption. Hence don’t offer too many to your birds.
Soaked in Water
Cockatiels will like eating cashews if you soak them in clean water for a few hours.
Soaking makes the nuts softer, which can be good for younger birds.
Moreover, soaking the cashews removes oxalates and phytates, thus making the nuts more nutritious.
Your birds can certainly eat cooked cashews, but it is not recommended. Cashews already contain oil in them.
If you are cooking them, it could increase the fat content, which will not be healthy for your birds.
How Much (And How Often) Should You Give Cashews To Your Bird?
When you are feeding cashews to your bird, the first thing you need to keep in mind is their size.
If your bird is young, you should not be feeding them more than one or two at one time.
Adult birds can have a few more, but they should be restricted to once or twice a week.
For birds, the recommended calories from cashews should not exceed more than 20.
Moderation is very important when you are feeding them nuts. This is because most nuts, especially cashews, are high in fats.
Are There Any Dangers To Giving Cashews to Cockatiels?
Cashews are not very dangerous for birds as long as they are being fed to them in unsalted form and in limited quantity, as I shared above.
These nuts are high in calories and fats, which can cause obesity and other problems.
Too many cashews in their diet can cause obesity, fatigue, arthritis, and heart issues.
Salt is another thing your birds should avoid, as it can cause electrolyte imbalance in their bodies.
Therefore, you should ensure you are not feeding your bird processed and salted cashew nuts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can birds eat cashews?
Yes, birds can eat cashews, and it can be beneficial for them. Cashews contain high amounts of multivitamins, minerals, and water that can keep a bird healthy.
But these nuts should, however, only be fed in moderation as they are high in fat and calories.
Are cashews toxic to parrots?
No, cashews are not toxic to parrots, but the number of cashews you are feeding them will determine if your bird will benefit from them or not.
Overfeeding nuts (be it cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or any others) is not a good idea since they can affect the heart health of your birds.
Can cockatiels eat caju?
Caju, also known as cashew fruit, is not toxic to cockatiels and can be fed to them in small amounts.
However, it is important to note that cockatiels have a primarily seed-based diet, so it should not make up a significant portion of their diet.
What nuts can’t birds eat?
Birds can usually eat a different kind of nuts, from cashews to peanuts and macadamia nuts.
Some nuts can contain toxins that are harmful to your bird, and it is a good idea to check with your vet before feeding them any random nuts.
If you are looking for a healthy and filling snack for your feathered friends, cashews might be the best thing to choose from.
High in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, these nuts work to keep your birds healthy and active.
And finally, these are tasty treats that they will love eating in between their usual meals.
Thank you for reading!