Can Cockatiels Eat Peanuts? Peanut Shells? Roasted Peanuts?

Learn about the nutritional benefits of feeding your cockatiels peanuts and get tips for selecting the best type — whether it’s salted or unsalted, shelled or roasted — for their diet.

Peanuts can be a healthy snack for cockatiels in moderation, as they are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and several vitamins and minerals.

However, they are high in fat and should not make up a big portion of a cockatiel’s regular diet.

Moreover, peanuts can sometimes be hosts for bacteria such as salmonella and aspergillus.

Therefore, it is best to keep a check on what type of peanuts you are feeding your bird.

In this article, I will cover some of these aspects in detail.

Can Cockatiels Eat Peanuts

Peanut Nutritional Info: Is It Good For Cockatiels?

Peanuts can be a valuable part of any balanced diet for cockatiels.

They are amongst the healthiest (and dare I say tastiest?) of nuts and contain important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, folate, thiamine, vitamin E, and niacin.

Additionally, they have a significant amount of protein and essential fatty acids.

They are also a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber – two important dietary fiber components that help regulate bowel function.

Nutritional Info

Here is the nutritional information for 100 grams of peanuts:

  • Calories: 567
  • Total Fat: 49.24g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.09g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 18mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 16.13g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8.5g
  • Sugars: 4.72g
  • Protein: 25.8g


Vitamin A: This vitamin is essential for proper growth, development, and overall health. It is also important for maintaining healthy eyes and skin.

Vitamin D3: It helps pet birds absorb and use calcium, which is important for strong bones and healthy feathers.

Vitamin E: It acts as an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also helps to maintain healthy skin and feathers.


Calcium: Calcium is essential for strong bones, healthy feathers, and proper muscle and nerve function.

Phosphorus: This mineral works with calcium to support bone health and is also important for proper cell function.

Other Nutrients

Peanuts are high in fiber, which can help to maintain a healthy digestive system and prevent constipation.

It is also a good source of healthy fats. These can help maintain a healthy heart and support the bird’s overall health.

How Should Peanuts Be Given To Cockatiels?

It’s important to avoid salted peanuts, as these types may contain high levels of sodium.

Unshelled, raw peanuts are a better option.

Let me answer some of your questions on various ways in which peanut can (or cannot) be offered to cockatiels.

Raw, Shelled Peanuts: Yes

Raw, unshelled peanuts are the best option because they offer their entire nutritional value that way.

Moreover, your bird will enjoy cracking open shells; it is like a game for them.

Clean the peanuts thoroughly before offering them to your pet cockatiel to avoid contaminants such as dirt or dust.

Moldy peanuts can produce toxic substances that can cause serious health problems for your bird.

Raw, shelled peanuts are the best way to give peanuts to cockatiels

Peanut Oil: Yes, Sometimes

Peanut oil is considered to be a safe and healthy choice for cockatiels.

It is a healthy choice, as it is low in saturated fat and has relatively balanced amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Moreover, it contains an array of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants that can also benefit your pet’s health.

Peanut Butter: Occasional

Peanut butter can be an occasional treat for cockatiels, but it’s important to be aware that it should not be a staple part of their diet.

It is often high in added sugars, salt, and oils which can be harmful to birds if consumed in large amounts.

It’s best to offer only a small amount of unsweetened, unsalted organic peanut butter as an occasional treat.

Fresh peanut butter can be a tasty snack for birds in small quantities

Roasted Peanuts: Only Fresh Ones

The roasting process can change the nutritional value of peanuts.

It may lead to the loss of essential vitamins and minerals and can also cause the formation of harmful compounds.

Hence, store-bought roasted peanuts should also be avoided when feeding cockatiels. However, you can roast fresh peanuts at home and give it to your bird.

Salted Peanuts: No

Salted peanuts should generally be avoided when feeding food cockatiels.

They are not natural food items and are not essential for the proper nutrition of these birds.

These types of peanuts have been processed and may contain high levels of sodium and oil, which can harm your bird.

Peanut Shells: No

Peanut shells can be like a toy for cockatiels. Birds enjoy foraging and cracking open shells.

However, it’s important that you know that peanut shells are unsafe for birds to eat.

They can cause blockages in the digestive system if ingested. So they should not be added to the food directly.

Salted peanuts should never be given to birds

How Much (And How Often) Should You Give Peanuts To Your Bird?

Offer a small amount, around 1-2 unsalted, shelled peanuts per day. Note that I am talking about adult birds here.

For babies, it is best to avoid peanuts because they might find it hard to eat a whole nut, and it can get lodged in their crops.

Peanuts and peanut treats should compose no more than 10% of your bird’s total dietary intake.

If your bird becomes a nut junkie, it might start demanding only peanuts from you and avoid eating other healthy foods such as pellets, grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Hence, peanuts can be offered occasionally as a tasty treat but should not become a significant portion of their diet.

Peanut oil is safe for cockatiels

Are There Any Dangers To Giving Peanuts to Cockatiels?

Yes, there are some dangers to giving peanuts to cockatiels.

Peanuts are high in fat, which can contribute to obesity and other health problems if fed in large amounts.

Moreover, raw or unprocessed peanuts can contain aflatoxins, toxic compounds produced by certain types of fungi, especially aspergillus.

Aflatoxins can cause serious health issues, such as liver damage.

If you are going to feed store-bought peanuts, I would suggest you roast them a little bit because that reduces the level of aflatoxins.

Peanuts can also contain salmonella, a very harmful bacteria that can cause salmonellosis in birds.

Hence it is important to ensure that the peanuts you offer are completely fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions

What nuts can cockatiels not eat?

Most nuts are safe for cockatiels. Walnuts might not be a good option because of their high fat content, but you can soak them overnight and feed it to them.
Cockatiels should not be fed certain food items such as avocados, onions, fruit pits, apple seeds, and chocolates.

Are peanuts harmful to parrots?

Peanuts can be harmful to parrots if fed in large amounts or if they are not properly processed.
Peanuts are high in fat, which can contribute to obesity and other health problems if fed in large amounts.
Raw or unprocessed peanuts can contain aflatoxins, toxic compounds produced by certain types of mold.

What are good snacks for cockatiels?

A balanced diet for a cockatiel should consist mainly of a specialized pellet diet, fresh fruits and vegetables, and small seeds, including a limited amount of nuts as a treat.
Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, and melons are great sources of vitamins and minerals.
Vegetables, including carrots, cabbage, corn, spinach, and broccoli, offer plenty of fiber.
Almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts are rich in essential fatty acids.
However, they should be offered sparingly due to their high fat content.

Why do birds love peanuts?

Birds, including cockatiels, are naturally attracted to peanuts because of their high fat and protein level.
In the wild, birds consume various foods high in fat and protein to support their high energy needs and maintain their overall health.
Peanuts have a strong, nutty aroma that birds find appealing.

Wrap Up

Peanuts can be a healthy snack for cockatiels in moderation as they contain various important nutrients like protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

However, it’s important to note that they are high in fat and should not make up a significant portion of a cockatiel’s diet.

Moreover, only fresh, shelled peanuts are best for your bird. Stale peanuts can contain aspergillus, which produces liver-damaging aflatoxins.

Limit the amount you give your bird to 1-2 peanuts a day, not more. Never offer salted peanuts because those are high in sodium and oil, which can be harmful to cockatiels.

Photo of author

Team Beauty of Birds's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

You can meet our team here.
Team Beauty of Birds is separate from the “Parrot Parent University” parrot training course and its instructors.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.