Can Cockatiels Eat Pistachios? How To Manage The Shell?

Should you feed any type of nuts to birds? For example, can cockatiels eat pistachios, or is the hard outer shell a choking hazard? Let’s find out.

We all love a good evening snack, and what can be better than a nut mixture? 

Pistachios are one of the most nutritious nuts for humans, and interestingly, they can be an equally nutritious snack for your pet cockatiel

A well-balanced diet for your birds can include feeding them pistachios at any time. 

In this article, we will talk to you about pistachios and why it can be a good idea to feed them to your cockatiel.

Read on to find out. 

Can Cockatiels Eat Pistachios

Pistachios Nutritional Info: Are They Good For Cockatiels?

When you are choosing a healthy snack for your cockatiel, you have to consider the nutritional value of the food item. 

Pistachios can be a very good source of energy for birds and also helps to keep a healthy digestive system. 

It also has a number of other nutrients that makes it a good snack for your pet birds.

Nutritional Info

An ounce of pistachio has the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 159
  • Protein: 5.72 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Carbs: 7.7 grams 
  • Fat: 12.8 grams
  • Others: Potassium, Calcium, and Anti-oxidants  

Key Benefits

  • Pistachios are one of the best sources of protein among nuts, and with their low-calorie level, they can help in your bird’s energy gain without causing obesity. 
  • Potassium and antioxidants work as a protection against chronic diseases among birds.
  • Vitamin B6 in the nuts helps improve a bird’s immunity and heart health
  • These nuts have high fiber content, which is important for your bird’s digestive health
  • Pistachios contain zeaxanthin and lutein, which can help improve eye health 

Cockatiels love to open the outer shell with their beaks and take out the nut from inside

How Should Pistachios Be Given To Cockatiels? 

Cockatiels can be particularly picky about how they eat food. When it comes to any type of nut, you should try experimenting with how you are feeding them. 

Usually, if you start feeding them a certain type of food at a young age, they will grow to like it with time. 

Here are a few ideas you can use to feed pistachios to your cockatiels. 

Raw Pistachios

The best way to feed pistachios to your birds is by giving them the nuts raw. 

You can observe your bird breaking open the hard shell with its beak and munching away on the main nut. 

The crunchy taste of the nut is a favorite of most cockatiels, and raw pistachios will contain all the important nutrients the bird needs. 

Salted Pistachios / Roasted Pistachios

Feeding salted or roasted pistachios to your bad is not a good idea. 

Salty foods can be very dangerous for birds as it results in salt toxicity, causing weakness, diarrhea, and kidney failure. 

If you are roasting the nuts, you might be removing the nutrients, which will not benefit the birds.

Pistachio Paste

Pistachio paste might not be the most popular food dish with your birds. Birds prefer breaking open and nut and eating it as a whole. 

While pistachio paste is not bad for your birds in any way, it is an acquired taste, and most birds will not like eating it. 

Pistachio Shells

Pistachio shells do not have any particular nutritional value. These are just the covering of the main nuts with no particular taste. 

In fact, your bird will probably throw away the shell if you are giving it to them. So it is best to avoid this part of the nut. 

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

The occasional treat for cockatiel has to be carefully moderated to maintain a healthy balance in the diet. 

Pistachios should be limited to 10% of your bird’s diet. This means if you are feeding 40 grams of food, pistachios should be only 4 grams. 

Pistachios can be an excellent snack for your birds that they can eat in between meals of vegetables and pellet diets. 

The best idea is to feed them the nuts once or twice a week, two or three kernels each time. 

Are There Any Dangers To Giving Pistachios to Cockatiels? 

Pistachios do not have any particular dangers for cockatiels as long as it is being fed in a limited quantity. 

Overfeeding the nuts can cause high blood pressure and obesity as they contain both carbohydrates and fats. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cockatiels eat almonds?

Yes, cockatiels can eat almonds. In the wild, they often enjoy cracking open and eating shelled almonds; however, pet cockatiels should only be given small amounts of these nuts.
Almonds are high in fat and oil, so if your bird is given too much, it could lead to weight gain or health problems due to an imbalanced diet.
Make sure always to feed your cockatiel foods such as pellets and a variety of fresh produce that make up their main diet.

Can cockatiels eat raisins?

Yes, cockatiels can eat small amounts of raisins as a treat. However, raisins should be given only in moderation, as too much can cause digestive issues.
Raisins are quite high in sugar and are low in nutrients, so they should not be used as a substitute for the fresh fruit and vegetables that make up the majority of a cockatiel’s diet.
Fresh foods will give your pet bird access to important vitamins and minerals that most dried fruits lack. Avoid giving your pet any treats with added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Can cockatiels eat walnuts?

Yes, cockatiels can eat walnuts in moderation.
It is important to make sure that the walnut is unshelled and cut into small pieces for the bird to be able to grab and eat without choking.
Like with all other treats, only give your cockatiel a few pieces of walnut at a time and no more than once or twice a week.
Too many walnuts can be bad for their digestion and can cause them to become overweight.

Can cockatiels eat cashews?

Cockatiels can eat a variety of nuts, including cashews, but they should not be the only source of their diet.
Nuts are high in fat and offer little nutrition, so it is important to feed cockatiels a variety of fresh foods like fruits and vegetables.
In addition, cashew nuts should only be offered as an occasional treat because regular feeding of large amounts can lead to obesity.
If you do decide to give your cockatiel cashews, it might be better to soak them in water for a few hours to make them softer.

Wrap Up

It is always important to create a nutritious diet for your birds from a young age. 

Adding nuts like pistachios will make a healthy diet more interesting, and your birds will not get bored of eating the same thing throughout the week. 

Thank you for reading!

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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.

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Team Beauty of Birds is separate from the “Parrot Parent University” parrot training course and its instructors.

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