We have discussed many times what different foods cockatiels can eat, but there are always questions about specific foods. Since a lot of people have problems with peanuts, it is natural to wonder if cockatiels can eat peanuts as well.
Peanuts are perfectly fine for cockatiels to eat, and they even are considered to be a great source of protein. It is recommended that you give your cockatiel roasted, no-salt peanuts instead of raw peanuts, because some of the ingredients in them may prove to be harmful to your cockatiel.
Otherwise, it just simply depends on whether or not your cockatiel likes peanuts. However, it is also not recommended that you give your cockatiel peanuts too often because their diet typically consists of pellets and seeds.
Now, we will discuss cockatiels eating peanuts, some of the other good sources of protein they can eat, and more about food for cockatiels.
Peanuts and Cockatiels
Many people suffer from peanut allergies, so it is definitely understandable why one would worry about whether or not peanuts are safe to feed their cockatiels.
The reality is, peanuts make for a great treat. They also are considered to be a good source of protein for cockatiels. However, since cockatiels mostly eat seeds and pellets and don’t need too much else in their regular diets, you don’t want to give your cockatiel too much.
If you find that your cockatiel liked peanuts, be sure to only give some to your cockatiel from time to time so as to avoid causing any nutritional imbalances.
Another thing to keep in mind is that peanuts contain lots of fat and calories, so it is especially important that you only feed peanuts to your cockatiel in moderation so the possibility of your cockatiel growing obese can be avoided.
However, there are some things to keep in mind when you go to purchase peanuts for your cockatiel.
Things to Know About Peanuts
First thing’s first: only get unsalted peanuts for your cockatiel. This is because cockatiels can’t handle too much salt consumption. Salt is not good for cockatiels whatsoever, so you should even avoid giving it to them in the smallest amounts.
It might be fine if your cockatiel eats the tiniest bit of salty foods, but since their bodies are so much smaller than ours, it is almost impossible to know how much is too much.
Salt could cause an imbalance in your cockatiel’s electrolytes and fluids, which would cause your cockatiel to drink too much, become dehydrated, and worse, cause kidney failure or even death.
So it’s good to simply avoid salt altogether and to go for unsalted peanuts (and the unsalted version of any other snack).
It is also important that you don’t give your cockatiel peanuts with their shells on them. This is because shells contain an ingredient called Aflatoxin which is extremely toxic to birds. It can end up causing liver damage for your cockatiel.
You will also want to make sure to keep your peanuts in a dry, cool area to avoid the possibility of them growing mold. Just as you wouldn’t eat something that has mold growing on it, you should avoid giving such foods to your cockatiel, too.
Also, if you keep your peanuts in a moist environment, they could grow a fungus called Aspergillosis, which is also toxic for cockatiels because it could end up producing Aflatoxins.
So, you want to make sure you keep peanuts in a safe environment and that you avoid giving your cockatiels peanuts still in their shells.
Another piece of advice that a lot of cockatiel owners give is that you soak and roast the peanuts before you give them to your cockatiel. This is because raw peanuts contain phytates and oxalates, which would end up causing problems for your cockatiel such as deficiencies.
Roasting peanuts could also get rid of the possibility that anything harmful remained on the peanuts. Also, you will be able to help activate some of the good nutrients that peanuts contain. Make sure that you don’t salt the peanuts when you roast them.
Soak them in water for between 4 to 6 hours, and then dry them at a temperature below 150 degrees.
And finally, one more thing to note before giving your cockatiel peanuts is that you should only give them peanuts in small amounts. Cockatiels are very small and what we would consider to be a tiny portion might actually be too large for them.
Crush the peanuts so your cockatiel can swallow them more easily, particularly if your cockatiel is a baby. And only feed your cockatiel peanuts once or twice a week.
Foods Containing Protein
Protein is an important nutrient that you should make sure to incorporate in your cockatiel’s diet.
It has been shown that cockatiels that consume a good amount of protein do not develop kidney disease later on; a lack of protein could cause kidney disease in a cockatiel, and you especially want to make sure that baby cockatiels get decent amounts of protein, too.
However, again, it is important that you keep everything in moderation, and understand that seeds and pellets should make up the vast majority of your cockatiel’s diet.
As we have established, peanuts are a great source of protein for cockatiels. Some other foods that people enjoy giving their cockatiels that are high in protein include eggs, chicken, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
With eggs and chicken, you absolutely have to make sure that they are cooked thoroughly. You can either give your cockatiel hard boiled or scrambled eggs. Make sure to wait some time for the eggs or chicken to cool down a lot before you go and feed them to your cockatiel.
Also, be sure to shred them or cut them up into very small pieces so it will be easier for your cockatiel to eat. If you want to learn how to feed meat and eggs to your Cockatiel properly, read our articles on that below:
- Should parrots eat meat?
- Can parrots have eggs?
And finally, be sure to clean your cockatiel’s cage of any remaining meat or eggs after about 30 minutes to avoid the possibility of contamination or spoiling.
It is very important that you constantly educate yourself on what to feed and what not to feed your cockatiel and to only give your cockatiel the best-quality food possible.
Can I feed my cockatiel peanut butter?
A lot of people wonder if peanut butter is bad for cockatiels. But actually, peanut butter makes for a great treat. It has a lot of calories and fat, and you can easily come up with a lot of ways to give it to your cockatiel, including spreading it on your cockatiel’s favorite veggies.
Are any nuts toxic for cockatiels?
Nuts, in general, are very good for cockatiels, especially the ones that you yourself are most likely to eat. Just make sure to only give your cockatiel nuts in moderation, since their diet mostly consists of seeds and pellets.
Is fat bad for cockatiels?
You should avoid giving your cockatiel too many fatty foods because such foods could cause obesity and problems with cholesterol, much like in humans. It is ok if there is some fat in the food you give your cockatiel, but only give fatty foods to cockatiels in moderation.