If you’re a cockatiel owner and have loads of nuts leftover from Christmas or a recent health kick, you may be thinking can cockatiels eat peanuts instead of throwing them away?
The simple answer is yes, peanuts can be fed to cockatiels but limit them to an occasional treat. Do not feed cockatiels salted peanuts but unsalted dry roasted peanuts are fine.
Cockatiels can be fed unsalted and unflavoured peanuts but read below for how to feed cockatiels peanuts and the health benefits your bird will get from them.
Are Peanuts Healthy For Cockatiels?
Peanuts are full of a wide range of vitamins and minerals and can help maintain your cockatiels health and wellbeing if fed in moderation (occasional treat every 1/2 weeks).
Peanuts contain lots of protein which helps your bird with the stresses of moulting and during this time your bird’s intake of protein should range from 12-15% to manage this.
Nutritional Content of Peanuts
The nutritional value of peanuts without the shell and with no salt added.
|Typical Values||Per 10g|
|of which saturated||0.7g|
|of which sugars||0.4g|
|Vitamins and Minerals|
Healthy fats contribute to the energy of your cockatiel, especially if you have an active bird that is often free from its cage and flying around your home.
With fat and most things in general, if you feed your cockatiel peanuts please bear in mind the other foods in its diet as to not overdo it. Your bird may otherwise gain weight quickly.
Magnesium is important for bone strength in cockatiels and works alongside calcium in ensuring proper growth of bones and a strong skeletal structure which is required.
Dietary fibre is less important for cockatiels outside of the regular seeds and millet in their diet. Peanuts and other high fibre foods should be fed occasionally as a treat.
Maintaining your bird’s potassium levels is important during times of stress such as moulting, pregnancy or new surroundings or a new home.
Providing an occasional feeding of peanuts can help with magnesium but mashed banana can help should your bird reject peanuts.
Vitamin A is required for the normal growth of bone and regulates normal reproductive function. Vitamin A is stored primarily in the liver and the vitamin can also help with plumage.
Vitamin E is important for the immune system in cockatiels. However, deficiencies in Vit E can cause gut problems and may even see your cockatiel passing seeds whole in their faeces.
How to Prepare Peanuts to Feed a Cockatiel?
Peanuts are a favourite snack of the cockatiel but if peanuts are fed incorrectly they can easily make your pet cockatiel sick and even kill it as a worst-case scenario.
Firstly, when attempting to prepare peanuts for your bird to eat you should remove the shell. Quite often, the store/shop bought peanuts will arrive already shelled.
Should the peanut still be encased in the shell then you will need to crack it open and remove the nut. If the nuts look like the above photo then you’re good to go…
Never feed peanuts to your cockatiel with the shell still on them because the shell contains aflatoxin due to the peanut growing in the ground. Aflatoxin is toxic to birds.
Once the peanuts are shelled you should only prepare the number of peanuts that your cockatiel will eat. It’s literally going to be 2/3 peanuts at any one time.
This may seem excessive for just a few peanuts but I recommend you place them in a small pan of boiling water to help remove any unwanted dirt or bacteria during handling.
Leave simmering for approximately 5 minutes. Pour away the boiling water through a sieve so your peanuts are caught from landing in the sink and then place on a baking tray.
Place the baking tray in the centre of your pre-heated oven at approximately 130 degrees and let them dry for around 15 minutes. Take out and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once you have the cooled peanuts, carefully crushed them into very small ‘cockatiel suitable size’ pieces that should resemble their regular foods of seeds or millet.
Once your bird has finished eating, ensure that you take away any excess peanut that your bird hasn’t polished off and throw away. Do not store for a later date due to bacteria or mould.