One of the principal aspects of taking care of any pet is feeding. Your pet will only survive and stay healthy if it is nourished appropriately.
But there are so many food options available, and sometimes, choosing what is right can get confusing.
We take it that you have a parrot, and you have some peanut butter, but you are unsure if the parrot can eat the peanut butter.
Can a parrot eat peanut butter?
Parrots love nuts, including peanuts. So, eating peanut butter should pose no threat to their health.
In fact, peanut butter is easier to eat than peanuts since they do not have to crack the peanut shell open. All they have to do is scoop the butter with their tiny bills.
Of course, the story does not end there. In this post, we discuss peanuts, peanut butter, and other safe parrot treats.
Can a Parrot Eat Peanut Butter?
As we said already, parrots can eat peanut butter.
However, you must be wary of the other ingredients added to the product besides peanut.
Certain food items like those listed below should not be consumed by parrots:
- Sugar Substitutes
- Hydrogenated Oil
However, there are many peanut butter variants, and many of them come with the above ingredients.
So, when buying peanut butter for your parrot, ensure you run through the list of ingredients.
Alternatively, you could get organic peanut butter, or you could make peanut butter for your parrot at home.
The good thing about making the peanut butter yourself is that you are sure of what is in it. So, you will not have to fret over possibly harming your little feathery friend.
You may choose to offer peanut butter to your parrot in its base form or you could make the peanut butter into a birdseed ball.
To make a birdseed ball, you will need peanut butter, flour, lard, birdseed, rolled oats, and cornmeal.
- First, you add the peanut butter and lard to a bowl. Then you microwave at low for around 20-30 seconds. Get the bowl out, then stir the peanut butter and lard thoroughly to mix.
- Once the peanut butter and lard are well-mixed, add the other ingredients. Then stir until they combine well.
- After mixing all the ingredients, place the bowl containing them in a refrigerator for around 1-2 hours. Then check if the mixture is firm enough to form a ball.
- When the mixture is firm enough, get it out, then roll it into a ball. You may coat the outside of the birdseed ball with some extra birdseed, rolled oats, and cornmeal.
When you want to serve the birdseed ball to your parrot, tie it to a piece of twine and hang it from the parrot’s cage.
All in all, moderation is essential when feeding peanut butter to parrots.
While parrots can get nutrients from peanut butter, peanut butter should not be given to them excessively.
Can a Parrot Eat Peanuts?
Parrots can eat peanuts. In fact, apart from peanuts, parrots enjoy eating many other types of nuts.
Some of them include cashew nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds.
Like peanut butter, peanuts should only be given to parrots moderately. In other words, they should only be offered as treats.
In giving peanuts to your parrot, you should be a bit selective.
Avoid getting them peanuts that have been salted and spiced as they may cause trouble for the parrot.
Also, ensure you get high-quality peanuts that has been stored correctly.
When a peanut is of low quality or when it is not stored well, fungi will grow on it.
This fungus, Aspergillus flavus, releases a toxin called Aflatoxin.
When parrots eat peanuts containing Aflatoxin, they can get extremely sick. The same thing applies to humans.
What Species of Parrots Can Eat Peanut Butter and Peanuts?
Cockatoos, Eclectus parrots, African Grey parrots, Quakers, and Parakeets can all safely eat peanuts and peanut butter.
Of course, with all of these species, being moderate is advised.
Nutrients in Peanuts and Peanut Butter
Some of the nutrients parrots may get from peanut butter include the following:
- Vitamin B6
Protein helps with the general growth of parrots.
It promotes feather growth, and also provides calories for the parrot’s sustenance.
Protein will generally make your parrot look healthier, and it may also help with warmth as the bird molts.
If your parrot is not getting enough protein, its growth will be stunted, and it may suffer fatty liver disease.
The fat in peanuts is free of cholesterol.
But it contains unsaturated and saturated fats, with the former present in a higher proportion.
Fat helps parrots meet their caloric requirements.
It is stored in their body in energy reserves, which comes in handy in many situations. For one, these fat reserves help in providing energy to keep warm on very chill days.
Sodium is one of two electrolytes essential for fluid balance in the body of a parrot.
It is also a vital mineral in the blood. Without it, most, if not all, of your parrot’s physiological functions will fail.
Potassium is the second of the two electrolytes essential for fluid balance in the body of a parrot.
It is partly responsible for the turgidity of the parrot’s cells. In deficient states, your parrot will lose its vigor.
Besides, when potassium is deficient many of your parrot’s physiological functions will be affected.
Magnesium plays a role in bone formation, healthy heart function, and carbohydrate metabolism.
When magnesium is lacking, your parrot will not grow well. It may also experience convulsions, lethargy, and it could die.
Calcium plays many roles in the body of a parrot.
One of these roles is promoting the growth and strength of bones, claws, feathers, and beaks.
Calcium also helps with regulating the heart’s rhythm and electric signaling in the nervous system.
Insufficient calcium will leave your parrot with weak bones, beaks, and claws, and unattractive feathers.
A lack of calcium may also affect your parrot’s nerve functions and heartbeat.
Iron is needed by the body to form hemoglobin – the part of the blood that carries oxygen.
If iron is deficient, a parrot may suffer anemia.
15 Treats That Are Safe for Parrots
Besides peanuts and peanut butter, parrots can also eat the following treats safely:
- Butternut Squash
Parrots can eat peanut butter given that it does not contain other ingredients that may affect the parrot.
When giving parrots peanut butter, it should be offered in moderation.
In other words, peanut butter is best reserved as a treat for parrots.