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Peanuts?

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Peanuts?

Postby miajag » Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:50 pm

I've read a bunch of conflicting information about whether it's OK to feed peanuts to parrots and wanted to see what the opinions of parrot owners here are. On other forums I frequent some owners are adamantly against peanuts and others say they're OK in moderation.

I'm well aware that they're quite fatty and should only be given as a treat if at all, but is there any other reason to avoid them? Winnie really loves pieces of shelled, unsalted peanuts as treats (as well as peanut butter on rare occasion) so I'd feel bad cutting them out of her diet entirely (though I can't say I would miss birdie peanut breath :P ). I've considered introducing peanuts in the shell as a more interactive treat, but I've read in a couple places that the shells can have bacteria on them that are harmful/fatal to birds. Can this threat be eliminated by washing them or is it too risky?
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Re: Peanuts?

Postby Michael » Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:25 pm

While they are fatty and should not be the basis of the parrot's diet, I really do not see why they shouldn't be fed. When someone says you shouldn't feed peanuts to a parrot I think they mean that you shouldn't be making daily meals out of them. One thing which is for sure is that you should not feed roasted peanuts. Most peanuts you can buy in a supermarket or would eat yourself are roasted and should not be fed to a parrot. I'm not certain why but I have heard this countless times.

I buy raw (unroasted, unsalted) peanuts at the bird store for my parrot. I freeze most of them and then thaw a few as needed. I don't think I give her more than 5 peanuts a month. Then again I sometimes give her walnuts and almonds so it varies. But in general I'd say that I give my parrot some kind of nut once every 4 days. Some parrots actually require more nuts in their diets while others need to avoid fatty diets. It depends on the species and the shape the parrot is in.

If you feed your parrot healthy, I don't see why a peanut here and there would be a problem. Just don't overdo it. I either break up a peanut into tiny pieces and use them as treats during training or I give the whole nut to my Senegal Parrot and let her work at it. She'll get the nut out of there in under a minute.
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Re: Peanuts?

Postby miajag » Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:03 pm

Where have you read that you shouldn't feed roasted peanuts? I can't find anything about this on the web and most of the things I'm seeing actually say roasted are better than raw. The ones I've been giving her are dry roasted, unsalted. I guess they might not be as nutritious as raw peanuts but I don't see why they'd be dangerous.
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Re: Peanuts?

Postby Michael » Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:24 pm

This could be helpful:

http://www.africangreys.com/articles/nu ... eanuts.htm

They said they prefer raw nuts and I always see raw nuts being sold specifically for parrots. This online parrot food store sells only raw peanuts for parrots. Once again, I do not know or understand the reason but I've always seen recommendations and sales of raw peanuts for parrots:

http://www.chopperstoys.com/CatalogAvianFoods_CG.html

I'd like to know why raw are recommended but my guess would be that they offer some nutrition while roasted are all fat and no nutrition left. As the first site says though, they can grow mold and it is important to preserve them properly.
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Re: Peanuts?

Postby pchela » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:43 pm

One big reason for not feeding peanuts is that the shells are known to harbor the mold Aspergillus flavus which can cause Aspergillosis in parrots. I buy human grade, unsalted peanuts for my birds and discard any peanut that has any defects on the shell such as discoloration just to be safe. They are also only an occasional treat as they are really fatty. I do not trust the peanuts found in some parrot food mixes.

Here is a link with more info. http://www.parrotchronicles.com/julyaug ... llosis.htm
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
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Re: Peanuts?

Postby pchela » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:46 pm

I also found this about roasted peanuts.

Peanuts: peanuts are often fed to birds and raw peanuts are marketed for feeding to garden birds; however this can be risky. The problem is that peanuts are often contaminated with aflatoxin, a fungal toxin. Aflatoxin is carcinogenic and causes liver damage in birds, squirrels and humans, and doubtless other animals as well. Roasting reduces aflatoxin but does not eliminate it entirely. North American peanut producers, meanwhile, try to eliminate contaminated peanuts from their product.

Read more at Suite101: Pet Birds and Toxic Foods: A Short List of Poisonous Plants You Should Never Feed Your Pet | Suite101.com http://birds.suite101.com/article.cfm/p ... z0aN0W5XRp
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
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Re: Peanuts?

Postby Michael » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:57 pm

Anyone know why raw peanuts are recommended then? I never learned why, was just told that raw peanuts are more suitable for parrots than roasted.
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Re: Peanuts?

Postby pchela » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:06 pm

In a quick research check I can't find any information on raw vs roasted peanuts for parrots. What I have found is that most in the parrot world recommends not giving them at all because they are high in fat, have no health benefits, can cause aspergillosis and have aflatoxin which cause liver damage. I found one site that says you can boil raw peanuts.. this makes them safe and they say the parrots like them. I think this is one of those issues that every bird owner has to decide for themselves but everybody should be aware of the risks.
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
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pchela
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Red Belly - Nicholas
Lesser Jardine's - Rupert
Timneh African Grey - Isabeau (Ibby)
Flight: Yes

Re: Peanuts?

Postby Michael » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:10 pm

Are almonds/walnuts a better alternative then as a treat?
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Re: Peanuts?

Postby pchela » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:14 pm

Yes. I've never heard anything bad about almonds or walnuts in the shell. Smaller parrots can't crack the shells though so the foraging aspect is out. Pippin loves raw almonds and walnuts. A Senegal sized bird may be able to crack an almond depending on how dedicated they are. They also really love pine nuts in the shell. Pine Nuts are Pippins favorite treat.
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
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pchela
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1281
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal -Pippin
Red Belly - Nicholas
Lesser Jardine's - Rupert
Timneh African Grey - Isabeau (Ibby)
Flight: Yes

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