Peanut butter is one of the most popular spreads around. Crunchy or smooth, on toast or straight out of the jar, it is delicious in any way we choose to eat it. So, while you’re happily munching about on your sandwich, you catch your parrot eyeing your peanut butter sandwich, and you wonder if you have offered it to your parrot without any repercussions.
Sometimes it becomes difficult to eat when your parrot is perched upon your shoulder, watching your every move and every bite, and so it becomes tempting to give them a bite or two. But you also want to be a responsible pet owner and want to cover all bases before offering your parrot any food. After all, you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks where their health is concerned. When you read the ingredients label, you’ll find that peanut butter includes salt, sugar, molasses, hydrogenated oil, and other additives. Thus it is natural to wonder about the safety of offering it to your parrot. There are also a lot of myths circulating about this food and parrots.
Which is why you’ve landed here. Read on to find out if you can offer your parrot peanut butter in any form.
Is Peanut Butter Safe?
While parrots can eat peanut butter, it is generally not recommended. It is advised against where parrots are concerned because peanuts are known to have a carcinogenic substance, which is known as aflatoxin, which makes peanut butter slightly harmful for parrots. However, the amount of aflatoxin actually present in commercially available peanut butter is much less than the amount present in the nut itself. This is one of those rare cases where processed food will prove safer than the natural ingredient. So, you can offer peanut butter to your parrot but only as a snack and in moderation.
If you want to try, making peanut butter at home isn’t too difficult a task, and you will be at ease knowing that you control the quantities.
How can we offer peanut butter to our parrots?
One of the most recommended ways of feeding your parrot peanut butter is to make it into a birdseed ball. In order to make this, you will require the following ingredients:
- Peanut butter
- Rolled Oats
All you have to do is make the balls and use either a rope or twine to hang the balls in your parrot’s birdcage and let them enjoy their treat.
You can also spread a bit of peanut butter on the bread and offer it your bird.
Another interesting way of offering this snack to your parrot is by putting it on a corn cob. All you have to do is get a corn cob and remove the corn. Then spread the peanut butter and spread it on the surface of the empty cob. Then add the birdseed on the peanut butter covered cob and hang it up wherever you wish to feed your parrot. Note, however, that this is a messier way of feeding them peanut butter and that you should avoid adding fruits since they end up rotting quickly.
Does peanut butter have any nutritional value for parrots?
One of the great things about peanut butter is that it has a bunch of health benefits for our parrots. Although peanut butter is a high amount of fat content present, it has zero cholesterol content present. Moreover, 35 percent of this snack is protein,, and parrots need a good amount of protein in their diet to produce energy in their system.
Peanut butter is known to be laden in micronutrients that help your parrot consume its daily dose of vitamins and minerals needed to be healthy. To name a few, peanut butter is rich in antioxidants as well as B complex vitamins and other essential nutrients. In particular, antioxidants help fight off heart diseases and certain kinds of cancer and diabetes.
Dangers of peanut butter for parrots:
One of the risks attached to peanut butter and parrots is the presence of aflatoxin, which isn’t just limited to this snack.
The risk that comes attached to this substance and peanut butter is when contamination, is a result of the peanuts used to make the spread being stored in areas that are not considered safe, such as dark and wet places.
The peanut butter is moldy or hasn’t been handled properly; your parrot may be at risk of aflatoxin poisoning. The chances of this actually happening are rare, but the result is dangerous with the possibility of the liver and other kinds of cancers, which can prove to be fatal to your bird.
Peanut butter myths:
- The sticky peanut butter can cause your parrot to choke. Fortunately, there has been no recorded and/or verified case of this actually happening. There is no proof that the peanut butter can get stuck in your parrot’s beak or throat.
Humans and parrots have completely different throat, tongue, and mouth structures, and so they are well equipped to eat this sticky treat without choking. However, if this isn’t enough to put your concerns at rest,, you can add a bit of butter, dry oatmeal, or flour to the peanut butter to reduce the stickiness and make it more dry crumbly, thus making it easier for your bird to break apart and eat.
- Peanut butter can coat your parrot’s feathers, making it difficult to fly. Although possible, this is highly unlikely to actually happen. There haven’t been a lot of instances where this actually happened. For this to happen,, your bird would have to rub themselves or roll in a lot of the spread,, which isn’t typical bird behavior.
Peanut butter is a great treat to offer your parrot once in a while. It has great taste and a whole bunch of benefits attached. Happy feeding!