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Home > Birds > Can Parrots Eat Pistachios? What You Need to Know

Can Parrots Eat Pistachios? What You Need to Know

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Parrots are omnivorous, meaning they can get their nutrients from meat and plants. In the wild, they eat nuts, seeds, bugs, plants, and natural products. They particularly love seeds and nuts, and their powerful jaws enable them to open the shells of nuts and get out the flesh.

Parrots can safely eat pistachios, and they have a certain amount of nutritional content that is good for these birds. However, giving an excessive number of pistachios to your parrot is not ideal because it can make them reject other foods that are good for their body.


Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Pistachios to Parrots

Alexandrine parrot macro shot
Image By: sachin kadam, Pixabay

Pistachios taste good, and that’s the number-one reason that parrots like to eat them. But they do have health benefits, and the major one is protein. Pistachios contain a high amount of protein, which can make them a good source of this nutrient.

Protein helps parrots form their feathers and in general, helps birds manage their body’s temperature. So, intake of protein is good, especially during molting season. In this season, the parrots lose their feathers and form new ones in preparation for winter. The required amount of protein in parrots differs. For example, large parrots are known to need more protein than small ones.

In addition, pistachios are rich in vitamins C, B6, B9, B4, and K, which help in eyesight and fighting other illnesses.

Here are other nutrition facts about pistachios:
  • Phosphorus: Parrots need phosphorus because it helps in bone development, egg arrangement, and digestion.
  • Manganese: This is suitable for bone development and proliferation. In addition, it aids in muscle coordination, joint separation, and pyrosis.
  • Potassium: Parrots need potassium because it helps create glucose and protein glucose.
  • Copper: This is significant because it aids in solid veins, bones, and connective tissue. It also assists in forestalling quill pigmentation issues, amino corrosive inadequacies, and egg anomalies.


Why You Should Not Feed Your Parrot Too Many Pistachios

Gray African Parrot eat pistachios
Image By: Ale_Koziura, Shutterstoc

Pistachios are known for their high sugar and carb content. For example, 1 ounce has 7.7 grams of carbs. That amount of carbs for humans may seem low, but that’s a lot for a parrot.

If you take the measurement tactically, you will discover that it totals 49 nuts. So, if you are feeding pistachios to your parrot, you should only give them a few. Note that excess consumption can lead to medical complications like obesity. That can cause other underlying health conditions that are harmful to your parrot.

Giving them other foods with fewer carbs is recommended. For example, you can give them a small amount of pistachios and mix them with other solid foods and leafy vegetables.

The 3 Other Foods You Can Feed Your Parrot

When you don’t feed your parrot a balanced diet, you are subjecting them to illnesses. It’s necessary to give them foods with enough nutrients and added supplements for their growth.

Here are other foods that are good for parrots.

1. Pellets

parrots eating commercial food
Image Credit: Piqsels

Pellets are the main recommended diet for parrots because they are balanced and contain the proper nutritional value. But you must be careful when buying pellets because not all are high quality. Pellets with the right amount of minerals, fats, and vitamins are ideal.

When buying pellets for your parrots, check that they don’t have added artificial colors and other contents with zero nutritional value. Also, some parrots don’t like eating pellets, so ask your veterinarian to help you with tips on feeding them.

Here are a few high-quality pellet brands that you can feed your parrot: Higgins InTune Natural Parrot Food, ZuPreem Parrot & Conure Food, Lafeber Pellet-Berries Parrot Food, and TOP’s Pellets Parrot Food.

2. Leafy Vegetables

Parrot eating basil leaves on the groudn_TuktaBaby_Shutterstock
Image Credit: TuktaBaby, Shutterstock

Consider giving raw or steamed vegetables to your parrots, as they are rich in fiber and vitamins, thus meeting your parrot’s nutritional needs. Such vegetables include kale, mustard greens, beet greens, etc. Note that other vegetables like carrots, parsley, cucumber, and squash are also good.

3. Fruits

Parrot Eating
Image Credit By: Tanuj_handa, pixabay

You can add a few fruits to your parrot’s diet. Fruits have sugar that is necessary for your parrots because it gives them energy. Parrots are quite active and need that energy to keep them moving. If you can give them fruits that they are used to in the wild, that’s even better.

Fruits like berries, cherries, papaya, kiwi, mangoes, etc., are suitable. However, avoid giving them any pits and seeds because these are toxic.  You should also limit their fruit intake because they can overdo it.


Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Add Salt to Your Parrot’s Pistachios?

Never feed salted pistachios to your parrots. It’s not that parrots can’t have salt. On the contrary, they need salt, and if there is a salt deficiency in their bodies, they can suffer from fatigue, weight loss, excessive fluid excretion, and slow growth.

However, if they intake salt in high amounts, it can cause kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver, heart failure, neurological disorders, tremors, and death in extreme cases. So, avoid salted pistachios and stick to raw, unsalted ones.

Is Pistachio Butter Good for Your Parrot?

You can feed them homemade pistachio butter because its ingredients are safe for parrots. In addition, the butter has little salt compared to roasted and salted pistachios. That said, it should still only be on occasion and in moderation.

Can My Parrot Eat Pistachio Shells?

Yes, pistachio shells are safe for your parrot. Unless you grow them yourself, you can get pistachios with or without the shells at the store. You can pick the ones that you are more comfortable with since parrots are safe with both.

In most cases, parrots ignore the pistachio shell and crack it to get to the inside. The good news is that even small parrots can eat the ones with the shells. You can opt to clean their cage right after the meal if you feel that the shells are harmful to your parrot.

Red-Lored Amazon Parrot close up side view_Alereed_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Alereed, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Pistachios are healthy for parrots, but they need to be raw, unsalted, and only provided in moderation. Avoid the ones that have added flavors or excessive salt to prevent your parrot from getting sick from consuming harmful foods. You can give your parrots a treat of pistachios now and then while ensuring that they are eating well-balanced meals.

Featured Image Credit: jarmoluk, Pixabay

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