Can Cockatiels Eat Peanuts? (+Other Nuts You Can Give)

Cockatiels can eat peanuts, yes. Peanuts are rich in protein, which is good for your pet bird. Cockatiels enjoy feeding on a variety of nuts. However, nuts should only form a small part of their diet so feed it only in small amounts. Further, you should offer peanuts unsalted and unflavored, as salt and other seasonings can be harmful to cockatiels.

Peanuts can be a great and nutritious snack for these birds. However, it will only remain as such if you know and understand the risks that come with it.

If you’re a peanut lover and you wish to spare some to your pet, you may want to know a few things about it!

Take some time to read below.

Are peanuts good for cockatiels?

Peanuts are good food for cockatiels to eat. In fact, it can be a great source of protein. 

Still, it’s also not ideal for these birds to eat too many peanuts, as it doesn’t form a big part of their daily meal.

Further, raw nuts have high levels of Oxalates and Phytates. Such components can contribute to the possible nutrient deficiencies of your bird. At the same time, it can cause low mineral absorption.

For this reason, it would be best to soak peanuts before feeding. By doing so, it increases the availability of essential nutrients. 

Moreover, soaking activates helpful enzymes that increase nutrient absorption.

How many peanuts can cockatiels eat?

Cockatiels shouldn’t eat peanuts too much. Like all other birds and animals, they should have a balanced diet of a few things.

Along with all other nuts and seeds, peanuts should only make 10% of their daily food intake.

The most significant percentage should be pellets, making up a total of 60% of their daily diet. The remaining 30% should be for vegetables like carrots and fruits like grapes or raisins.

The key to a good diet is always balance. For this reason, you should limit feeding peanuts to once or twice a week.

Further, it would be best if you didn’t feed peanuts as the only treat or snack. Consider getting a variety of options like walnuts, almonds, and others.

Having a list of other vegetables gives your bird balanced nutrition.

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Risks of feeding your cockatiel peanuts

Although peanuts are highly nutritious snacks for your pet, it still has some risks with it. You should be aware of such treats to avoid unwanted incidents from happening.

Avoid giving salted peanuts.

Some peanuts have added salt and seasonings to improve the taste. While salt is tolerable for us, it’s not the same for our pets.

Salt could cause an imbalance in your bird’s electrolytes and fluids. It can also lead to dehydration, kidney failure, or worse, death.

For this reason, it would be best to avoid salted peanuts and choose the unsalted ones instead. Also, prevent peanuts with other flavors, and seasonings added.

Avoid giving peanuts with shells.

Peanut shells contain an ingredient called aflatoxin. Such a component is exceptionally harmful to birds like your pet, as it can cause liver damage.

Thus, if you’re giving peanuts, always share with the shells already removed from it.

Prevent molds from growing on peanuts

Keep the peanuts in a dry and cool area to prevent it from getting molds.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t feed peanuts that you won’t eat yourself.

Since moldy food isn’t something we eat, it would be best to avoid feeding your pet.

Further, keeping your peanuts in a moist area can cause fungus to grow, which is also toxic for these birds.

Thus, always make sure your peanuts are in a safe and secured area and avoid giving it with shells intact.

Soak and roast before feeding

As I said earlier, raw peanuts contain phytates and oxalates. Such components can lead to health problems like nutrient deficiencies and decreased mineral absorption.

Moreover, roasting the peanuts can help eliminate any toxic or harmful components on the food. It can also help activate the right nutrients that peanuts can offer.

The only thing you need to ensure is to avoid seasoning your nuts to prevent problems.

If you want to soak, leave it like that for 4-6 hours. Afterward, dry it at a temperature not higher than 150 degrees.

Avoid feeding peanuts in large sizes.

Always make sure you give peanuts in small amounts. Of course, peanuts may be tiny for us, but it can still be big enough for our birds.

It would be best to crush the peanuts before feeding so they can swallow it easily. It’s ideal to do so, mostly if your pet has just finished weaning.

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Do cockatiels like eating peanuts?


Most cockatiels come to like what they eat the most. However, if you are just about to feed peanuts, it may or may not be that your pet will like it.

Due to its texture, most birds and cockatiels, for that matter, come to like peanuts and eat it at most.

A gentle reminder for you, though. If you think your pet likes peanuts, it doesn’t mean you can give it as much as you want.

As always, moderation plays a vital role in keeping your pet as healthy as possible.

Feeding too many peanuts can cause harm, so be mindful of that matter for the sake of your cockatiel.

What other nuts can cockatiels eat?

Aside from peanuts, cockatiels can eat the following nuts as well, given that it’s human grade and unsalted. If you have some, you can give it the same as peanuts:

  • Almond (dry roasted/no shells) Almonds contain high levels of anti-nutrients
  • Beechnut
  • Brazil Nut (no shells)
  • Cashew (roasted)
  • Coconut
  • Gumnut
  • Hazelnut
  • Macadamia
  • Palm-nut
  • Peanut (roasted/no shells)
  • Pecan
  • Pili nut
  • Pine nut
  • Pistachio
  • Walnut (roasted/no shells)

As I said earlier, nut snacks are nutritious and will remain as such if appropriately fed.

You can even give your cockatiel some peanut butter, as long as you know the risks. If you want to know more about it, check out this article.

Find out if cockatiels can also snack on watermelons!


Peanuts can be highly nutritious for your cockatiel to eat. However, to enjoy such snacks, you need to be mindful of some precautions.

With many things to remember, you may think it’s not worth it to feed peanuts. I’m here to tell you it’s all worth it.

All it takes is awareness and caution in feeding peanuts to our birds and other pets. As long as we do so, our pets can enjoy the nutrients without causing any harm.


PubMed’s study on phytate and its effects on birds

NCBI’s study on Aflatoxin

Image credits – Photos by Veronika Dee and Vladislav Nikonov on Unsplash

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