Also referred to as “Quarrion” and “Weirdo Bird”, the cockatiels are small cockatoos that have originated from Australia. Due to their easily tameable nature, gentle temperament, and relatively quieter calls, these birds are popularly kept as pets in different parts of the world. Although these birds commonly feed on nuts, seeds, and berries, is there any chance you can feed them something from your refrigerator? What about peanut butter?
Can cockatiels eat peanut butter? Yes, peanut butter can make a healthy as well as a tasty treat for cockatiels as long as they are fed in moderation. Peanut butter is rich in protein, a nutrient that is essential for these birds. However, too much of it can also make them obese in a very short period. Moreover, if you want to avoid feeding them store-bought peanut butter with added preservatives, you can easily make peanut butter for them at home.
Are you looking for ideas to serve peanut butter to your cockatiel? Or do you want to explore its benefits for their health? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we have answered every question and clarified every doubt you might have about feeding peanut butter to your feathered pets. Read on.
Do cockatiels find peanut butter tasty?
Cockatiels are very fond of peanuts. Would they like the taste of something that is made of peanuts, is smoother and doesn’t involve the hassle of cracking open their shells? Absolutely. Many cockatiel owners have claimed that their pets prefer peanut butter over all the other treats they are offered. So, yes, the taste of peanut butter holds a great appeal for your pet birdies.
Is peanut butter healthy for cockatiels?
In order to understand whether or not is peanut butter healthy for cockatiels, let us first take a look at its contents:
|Total calories||638 kcal|
Out of all the contents mentioned in the chart above, protein is essential for your pet cockatiels. It is responsible for forming their tissues, muscles, bone, and feathers and keeps them active throughout the day.
If your pet has a protein deficiency, they can have difficulties in perching, flight, and regular eating movements. In some extreme cases, the lack of protein can also result in organ dysfunction and failure. Feeding them peanut butter occasionally can maintain the protein levels in their body.
However, the downside to peanut butter is its high-calorie count. Thus, cockatiels are little birds and can become obese relatively easily if they consume high-calorie foods like these.
To conclude, we’ve learned that peanut butter can prove to be healthy for cockatiels as long as you are careful about moderation.
The risks of peanut butter for cockatiels
Other than its high calorie-count, are there any other risks involved with feeding peanut butter to your cockatiels? Let’s find out:
Aflatoxins are poisonous carcinogens and mutagens produced by certain folds that can contaminate peanuts that are stored improperly or in a moist, warm, or dark place.
In other words, these toxins contaminate peanuts themselves and not just the butter. Aflatoxin can affect the liver of cockatiels. And if they consume it for a longer period of time, they can also suffer from liver cancer.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in certain plants that are used as an artificial sweetener in many processed food industries. While it is completely safe for humans, cats, monkeys, horses, and rats, it is highly toxic for dogs and other canine animals.
There is insufficient data on how xylitol affects birds or cockatiels in particular. But as a responsible pet parent, it would be wise to avoid feeding it to your pet birdies. You can find peanut butter brands that don’t use xylitol for them.
Organic peanut butter: a safer alternative for your cockatiels
Apart from xylitol, there are a number of other additives, chemicals, and preservatives added to most peanut butter brands that might hurt your cockatiel’s health over time. Therefore, organic peanut butter is a safer and healthier alternative for them.
This is because it contains only peanuts, salt, and sugar. It might not last as long as the processed peanut butter, so you might want to buy it in a smaller amount.
Making your own peanut butter
While organic peanut butter is healthier both for you as well as your cockatiel, it is also quite expensive. What if we told you there was a cheaper and healthier way of treating your little pets?
Most of you must already be familiar with the idea of making peanut butter at home. We are just here to tell you how easy it is and how quickly you can make it. All you need is a cup of roasted (but unsalted) peanuts and a teaspoon of vegetable or peanut oil.
Put these in your blender or food processor and switch it on. Keep checking for dryness, and if it seems too dry, add a little more oil to it. It will be ready in less than an hour. Now both you and your pet can enjoy this delicious treat together.
Is it safe for baby cockatiels to eat peanut butter?
Yes. Peanut butter doesn’t have any adverse effects on the health of baby cockatiels when fed in moderation. However, in the case of these young birds, you need to limit peanut butter consumption more carefully.
Peanut butter for cockatiels: serving idea
There are several interesting ways to feed peanut butter to your cockatiels, and we’ll talk about one of the simplest and healthiest ones today.
One of the easiest options is to make small birdseed balls of it. You can simply roll a little bit of peanut butter into bite-sized balls for them.
Also, if you want to make these balls healthier for your pet, you can also add cornmeal or rolled oats to these balls. It will not only make them more nutritious but also crunchy and easy to eat.
To make these treats more stimulating for them, you can tie a thin string to the top of their cage and attach these balls at its base. Let your little birdies work a little in order to earn their treat.
You don’t necessarily have to go with our idea and use your creativity to devise new ones. Just remember the following tips:
- Go for a less-oily peanut butter brand.
- Peanut butter can go rancid in no time. Therefore, always serve your pet in small quantities.
- When serving them peanut butter, always place it away from direct sunlight for it can go soft and runny in that
- kind of heat. It might also become sour in taste.
- If you do not want critters to share your cockatiel’s treat, squirrel-proof your feeder.
Myths associated with cockatiels and peanut butter
Many bird-owners shudder at the thought of feeding their feathered pets peanut butter because of the rumors they have heard all their lives. These myths and rumors are not particularly about cockatiels or a specific bird species but all birds in general. Today, we will learn the truth behind these myths:
Choking on peanut butter
The myth of birds choking on peanut butter due to its sticky nature is quite old and widespread. However, the logic behind this is baseless.
People who believe so think that if it can stick into our mouths sometimes, it is completely normal for it to be a choking hazard for birds. However, our mouth, tongue, and throat structures are nothing like those of the birds.
In fact, the mouth of birds is quite well-adapted to eating sticky things. The lack of any record of such an instance confirms that peanut butter is quite harmless for your feathered pet.
Even if the logic doesn’t convince you, there’s another way in which you can feed them these treats without having to worry. You can simply mix a pinch or two of cornmeal, oatmeal, or even flour with the peanut butter you’re about to feed them.
This will reduce the peanut butter stickiness to some extent and provide it a crumbly texture, making it easy for your pet to break apart and eat.
Peanut butter coating the feathers
This is another myth about peanut butter and birds that makes little sense. In order to coat their feathers with peanut butter, your cockatiels will have to roll themselves in it.
This is highly unlikely for two reasons: first, it is not a typical tendency of these birds, and second, because the normal quantity of peanut butter you should serve them is not enough to cover their wings. Moreover, on the off chance that their wings get covered with peanut butter, cockatiels are fond of preening and cleaning it off.
No bird-owners have complained about such a thing happening with their birds, which solidifies our belief that this myth is just that: a myth.
Now that you’ve figured that these myths hold no truth, there’s no reason why you must keep your feathered pet away from this delicious treat.
Frequently asked questions
Can I feed milk to my cockatiel? No, milk doesn’t sit well with their digestive systems. Therefore, it would be wise not to feed them the milk of any kind, be it goat’s, cow’s, or simply almond milk. You should try to stick with their regular diet for proper nutrition.
Can I train my female cockatiel to talk? If you are looking for a cockatiel that can learn to talk, you should go for male cockatiels since they have a better affinity for learning to talk. However, if you have already bought and are wondering if it can learn, the chances are low, but you can try teaching them the same way males are taught.
To sum it up, let’s revise what we have learned so far. Can cockatiels eat peanut butter? Yes, they can and will do so lovingly. These little birdies are rather fond of peanuts and would gladly eat anything that tastes like it. Moreover, the abundance of protein in peanut butter is a bonus for them. However, you might want to limit their intake of it since too much peanut butter can make them unhealthy and obese.