Parrots are highly social and friendly birds. They are always trying to copy people near them. In the same way, while eating, they also want to eat the same thing that I am eating.
As we know that parrots cannot eat everything that we humans can eat, it is very essential to take proper care of your parrots’ diet.
I was eating walnuts and a thought came in my mind, that can my little feathered friend eat walnuts as wel? Wild parrots learn what to eat or not with their flock mates. But for a pet parrot, it is the responsibility of the owner to take care of his/her parrot’s diet. Their diet should be healthy. Are walnuts safe and healthy for parrots? Should walnuts be included in the parrots’ diet?
The answer to this question is yes. Walnuts are healthy for parrots. It is crucial to take care of the number of walnuts one feeds to his or her pet parrot. Walnuts are extremely nutritious and full of essential dietary elements. They can be given to pet parrots as an amazing treat.
Walnuts can be added in the treat section of the parrots’ diet. Walnuts, sweet almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, shelled peanuts, pecans, and pistachios all are safe and healthy for parrots. But the number of walnuts you give to your parrot should be in moderation due to their fat content.
How many types of walnuts are there?
There are several different varieties of walnuts; however, they all are divided into three basic categories
English Walnuts (or Persian)
As the most omnipresent and commonly consumed walnut in the United States, the English walnut is identified by a thin, knotty shell enclosing a smooth textured, ivory-colored nut. English walnuts have a bland taste and can also be eaten after roasting them.
Black Walnuts (or Butternut)
They are less common than the English walnut, black walnuts are characterized by a thick, hard shell with keen, pointed edges and a much darker color. Contrary to the English walnuts blander flavor, black walnuts are known for their strong aroma and flavorsome. English walnuts can also be replaced with the black walnuts.
The white walnut is the rarest type of walnuts and considered an endangered species by the United States and Canadian governments. It has a sweet, oily flavor that identifies these nuts, which are covered with a green, woolly husk and protected by a light-colored outer shell with pointed edges.
Which type of walnuts are best for Parrots?
Parrots love nuts. More than nuts, they love the process of breaking their shell. English Walnuts are commonly used. They are a healthy ingredient of parrots’ diet. As their shell has a thin layer so there will be no risk of damage to their beak or jaws. Still, it is best if you give them the walnut without the shell. Some parrots may hurt them while cracking it.
Are walnuts a good source of vitamins and minerals for parrots?
Walnuts are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including Folic acid, phosphorus, vitamin B6, etc. Walnuts also contain a mixture of bioactive plant compounds. They also have a rich amount of anti-oxidants too. All three kinds of walnuts are meant to be a wealthy source of omega-3 essential fatty acid, but they vary in physical attributes, the region of origin and taste.
The following are some important vitamins and minerals that improve your parrots’ health.
This mineral keeps the heart-healthy. It also helps in improving the immune system function in birds.
This trace mineral is found in the largest amount in nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
In the comparison of other nuts, walnuts contain high levels of a special form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol.
Do I need to chop walnuts up before giving them to my parrot?
It is not compulsory to chop walnuts before giving it to parrots. You can also give them a whole walnut with or without the shell.
As parrots have strong jaws, it is very easy for them to deshell walnuts. English walnuts are a good option as a treat for a parrot as they have thin shells so there is little risk that parrots will hurt themselves.
Should I soak walnuts in water before giving them to my parrot?
Walnuts, when soaked become easier to digest. Walnuts are known for their bitter and mouth-puckering taste. But when walnuts are soaked and dried out; their bitterness is reduced.
This happens because when soaked, additives are washed out, leaving behind a buttery nut flavor. They also become softer and easy to eat for your little feathery friend.
Rinse them well after soaking. If you are not careful, mold tends to set on them in a few days. Soaked walnuts should be kept in air-tight containers.
Can I feed roasted walnuts to parrots?
You can also feed your parrots roasted walnuts. Parrots will love roasted walnuts more than the plain ones as it will increase their crunch.
Give them in small portions as roasted walnuts will be usually higher in fat content than as compare to the simple ones.
Can parrots drink walnut oil?
Walnut oil is made by crushing the shelled walnuts into a thick paste, then filtering out the oil from the solid thick paste.
Like other neutral oils which are used for cooking purposes, walnut oil has a strong walnutty flavor. It can be used in salad dressing and also for general health benefits.
You can also feed walnut oil to your little feathery friend but in the lesser quantity.
Too much oil will be harmful to parrots. It can affect parrots’ heart health and cholesterol levels. It is crucial to make sure that you are feeding the required amount of walnut oil to parrots.
Feeding method of walnut oil to parrots
You can take a green leafy vegetable or any of your parrot’s favorite fruit. Put a drop or two on that fruit or green leaf and give it to your parrot. You can also add a drop in their water or fruit juice. Give that to them to dig into, as they love to do it.
Can walnuts prevent Atherosclerosis in parrots?
Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries. It is relatively common in captive birds including pet parrots. Factors that promote the development of atherosclerosis in pet parrots include long-term diets high in fats, oils, or cholesterol levels.
Walnuts are healthy for parrots, especially an omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts, play an essential role in the prevention of atherosclerosis by hindering inflammation within the blood vessels. Omega-3 fatty acid is anti-inflammatory. It also reduces plaque formation and also protects the vessels of parrots.
How many walnuts should I give to my parrot in a day?
The number of walnut treats you give to your pet parrot should depend on their size, daily diet, and physical activities during the day. One walnut per day is fair for pet parrots combined with some other healthy treats. It is important that your parrot must do some kind of physical activity during a day. That will balance your parrots fats intake.
Walnuts should just be a treat for parrots
Wild parrots activities are greater compared to pet parrots. They will have to fly miles each day to find their required food, and they will have to forage for it. Whereas, pet parrots are provided with their food by their human companions.
In most cases, pet parrots eat more than their daily healthy need. Mostly food is given in the food bowl, and the pet parrots have do not make any effort to find it or toil for it. That is why pet parrots food should be given in the best appropriate quantity. As walnuts are included in their treat section. So, in my opinion, the right proportion of food should also be applied to treats as well.
Harmful effects of walnuts if eaten in excess
The fiber in the nuts may cause severe health issues in your parrot if taken in excess. Excess amounts of walnuts can affect the digestive system too.
Walnuts have high fiber and fat content. They can also increase the weight, which will have a harmful effect on parrot’s health. Walnuts are high in calories, so it is best to use in small portions.
This might affect their activities and can make them lazy. If you notice any change or unusual behavior in your parrot after feeding walnuts or its oil, immediately see an avian vet. Take their expert advice to protect from adverse effects.
Winding up the whole article, I conclude that walnuts serve as a healthy treat for parrots. Quantity and variety both are the essential factors in making your feathery friend diet healthy. You can feed walnuts to your parrots either with shell or without the shell. You can feed one walnut per day, dividing it into small portions. In this way, it will make a balance in fat consumption. We can also feed walnut oil to parrots in different ways. Feeding walnuts provide benefits to your parrots.
Obviously in moderation to protect them from adverse effects as mentioned above.