If you’re a peanut butter fan and want to share it with your little parakeet but wondering if it’s okay to do so
Then the answer to the question – Can budgies eat peanut butter is..
Owing to its high-fat content, peanut butter is often assumed harmful for budgies. However, small amounts of fresh and unsalted peanut butter are quite healthy for birds. Though, it must always be aflatoxin-free.
Regardless, budgie parents have mixed feelings about feeding peanut butter to a budgie.
This leads to wondering..
Why Should You Give Peanut Butter To Your Budgie?
You see, peanut butter is extracted from peanuts. Therefore, it contains all the nutrients from these nuts. Furthermore, peanut butter is easy to consume as it lacks hard peanut shells.
Besides, the raw peanuts may grow Aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus molds during storage. Hence,
However, peanut butter is regularly tested for mycotoxins.
And so, it is usually free of aflatoxin.
Why is that important?
A high dose of aflatoxin usually leads to a bird’s death.
Therefore, peanut butter is a better substitute for peanuts.
What Nutrients Does Peanut Butter Provide To a Budgie?
USDA-standard Peanut butter contains:
Lipids comprise about 70% of peanut butter, with mostly saturated fats providing energy to a budgie.
Since these lack cholesterol, therefore, peanut butter does not cause heart concerns.
Typically, 6-7% of peanut butter is carbohydrates that are essential for producing energy and DNA.
Peanut butter may contain proteins up to 48% of dry weight.
These are necessary for constructing enzymes and tissues as well as maintaining muscles and feathers.
Standard peanut butter contains:
- Sodium (17mg/100g Peanut butter) helps maintain body fluids. In birds, lack of sodium may lead to weight loss, slow growth, or excessive fluid excretion.
- Potassium (649mg/100g peanut butter) is crucial for nerve health.
- Iron (10% of mineral content) prevents anemia by boosting hemoglobin production.
- Magnesium (38% of mineral content) helps in the metabolism, muscle function, and maintenance of bones.
- Calcium (4% of mineral content) is vital for bones, feathers, and egg production.
- Peanut butter is rich in Vitamin B-6 which is critical for healing.
- The antioxidants present in peanut butter prevent cardiovascular diseases.
All that said, you may still be wondering:
What Peanut Butter Is Safe For Budgies?
Ideally, the peanut butter should be fresh, organic, and without any additives or toxins.
Normally, as a rule of thumb, any peanut butter safe for human consumption is assumed acceptable for budgies.
However, that may not always be the case.
I think you should consider the following before giving your parakeet peanut butter
Though several birders reckon that flavoring adds additional nutritional value. However, certain flavors are harmful to budgies.
For instance, chocolate-flavored peanut butter contains high concentrations of theobromine and caffeine.
However, both are detrimental to budgie’s nervous system.
2. Sodium Salts
High levels of sodium salt can result in high blood pressure as well as kidney and heart issues.
So, always buy low salt or better still no-salt peanut butter.
3. High Or Low Fats
Peanut butter with a fat content higher than standard may cause several health-related concerns.
Contrarily, low-fat peanut butter may lack the essential nutritional value.
I recommend you stick to standard fat levels when buying peanut butter.
4. Sugar Substitutes
Though sugar-free peanut butter sounds like a brilliant idea, however, it isn’t.
You see, regular peanut butter contains only moderate sugar levels.
However, artificial sugar substitutes tend to reduce the nutritional quality of peanut butter.
For that reason, always buy peanut butter with standard sugar.
Currently, there is no detailed study establishing the link between preservative consumption and variation in bird health.
That said, I wouldn’t put my budgie’s health in doubt.
So, I advise you to avoid preservatives whenever you can.
6. Aflatoxin Free
This is the most important factor when choosing any brand of peanut butter.
Since most large companies regularly test for aflatoxin, therefore, they are more reliable than small ones.
Alternatively, you can buy peanut butter from a certified pet store.
If a jar of peanut butter contains aflatoxin, you better not feed it to any organism.
7. Additional Ingredients
I discourage feeding your budgie peanut butter with additional ingredients including jellies, honey, marsh mellows, cookies, or crackers.
Because a budgie is likely to scavenge these ingredients rather than eat peanut butter.
Over time this can cause malnutrition and that’s something I’m sure you don’t want
8. Expiration Date
Several birders tend to feed their birds the peanut butter that is well over the expiration date.
But I advise against it.
However, if you still wish to do so, ensure that the peanut butter is neither rancid nor moldy.
How Do You Give Peanut Butter to Birds?
Since peanut butter is quite greasy, make sure you serve it in a cool shady place.
Otherwise, you risk a runny, sticky mess.
Additionally, you can thicken the paste by adding 4 portions of flour or cornmeal to one portion of peanut butter.
You can give peanut butter to your birds through the following means:
- The pine and cob feeders are usually less problematic and more fun for birds. I suggest you supplement these with crushed nuts such as walnuts, pistachios, almonds, or pecans. Using this, you may even attract backyard birds such as chickadees, jays, and nuthatches.
- Wood Log Crevices or Drilled Holes can be filled with peanut butter and given directly to budgies. Many birders use these to draw woodpeckers.
- Dishes and Hanging Jars can be used to feed dollops of peanut butter. However, these may require regular cleaning at least once every 2 weeks.
You can wash these with regular dish cleaners.
I highly recommend dipping these containers in chlorine-free bleach for at least 2 hours.
However, make sure to rinse with water and then sun-dry these containers, after soaking in bleach.
Related article – Can budgies eat peanuts?
If you are a peanut butter lover, you may be wondering:
Can You Give Peanut Butter on Bread to Your Budgie?
Technically, you can but that doesn’t mean you should.
Firstly, peanut butter is rich in fats.
And so, you should only feed it to your budgie as a treat.
I suggest only half a spoon of peanut butter at a time, and never more than twice a week.
Secondly, bread is low in nutrition.
If you give your budgie a combination of peanut butter and bread, you may cause your bird indigestion or vomiting.
Otherwise, your budgie will likely feel extremely full and may not eat for hours.
Lastly, your budgie is a tiny little bird and no human.
Therefore, all that is alright for you may be hazardous for your budgie.
Is Bread Bad For Birds?
Since bread is a low-calorie diet, therefore, over-consuming it can cause malnutrition to a bird.
The fiber in bread tends to satiate the feeling of regular hunger. Furthermore, bread tends to swell up with liquid.
Which is why
Bread must only be used as an occasional treat, say no more than once a week.
I object to feeding your budgie salted loaves of bread.
While a small piece of multigrain bread may be alright, homemade unsalted bread is the best for bird treats.
Though if your budgie is rejecting medicines, lace the bread with drugs and feed it to your bird.
Feeding your budgie peanut butter is usually safer than raw peanuts.
But peanut butter should be organic and aflatoxin-free preferably without salts, preservatives, or additional ingredients.
You can feed small amounts of peanut butter as treats through pine feeders or bird platforms.
Avoid giving peanut butter with bread.
However, you can feed bread to your budgie as a separate treat.
Always speak to your avian vet before adding any new food or treat to your budgies diet
Seek their permission before doing so
Please don’t take this article as veterinary advice