It’s important to provide your bird with a varied diet. Fortunately, this is pretty easy. Parrots can eat all kinds of seeds, nuts, fruit, and vegetables! Feeding your feathered friend is made even easier because mixes can be found at your local pet store.
However, just because there is a lot of food that your bird can eat doesn’t mean he can eat all of it. Peanuts are one food that a professional veterinarian often gets a lot of questions about. Are they safe for your pet?
The danger of aflatoxin
Peanuts aren’t as safe as some pet parents think. That’s because they can contain aflatoxin. This toxic contaminant can also be found in cereals and grains.
However, not all peanuts contain this toxin. It only develops as a result of the fungi Aspergillus. This fungus is only allowed to grow in certain environments. Peanuts that are stored in warm, damp, dark places will likely develop this toxin. Nuts that are stored in cool, dry, well-ventilated areas won’t.
If allowed to grow, and the contaminated peanuts are ingested by your bird, he could develop liver problems or even cancer.
Fortunately, your feathered friend is highly unlikely to suffer from the effects of aflatoxin because the USDA monitors U.S. grains for aflatoxin-producing molds. The danger is how it is stored in your home. With proper storage, peanuts are safe for your parrot to eat. Just make sure you choose peanuts that are made for humans. Peanuts that are made for birds don’t have the same stringent requirements from the USDA.
Peanuts are high in fat
Although aflatoxin is the most pressing concern when it comes to peanuts, you also have to consider their fat content.
It’s true that peanuts have healthy fats in them. They have the kind of fats that are good for birds! However, too much of anything is never good, and the same is true of peanuts.
Because peanuts are high in fat, they can cause your bird to gain a little weight. In addition, fats challenge the liver. They can put too much stress on this important organ if your feathered friend is fed too much, resulting in more visits to your local animal clinic.
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