A pretty pigeon can commonly be seen around us. Some people own them as pets and others often appreciate this lovely bird on a casual day outside.
It would be useful to know which foods this particular species of bird can and cannot eat. After all, it’s better to be informed before you go ahead and offer a snack.
You might know that most birds absolutely love a variety of nuts. After all, they are natural, delicious, and also packed with nutrition and energy.
We will be discussing peanuts today and will share whether this particular kind of nuts is suitable for pigeons or not.
Can Pigeons Eat Nuts?
The short and simple answer is yes. Peanuts can safely be consumed by pigeons. You can feed this to them as an occasional snack or as a part of their diet. However, you must ensure that you do not feed salted peanuts to the bird.
If the peanuts have salt on them, this will not only be harmful to them but may also dehydrate them.
It is actually recommended to only give peanuts that are not artificially flavored and are without any added preservatives. Peanuts with any type of honey, sugar, or chocolate coatings are also not safe. In fact, chocolate is toxic to birds.
Always stick to fresh, unprocessed peanuts for pigeons and you are good to go.
Benefits of Peanuts for Pigeons
Now that you know the proper way of feeding peanuts to pigeons, we can go ahead and share the health benefits they offer.
Related Read: When can baby pigeons feed themselves?
Peanuts are packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals like biotin, copper, niacin, folate, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. This dry fruit is so nutrient-dense that peanuts even qualify as a super-food.
In fact, racing pigeons in Taiwan are given peanuts as the most superior of all grains. They are known to be extremely healthy for pigeons as they offer the greatest nutritional value.
As peanuts also contain high water content, racing pigeons who consume these nuts also need less water and are less thirsty.
Dangers Of Peanuts
Everything that exceeds its limits causes problems. The same goes for peanuts.
Giving organic peanuts occasionally to pigeons as a snack is acceptable. But most people feed their birds whatever they eat.
It includes processed packed peanuts. And processed peanuts are salty, which can cause dehydration.
Old and stale peanuts contain Aflatoxin, which can affect the liver and digestive system of the bird, causing death.
Chocolate and sugar are a big no-no for birds and animals. There are spicy, candied, and chocolate-coated peanuts available in the market. Don’t ever feed them to your pigeon. Even smoked and honeyed peanuts are not allowed.
Before feeding peanuts to pigeons, see if they can eat it or not. The beak size plays an important role here. Pigeons eat smaller seeds.
A regular peanut may be harmful to them as it impacts their crop and leads to infections. Pigeons can also choke on the seed. Smaller Spanish peanuts are the best option.
Pigeons have a very different digestive system than humans. Therefore, they can’t simply eat large and small peanuts dipped in chocolate and candy. Instead, they should only eat small, raw, and organic peanuts.
Related Read: What Not To Feed Pigeons?
How To Feed Peanuts To Pigeons?
Serving pigeons whole peanuts can be a terrible mistake if it is their first time with peanuts. You have to introduce peanuts properly to them. The best thing is to crush the peanuts and give it to them by hand in smaller quantities. Let them try it and taste it.
Giving them by hand ensures that they will eat it as they trust you. Once they have developed a taste for the nuts, you can give the old ones without any crushing. For babies, always crush the peanuts. You can also place them in their feeder.
Raw peanuts can start rotting in the open as moisture seeps into them. Remove them quickly, or pigeons can get infected if it eats them.
Many people substitute peanuts with peanut butter which is not a great move.
Peanut butter is processed food that may contain toxins, added to it during processing, and other ingredients which are not even mentioned on the ingredient list. If it is homemade peanut butter, you can give it to them.
If you find pigeons in the park and other places and want to feed them peanuts, always break them into smaller pieces.
Related Read: What do Baby Pigeons Eat?
Can pigeons eat peanut butter?
Another common question is whether peanut butter is safe for pigeons or not. Pigeons are likely to enjoy peanut butter but you need to be careful.
You must ensure that the butter is not salted or processed. Again, preservatives must be avoided.
We think it’s simply safer to feed pigeons with fresh peanuts which are easily available everywhere.
In case you don’t find peanuts, there are other healthy alternatives for your pigeon such as almonds, acorn, sunflower seeds, beechnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, and pine nuts. Some companies are also creating peanut-based bird food.
Remember that taste is subjective even among animals and birds. A specific pigeon may or may not like peanuts and that is totally normal.
If you are unsure about a certain product, you should always consult a veterinarian. We must put the safety of animals and birds first.
Is There Any Substitute For Peanuts?
Peanuts hold great nutritional value, but they are not the only nuts that you can feed to your pigeon. In case there are no peanuts available, you can use these alternative healthy nuts-
- Hickory Nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil Nuts
- Macadamia Nuts
Peanuts are only best for pigeons if given as snacks. Don’t make it part of their regular diet.
Pigeons should eat a variety of food, including fruits and vegetables, to stay healthy. So, give them these crunchy snacks only as a treat and keep your pigeons healthy.