Can Parrots Eat Pistachios Safely? (Yes, And This Is Why)

If you ask an average person about what they know of the parrot diet, they’ll surely tell you that birds eat seeds and nuts. True to the fact, a big part of a parrot diet consists of the mentioned foods. They have access to them naturally and will gladly munch on such a mix in captivity. 

However, every parrot owner knows that you should always check whether a certain product is safe for your bird. Even such commonly used foods as seeds and nuts have their limitations and hazards. 

Today, I want to talk to you about pistachios. Whether they are safe and useful for the bird. 

No worries! This is not one of those hazardous nuts! Pistachios are safe for parrots. Feel free to add these delicious nuts to their diet. Moderate amounts of pistachios bring only positive effects to your parrot’s health. However, the keyword is moderation, as these nuts can overpower all other products. When consumed too much, they’ll block other nutrients from enriching your pet. 

Do not worry, though. If you create a diverse diet for your parrot that includes lots of different foods, you avoid the risk of overfeeding one ingredient. So, with that said, let’s check what types of pistachios to choose for your parrot! Can they eat the salted ones?

Benefits of Pistachios for Parrots

pistachio for parrots

Pistachios are nuts. There is no hidden trick about this as with cashews and almonds that are technically not nuts. Pistachios are straightforward. They are the seeds of the Pistacia vera tree. Aha! But what is it here? Are they nuts or seeds? An interesting fact for you then – nuts are actually the seeds of trees. They are the relatives of poison ivy but not harmful as well. 

If you’ve ever tried pistachios in your life, you know how savory they are. Though, you’ve probably tried roasted nuts. The raw ones have a milder and somewhat sweeter taste.

Now, let’s talk about the benefits of pistachios for parrots. These nuts are highly nutritious and boost your parrot’s health. 

High Protein 

The most significant benefit of pistachios is protein. These nuts have one of the highest protein amounts among all the fellow nuts and seeds. Protein is vital for humans and parrots alike. While humans require around 20 percent of their calories from proteins to keep a healthy lifestyle, parrots are used to around the same high protein numbers. They require around 10-20% of proteins. Therefore, most of their diet consists of protein-rich foods. 

Protein plays a significant role in the formation of parrot feathers. Thus, you should pay extra attention to the amount of protein intake during the molting season. As your bird loses feathers, it’s of extra importance to increase protein intake to help it regrow the new ones. Just as with people, the amount of protein is calculated by weight. The bigger your pet, the more protein it needs. 

Plus, it is a temperature regulating agent that also helps to recover from illnesses. 

These nuts also ensure that the contained protein is digested easier with the help of the contained potassium

Manganese 

I’ve already mentioned the benefits of manganese for parrots in several articles about your pet’s diet. You can check the respective advantages of this element in the articles about feeding parrots coconuts and the benefits of pineapples

In short, manganese will strengthen your bird’s bones, joints, and muscles. 

Copper 

You know that copper is essential for people, right? Well, this element is also essential for birds. In fact, for all animals. Copper is highly beneficial for blood vessels and connective tissues. Also, you may not know it, but copper is an effective preventative measure against egg abnormalities. Thus, if you have a mated couple, I suggest you start introducing more copper-rich foods. 

Moreover, pistachios offer another element that will be of help for parrot reproduction – phosphorus. It ensures healthy egg formation. 

Are Pistachios Harmful to Parrots? 

parrot eating pistachios

Pistachios are not harmful per se. But, they contain lots of carbs. But let’s not turn carbs into our enemies, for human diet as well. Complex carbs bring energy and eliminate hunger for long periods of time. You have to know the measure. If the whole diet of your bird consists of 90% carbs, you are risking its life. On the other hand, if you add complex cabs here and there, you are keeping the bird healthy.

Remember to take into account the small size of your parrot. An 8-ounce bag of pistachios (that is more than 60 grams of carbs) may be okay for you but will be too much for a tiny bird. This, a few nuts at a time, would be entirely safe for the bird. 

Obesity Issues 

And what is the result of consuming too many carbs? Yes, it’s obesity. This is a universal rule for all animals. 

I suggest you restrict some other carb-rich foods the day when you give your parrot pistachios. The best way to keep track of all is by using the health apps on your phone that calculate all the nutrients after you add meals. Yes, this will work even for parrots! A parrot’s health is just as important. 

Can Your Parrot Eat Salted Pistachios? 

Absolutely not! Too much sodium can lead to many problems with health, up to even death. Among the expected effects of salt toxicity are 

  • kidney failure 
  • weight loss
  • depression
  • tremors
  • heart failure 
  • neurological issues
  • liver cirrhosis 

Yes, your parrot needs a bit of salt daily to remain healthy, maintain proper water balance, and grow properly, but salted pistachios are the worst way to provide it. Especially if you are thinking about the store packs of salted nuts. God knows what they’ve added to the mix. And while a small amount of some preservatives is safe for humans, it’s unacceptable for parrots. 

And even if you decide to salt the pistachios at home with your regular salt, you’ll give it too much unnecessary sodium.

To keep its levels healthy, buy a parrot mix at your vet that contains all the necessary elements.

Can Parrot Eat Roasted Pistachios?  

Well, there are two answers to this question 

Store-bought packed roasted pistachios? No. 

If you roast your fresh pistachios in your oven? Yes. 

The negative effects of the first option come again because of salt. But the sole process of roasting them is not harmful. In fact, it will give the nuts new flavors that your parrot may like even better. 

Thus, if you want to give your parrot roasted pistachios, make them yourself with no additives. 

Can Parrots Eat Pistachio Shell Safely? 

Well, there is no harm in giving your parrot the regularly shelled pistachios we often buy as a treat for yourself. 

However, your parrot simply will not eat it. Instead, it’ll peel the shell and get the nut out. All parrots for that matter. Believe me; it’s a very amusing process for new parrot owners. Birds are quite “handy” in getting food out of places. Considering the superior parrot intellect, they are the masters in it. 

Just be sure not to leave the shell mess in its cage!

Can Parrots Eat Pistachio Meal Safely? 

If you don’t know what a pistachio meal is, it’s just the nut flour. It is used for many desserts worldwide. I’m sure there are more culinary uses to it besides dessert, but I’m not a chef. 

Pistachio meal is just the other kinds of nut flour – clean of additives. You just grind the nuts at home in a processor for 20 seconds or so, and you’ll get the pure flour. 

If you want to mix it into a kind of parrot granola bar, feel free. Otherwise, a parrot won’t eat nut power alone. 

Can Parrots Eat Pistachio Butter Made at Home? 

pistachio benefits for parrots

Yes, but only if it’s made at home! This is the key factor. In general, I don’t believe in storing food when it comes to my pets. I can eat lots of treats myself, but parrots are more fragile and require better care. 

When you make it at home, the recipe demands some salt. However, the amount is tiny and will not harm your bird. Unlike the meal, I actually use pistachio butter to form treat balls containing various seeds and nuts when I want to make something special for my pets. But the balls should be tiny and given on occasion, not regularly. 

Homemade Pistachio Butter Recipe 

This is the simplest recipe you can ever come up with! 

Ingredients: 

  • pistachios
  • salt
  1. Take the nuts out of the shells if needed and roast them in the oven for 10 minutes at 160-170 degrees (320-330 Fahrenheit). 
  2. When the nuts are cool, blend them in a blender for a few 10-second intervals. In time, the consistency will turn from powdery to a bit buttery and runny. 
  3. Add a pinch of salt and stir. 

This is the most natural recipe out there! Also, there’s no need to add oil as pistachios release their own oils during processing. 

As you see, everything that has to do with natural pistachios without additives is absolutely safe for your bird. Parrots gladly eat pistachios and even have fun trying to get out of their shells. As long as you alter the nuts at home without adding harmful substances, you can experiment with the form and shape of serving them. 

But, as with any product you give your part, moderation is key!