NUTS TO YOUR PARROTS!
- When you buy nuts for your parrots, check each nut for the color of the shell for any mold, discoloration, or opening of the nut shells. Put them in an airtight container, put a date on it and keep them in a cool dry area. Many nuts will stay fresh for at least 6 months although pine nuts last only about 2-2 months with pistachios about 3 months. If you freeze them, most last at least 9 months to a year with the exception of pine nuts - 6 months.
- Most nuts are healthy for your parrots as a treat, but remember that they all have fat and too many aren't good for parrots that have a reputation for becoming overweight like Amazons and cockatoos. Macaws can usually eat more nuts than other parrots but there is still some concern about oxalic acid.
- Although I have found some conflicting information about oxalates in nuts, this is what I have basically found. Nuts can have a fairly low to high degree of oxalates or oxalic acid. The lowest oxalates are found in pistachios, macadamias, and chestnuts. Pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, almonds and human-grade only peanuts have more oxalates but can still be fed. It appears that walnuts are higher in oxalic acid with Pine nuts and Brazil nuts being so high that they should either not be fed or as a rare treat with one or two a week at most for large macaws but macadamias and others are healthier for them.
- Too many oxalates in the diet can be problematic creating kidney stones and possible renal problems. If a parrot eats a diet with a lot of oxalates and is also (Hopefully NOT!) on a pelleted diet with chemical synthetic nutrients, then it is essential for them to have fresh drinking water at all times.