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Can Parrots Eat Walnuts? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Annaliese Morgan

By Annaliese Morgan

close up walnuts

Vet approved

Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Parrots are often at the top of the list of avian choices when wanting a pet bird. Indoor birds like parrots have become exceptionally popular because these creatures are so beautiful, colorful and intelligent. The numbers are continuing to grow as normal household pets, like dogs and cats.This may lead many parrot owners to wonder what, aside from their daily standard diet, can you feed to your parrot, as it’s a fun and loving act to do.

Nuts and seeds are popular snack options for parrots, and boy do they love them! Walnuts are widely available, commonly enjoyed by humans, and are in abundance, particularly around certain holiday times such as Christmas. As it happens, walnuts are also a great variety of nut to offer a parrot in moderation, so let’s look into this nutty treat a bit more.

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Can I Feed My Parrot Walnuts?

If the walnuts are shelled and unseasoned, then yes, you may feed your parrot a few of these nuts. Care does need to be exercised, however, as nuts tend to be high in fat meaning that they suit certain parrots better than others. There are over 400 species of parrot, and some species may end up packing on the pounds and become unhealthy very quickly if given a lot of high fat foods like nuts and other treats. In all cases, while walnuts can be fed to parrots these will need to be fed in moderation.

Walnuts (and other nuts) are treats and should only be offered as such, not as the sole source of food for them. A correct maintenance diet specifically designed for parrots needs to be their staple food.

As a general rule, due to the varied species of parrots and the risk of obesity from eating high-fat foods or eating too many of the wrong snacks, it is advisable to consult an expert if you are unsure if your particular parrot can eat nuts like walnuts and in what quantity.

A bag of walnuts on a table
Image Credit: LubosHouska, Pixabay

Are Walnuts Healthy?

As mentioned in moderation, yes, walnuts are healthy. They are high in fat but also contain a lot of the healthy fats a body needs to function properly. Walnuts, it is suggested, also have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help keep blood vessels healthy in humans.

Other helpful nutritional elements of walnuts include (per 100g of English walnuts):

  • 654 K/Cal
  • 2g fat
  • 7 g fiber
  • 2g protein
  • 20 IU vitamin A
  • 7 µg vitamin K
  • 91mg iron
  • 441 mg potassium
  • 346 mg phosphorus
  • 158 mg magnesium

What Should a Parrot Eat?

As with any animal, parrots have a specific diet and specific requirements unique to them. It is best to speak with an avian veterinarian or specialist for an exhaustive explanation of their diet to prevent malnutrition and many illnesses. That being said, a common parrot diet is composed of 60-75% pellets (made for parrots and that do not contain additives) and 25-40% other foods. Other foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, and nuts.

If a daily balanced diet isn’t provided, your parrot will not be getting all the nutrition they need and illness may prevail. Malnutrition in parrots can lead to everything from feeling generally and consistently unwell to organ failure.

african grey parrot bird eating
Image Credit: Epic Vision, Shutterstock

Signs of Malnutrition in Parrots

If the following signs are currently noted in your parrot or any of them begin to occur, then your parrot requires veterinarian attention.

  • Listlessness/Lethargy
  • Not eating
  • Puffed feathers
  • Weakness

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Nuts Can Parrots Eat?

Other than walnuts, parrots can (and will) eat a variety of nuts including almonds, pecan, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, shelled peanuts, and pistachios. Again, all of these should be free of seasonings and fed in moderation. Speak to your veterinarian about proper amounts for your specific parrot.

veterinarian examining green quaker parrot
Image Credit: VH-studio, Shutterstock

Can I Feed My Parrot English Walnuts?

There are two main varieties of walnuts: English and Black. Both can be consumed by parrots, however, the English variety is typically the most common one used.

Can a Parrot Crack a Walnut?

Parrots have amazingly powerful beaks. Some species can exert up to 350–400 PSI with their bite, which is way stronger than humans and even dogs. Therefore, due to the strength and the shape of the beak, some parrot species can crack open many nuts, including walnuts. This skill may be bird-dependent.

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Conclusion

There is no doubt most parrots will delight in being fed nuts, including walnuts! They are a healthy, widely available, and economical snack to offer parrots. In general, there should be no harm in this gesture or undesired consequences as long as they are fed in plain and in safe and healthy amounts for your particular species of parrot. This is best checked with an avian expert. If so, happy snacking!


Featured Image Credit: engin akyurt, Unsplash

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