Can I give raw almonds to my African grey parrot? Is it safe, or a risk to his health?

African Grey parrot eating shelled penut
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Firstly I need to address the “peanuts are bad for parrots” urban legend.

Reference one of the original answers to this question on Quora

If you leave a pizza on the kitchen counter for two days it will get fungus.

 

Cheese in the best of circumstances will grow fungus in the refrigerator after about a week.

Parrot food that gets wet from say, splashed bathwater, can get fungus pretty rapidly.

 

Fungus will grow on peanuts if they are not stored properly as in perfectly dry.

 

Let’s look at the largest producer of peanuts in the world, South America.

 

South America also has the largest population of parrots, in the world – why are parrots not falling out of the sky all over South America?

 

Because the peanuts they eat are fresh.

 

It’s all about storage – peanuts bought in sealed bags with air removed from name brand parrot food manufacturers are just fine (says the guy who sells 20,000 pounds of bird food a month).

 

Hagen, the largest producer of pet supplies on the planet offers Hagen bird and parrot food in three lines – Living World (seeds), Tropimix (blend of seed nuts, fruit with pellets) and Tropican.

 

Hagen Tropimix and Tropican parrot foods contain peanuts.

 

Hagen is distributed in 70 countries.

 

I know the folks at Hagen and the Hagen Avicultural Research Institute.

 

They have close to 250 pairs of of parrots they’ve cared for over the last 30 years.

 

They have three full-time on-site avian veterinarians as well as veterinarian techs.

 

They work closely with Ontario Veterinary College at University of Guelph to produce world class bird food CONTAINING PEANUTS!

 

I hope that sets the record straight.

 

Moving on to answer your original question about almonds, almonds are fine raw or roasted just not salted for birds (or old guys with high blood pressure:-).

 

You’ll find almonds in the shell, in better parrot food blends like the aforementioned Hagen Tropimix and Higgins Safflower Gold parrot foods

 

Peaches our Senegal parrot, loves almonds.

 

We give her both shelled and unshelled.

 

If I see a almond in the shell she got bored with on the cage floor or a play area, I keep nutcrackers close by, and will start a crack in the shell which she’ll then be happy to finish.

 

Walnuts are another great nut, big birds from African grays to cockatoos to the big macaws can probably crack them easily while holding it in their zygodactyl foot.

 

For a Senegal parrot it’s beak is too small to start a crack in the shell, so I do and spread the pieces over over her forging boxes and foraging Frisbees.

 

Sunflower seeds are also a great treat.

 

Some birds are fed too many but in moderation they are fine.

 

Sunflowers can come in both shelled and unshelled versions.

 

I like the out of shell version for both training (it can be eaten quickly without having to wait for her to remove the shell) and filling her business card forging boxes.


Also published on Medium.

Author:

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.