The simple answer to this question is yes, pigeons can and do eat peanuts.
Peanuts are a snack that is filled with minerals and vitamins that can improve their health.
Peanuts are a popular food for pigeons.
Nutritional Value Of Peanuts For Pigeons
The good thing about peanuts is that they are very nutritional. They have a high nutritional value for humans, but also for pigeons.
Peanuts help counter cholesterol and are packed with such goodies as calories, carbohydrates, fats, fibre and protein.
They also contain sodium, sugars, vitamins and minerals.
This combination of ingredients and nutrients can help to boost the flying power of a pigeon, giving it the fuel and energy to fly for longer and faster whilst remaining hydrated.
Peanuts have also been cited as being able to improve the liver function of a pigeon as well as helping the bird to better manage its weight.
These two things combined can lead to a much healthier metabolic rate which will keep the pigeon in better condition for longer.
Dangers of Peanuts for Pigeons
Peanuts should be seen as an overall positive food for power performance, but that does not mean that they are completely without drawbacks and reservations.
With that in mind, here are some of the things to consider related to the potential dangers that peanuts can pose to pigeons.
Some varieties of peanuts can contain harmful substances such as preservatives.
These are added in the processing stage and can include toxins like Aflatoxin that can cause serious digestive tract infections, liver damage, and even cancers in birds.
This can be easily avoided by opting for unprocessed peanuts.
As alluded to above, salt content is something that needs to be carefully considered.
Even a few salted peanuts can start to severely dehydrate a pigeon, and the same can be said for different flavor varieties including candied, smoked, and honey-coated nuts.
Size is also something that can play a big part in deciding whether a peanut is safe for a pigeon or not.
You need to consider the size of the bird’s beak when feeding them peanuts.
The ‘classic’ style peanuts are simply too big when whole to be of any benefit to the pigeon, so you need to either grind them into smaller pieces or stick with the aforementioned raw Spanish peanuts that are much smaller and much smoother.
Large peanuts don’t only cause a choking hazard, but any nuts with irregular shapes or hard shells run the risk of causing damage to the pigeon’s beak when attempting to eat.
Introducing Peanuts to Pigeons
A good way to introduce peanuts to your pigeon’s diet is a few at a time. You can use whole or shelled nuts or just the raw peanuts.
Any raw peanuts that aren’t eaten after a couple of days should be collected and taken away, as they tend to rot rapidly in the open air, which may cause them problems if the birds ingest them.
If you want to feed peanuts to a pigeon, the best action to take is to choose a batch of unprocessed, unsalted raw Spanish peanuts, grinding them up into even smaller particles if you want to be extra careful.
The peanuts can be left in piles on things like bird feeding tables and that will encourage the birds to continue to come to that spot for feeding.
If you are more confident and want to get even closer to the pigeons, then you can try to feed them out of your hand when holding a large pile of the ground and crushed peanuts.
Some pet accessory manufacturers have made special bird feeders to contain peanuts because the use of this food resource has become so widespread among bird lovers.
Can Pigeons Eat Peanut Butter?
Pigeons can indeed enjoy and benefit from servings of peanut butter, but this again comes with a number of provisions.
Just as with whole peanuts, you want to make sure that the peanut butter product you choose is not processed or salted, to avoid both dehydration and the damaging presence of preservatives.
Peanut Alternatives For Pigeons
If you want to broaden your horizons and explore more options with your pigeons, then they are also able to eat and enjoy the following alternatives:
- Sunflower seeds
- Acorns (this should be given to a pigeon cautiously in moderation due to the tannins they contain)
- Brazil nuts
- Hickory nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine Nuts
Despite the fact that pigeons flock together they can have individual tastes.
Not all pigeons may like peanuts, but the good news is that there are four varieties of them, so you can try each to find which your birds like or dislike.
Do not give your pigeons any adulterated nuts, only raw and natural ones.
Don’t give them flavoured, salted, smoked, coated or seasoned in any form or fashion.
Any of the above can cause them health problems.
The best idea before introducing peanuts to your pigeons’ diet is to consult a veterinarian who specialises in avians or knows something about pigeons, just to be on the safe side.
On the other hand, many pet food manufacturers do produce peanut-based foodstuffs for birds.
Your aim is to raise and maintain healthy birds, so it makes sense to explore the best way of doing that, but trying different alimentation.
Using peanuts as an additional source of feeding will help keep your pigeons in a good condition.