Attract birds to your backyard by giving them peanuts because they are a favorite food for many birds. It is a highly nutritious treat for them. Peanuts contain high levels of fat that provide birds with energy and calories, and protein for them to grow. It also contains potassium, iron, and fiber. They are also a fast, easy and cost-effective option to refill feeders.
Carrying a basket of peanuts with you may be an easy source of food you can feed to birds. However, not all peanuts are beneficial to them. One of the peanuts you should avoid giving to birds is salted peanuts. Birds may happily consume salted peanuts without them knowing that it may lead to their death. That is why we should avoid feeding them salted peanuts at all costs.
The Reason Why Salted Peanuts are Harmful to Birds
Salted peanuts contain natural toxins that are fatal to birds. As a matter of fact, salt itself is dangerous to some birds. They cannot excrete salt the way we can, and giving them large amounts of salt can be a problem. The same thing to us humans wherein foods high in salt are bad for us, too much salt is also bad for birds.
It does not matter whether it’s just one or two salted peanuts. Birds can get severely dehydrated after ingesting any salty food. Also, because they cannot process large amounts of salt and cannot produce hypertonic urine, excretion can become a problem. It may then lead to renal failure, or worst, a painful death.
Washing off the salt from salted peanuts will also not help and still not safe for birds. Peanuts absorb the salt while they are being cooked and sat for quite some time. Therefore, salt contents cannot be removed and can eventually poison birds. It also applies to peanuts made in other ingredients, such as peanut butter and peanuts covered in barbecue powder and chocolate.
There is no research to provide a baseline on how much salt a bird can ingest. That is why it is recommended to give only unsalted peanuts. In fact, we should not feed birds any food that contains salt.
Plain, Unsalted Peanuts Only
Only give plain, unsalted, specialty wild bird peanuts because these are suitable for feeding birds. You can find wild bird peanuts in pet shops or pet departments.
Alternatively, you can buy unsalted specialty peanuts that are way cheaper and a big cost-saving for you. You can find and buy packs of unsalted specialty peanuts almost anywhere, in pet shops or supermarkets. It comes in different sizes, so you have a choice to buy a small pack for a refill or you can buy bulks of big packs to last you for daysga.
A variety of garden bird species and ground-feeding birds eat unsalted peanuts. The high protein contents of peanuts would help birds get through all kinds of weather—whether it is summer or winter.
Feeding Birds with Peanuts
Aside from knowing whether salted or unsalted peanuts should be given, there are a lot of debates that come to mind in feeding birds with peanuts.
First is whether to give them raw or roasted. A lot of people say that it should be given naturally-that is, raw. They say that birds eat in the wild and it would be okay to give them raw peanuts. But others say that raw peanuts can contain harmful contents that can cause damage to the kidneys and pancreas. To be sure, it is still better to give roasted peanuts to birds.
Next would be whether shelled or unshelled. Shelled or whole peanuts allow birds to enjoy as it encourages them to search for their food. They also shell peanuts easily but, for smaller birds, it may take some work. All birds appreciate easier-to-eat-unshelled peanuts. Either way, both are acceptable.
Another consideration is how you feed the birds. The simplest and easiest way is to scatter the peanuts in the feeding area, but this can be messy. You can also opt to put peanuts in a tray or platform feeders. In this way, you give larger birds better access to peanuts and you can easily monitor if there will be leftovers.
You should give them enough or only a bit at a time. Peanut leftovers outside can build up molds and harm other birds when they eat them. It is recommended to clean up any spilled or leftovers around the feeding area.
There are a lot of nutrients birds can get from eating peanuts and it is also a simple food we can easily get. Despite its convenience, we should be mindful of what kind of peanut we give to them. It is always recommended to stick to plain, unsalted, roasted peanuts. We should make sure that we are not giving them the salted ones or those that have a coating on them.
Salt is still needed in a bird’s diet and is a requirement for them to live. However, too little or too much salt can contribute to a health problem considering their physical size. Regardless whether the peanuts are washed or not, it is better not to risk feeding them since washing off peanuts may be quite useless. Peanuts can still absorb salt and oil during the cooking process.
On the other hand, unwashed peanuts are evidently harmful to wild birds. It is recommended that before feeding the birds, it is better to consider researching on what type of peanuts or feeds are harmless to their feathered buddy.
As mentioned above, we do not have a basis on how much salt birds can ingest. That is why it is better to stick to the unsalted. It is all about balance, and we are responsible for giving them equal amounts.
A well-monitored diet or balanced feeding is essential in taking care of wild birds. Since, although they can easily be fed, excessive amount of food or unwanted ingredients may cause serious problems to them.