Ringneck parrot eating peanut butter

Can Parrots Eat Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter is one of the most common snack items in our kitchens. It is a versatile spread and a healthy snack that we like to pair with a myriad of other foods. 

But as much as it is touted for its health benefits, it is still quite high in fat and calories. This begs the question, can parrots eat peanut butter and is it safe for them?

Parrots can eat peanut butter in very small amounts. But before you offer peanut butter to your parrot, it’s important to check the label for added ingredients, particularly xylitol, which is a sugar substitute that is toxic to birds. Also, it is better if you choose a variety of peanut butter with no added sugar or salt.

You can give a tiny scoop when you want your parrot to have a different treat but don’t spoil them with it. Peanut butter is not something you should give your parrot regularly.

In this article, we further discuss the risk of aflatoxin in commercially available peanut butter and how to look for bird-safe ingredients in them.

Is Peanut Butter Safe For Parrots?

Peanut butter is nontoxic to parrots. However, it is not a healthy food for them to eat, especially in large amounts. If you let your parrot eat a small portion of peanut butter infrequently, it won’t do any harm.

However, regular consumption of peanut butter is good for your parrot. Peanut butter is extremely high in calories and fat increasing the risk of obesity for parrots. 

How To Make Sure Peanut Butter Is Safe For Parrots?

The two most pressing concerns when choosing peanut butter for your parrot are aflatoxin contamination and ingredients that are unsafe for birds. Here’s what you need to know to make sure that the peanut butter you are serving to your parrot is safe for them:

Food Safety Regulations In Your Country

Aflatoxin is a common food toxin that can occur in foods due to fungal contamination before and after harvest. It is found not just in peanuts, but a number of other foods and tree nuts including pistachios, almonds, and cashews. 

Also, this toxin is harmful to animals and humans. Most countries including the United States have strict regulations against foods containing aflatoxins. After all, it affects our health and therefore is a matter of concern. 

Till now, there have been no reported instances of human illness caused by aflatoxins in the United States. However, aflatoxin outbreaks have occurred in some developing countries. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates aflatoxin, and tests foods that may contain aflatoxins, such as peanuts and peanut butter.

If you’re buying peanut butter in the US, it will not contain high amounts of aflatoxin because of the safety regulations. Also, peanut butter does not get contaminated with aflatoxin once it has been made. According to National Peanut Board, Aflatoxin does not form in peanut butter once it is packed.

Check For Unsafe Ingredients

When you’re feeding peanut butter to your parrot it is important to read the label and check for ingredients that may be unsafe for them. You should go for peanut butter with no additives, artificial sweaters, and the least amount of sugar and salt. 

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many commercially available peanut butter, which is toxic to parrots. Make sure the peanut butter you are feeding your parrot does not have Xylitol in it. 

Besides this, most peanut butter contains sugar and salt, which although not toxic to parrots can be harmful in large amounts. The unsweetened and unsalted variety of peanut butter is the better option for parrots. Also, try to look for varieties that do not contain vegetable oil. 

Even after scanning for all the bird-safe ingredients, peanut butter is not quite a healthy snack option for parrots. But if you wish to let your bird taste a little bit of peanut butter, these are all the things you need to keep in mind. 

Can Peanut Butter Be A Choking Hazard For Parrots?

Peanut butter can pose a choking hazard for parrots if they eat too much. The sticky and dense nature of peanut butter makes it difficult to swallow. While parrots know not to take big scoops which prevents problems with swallowing, it is still a risk of them. 

How To Feed Peanut Butter To Parrots?

You can offer a tiny portion of peanut butter directly to your parrot using a small spoon. However, there are other creative ways that you can try to feed peanut butter to your parrot. For example, you can pair peanut butter with other foods that your parrot likes and that are healthy. 

Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on a slice of apple or banana. That would allow you to give your parrot peanut butter just enough to taste it while also making it much healthier.

There is also a fun foraging idea is to coat a pine cone in peanut butter. Put peanut butter on pine cones and hang them in their cages to be licked. This fun way to provide a treat to your parrot also gives them some foraging opportunity. 

Peanut butter

How Much Peanut Butter Can You Give Your Parrot?

The best way to give peanut butter to your parrot is by pairing it with a fruit or a vegetable. A slight dab of peanut butter spread on a piece of fruit will be sufficient enough for your parrot to enjoy its sweet and nutty taste.

Which Other Nut Contains Aflatoxins?

Peanuts are not the only nut that contains aflatoxins. According to EFSA, Aflatoxins can occur in foods, such as Groundnuts (peanuts), tree nuts (pistachios, almonds, cashews, etc.), rice, maize, figs, cocoa beans, and other dried foods. But as mentioned earlier, all these foods are tested by the food department before they reach us for consumption. 

Can Parrots Eat Other Nut Butters?

Parrots can consume other nut butter like almond butter, pistachio butter, and cashew butter but in moderation. All other nut butters are safe for parrots in small amounts.

The main problem with feeding nut butter to parrots is their high fat content. Peanut butter and others contain way more calories and fat than the actual nut it is made from. So you should never give them any more than what they can just nibble on.


A small scoop of peanut butter is all that you should give to your parrot. Peanut butter is not a health treat for parrots. If you wish to give it to them, reserve it for the days you want to offer them a high-value treat, something unhealthy that they like to indulge in.

Sometimes, parrots don’t respond as well to regular treats, that’s when you can up the ante. But remember, this should only be occasional. Giving your parrot peanut butter too frequently can have many complications including weight gain and other health issues. 

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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