When feeding nuts to parrots you do need to be very careful because the quality of nuts varies drastically. For example, at Christmas time, every now and again you will find that when you crack a nut open, there is nothing in it at all. It seems very strange but often the nuts that aren’t eaten are actually put into next years supply of nuts. This is why we have to be very careful. Often in the UK market, the older the nuts are, the cheaper they are. So if you find a source of nuts that are much cheaper, just make sure that the quality is good. Do this by opening up the nuts, checking them inside, and if they’re supposed to be human grade, try them as well.
All the nuts that we supply are the same human grade quality going to the top rated supermarkets in the UK. We don’t buy them in the UK, we buy them from Italy, and we supply to all the major zoos in the UK because they’re fed to endangered animals that have to have the best quality.
Some of the most common questions we get asked about concerning nuts, are about monkey nuts. If you go on the internet you’ll find information saying that monkey nuts are highly dangerous for your birds. It’s not quite as simple as that. We import ours from the growers in America, and they are absolutely top quality monkey nuts that we sell to zoos and bird parks for feeding to their monkeys, gorillas and all sorts of different animals. They’re very good quality and they are not dangerous. The problem with the UK market is that the very old monkey nuts, the worst quality monkey nuts if you like, are sold to pet shops as wild bird food. We all know how much the wild birds love to get into monkey nuts to get to the peanut.
Now, its always the worst quality monkey nuts that go into the pet shops because they’re only for wild birds, which doesn’t sound very nice, but that is what happens. When this happens, the problem is that someone walks into a pet shop who has a parrot at home, and they love their parrot and want to enhance their life by giving them a variety of foods and they end up buying these monkey nuts. But these monkey nuts are the old ones designed for the wild bird market. This person will now give these old monkey nuts to birds that should never touch old nuts, especially as these could be two to three years old. This is where the danger comes from.
Monkey nuts in themselves aren’t a problem.
In several of our mixes we have monkey nuts that are made in Europe. These are top quality and we have never ever had a problem with them. The monkey nuts that we sell as straights come straight from the grower in the USA.
In summary, if you find something very cheap for your birds to feed them, be very careful because there could be a reason why the price is so low.
If you have any questions on nuts or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact Rob Harvey’s Specialist Feeds at 01420 23986.