If you are a nutty human who lives with a nutty parrot (meaning one who loves nuts), then knowing how to save a few pennies and keep the nuts fresh and tasty is an important issue.
If you have bought any nuts for your parrot lately, you already know how expensive they can be. During the fall and winter season usually beginning in about October, and especially during the Christmas holidays, you can usually find lots of nuts in the shell in local grocery stores. Often you can even find them on sale during this time. I like to stock up on the favorites of my birds and keep them on hand throughout the year.
Keeping nuts for a while requires a little simple nut preparation to keep them fresh and yummy for your bird. Without taking that care, nuts can dry out and become stale and not so tasty. Then can even become moldy, and even wormy if they are nuts you collected yourself and were not cleaned properly before storage.
Freezing whole nuts in their shells may take up some space in your freezer but will keep them safe and sound for up to a year, and most parrot really enjoy working the nut meats out on their own as a fun foraging treat.
If you don't have room in your freezer, clean the nuts and make sure they are nice and dry and then place them in airtight containers in a cool dark place. This should keep them fresh for up to about 6 months.
You can also go ahead and shell the nuts, and then freeze the nut meats in freezer bags. This works especially well for birds who are too small to crack open shelled nuts on their own. Chopped nuts, and nut pieces will usually last about 6 months in the freezer as well.
Nuts such as walnuts, chestnuts, almonds, macadamias, and Brazil nuts, are rich in protein and healthy fats and provide a tasty treat for your bird and can provide some beak exercise as well.
I am often asked what nut is a good nut to feed. Although some species seems to do better with more or sometimes less fat, we thought we would share some information on nuts in general to help bird owners decide which nuts are best for their birds.
Almonds: a very popular nut fed to parrots contains approximately 50% fat and 21% protein;
Brazil Nuts: contain approximately 67% fat and 14% protein;
Cashew Nuts: contain approximately 46% fat and 15% protein;
Hazelnuts or Filberts: contain approximately 61% fat and 15% protein;
Macadamia Nuts: are approximately 75% fat and 9% protein;
Pecans: often thought of as a higher fat nut, contain approximately 71% fat and 10% protein;
Pine Nuts: are a very popular nut treat and contain approximately 68% fat and 16% protein;
Pistachio Nuts: a very popular treat for parrots, contain approximately 44% fat and 20% protein;
Walnuts: contain approximately 65% fat and 15% protein;
**Peanuts: which are actually not a nut at all but often thrown in with the nut category, are actually a legume, and are considered by a few as containing "good fat". Peanuts do contain approximately 22% fat and 6% protein.
So show your bird just how nutty you can be and stock up on the nuts while you can, and save some money hopefully at the same time.