Generally speaking, peanuts produced for human consumption are NOT suitable for wild birds. Some peanuts contain a naturally-occurring toxin that can be dangerous for birds. That's why it's important to buy peanuts that are specifically intended for birds.
The following peanuts are NOT safe for birds to eat:
- Salted peanuts
- Peanuts with flavourings or coatings
- Roasted peanuts
These snacks are often very salty, which is dangerous for birds. Stick to our wild bird peanuts and you can't go wrong!
Are peanuts good for birds?
Yes - peanuts offer a great balance of oil and protein, both of which are necessary for energy and good health.
Peanuts also have a lot of calories, which is another good reason to leave some out for your feathered friends to enjoy. During the cold winter months, wild birds need as many calories as they can get!
How are peanuts grown?
Peanut plants are annual herbaceous members of the pea family. There are two main types: runner and bunch. Most peanuts flower 6 to 8 weeks after planting. The flowers are produced near the ground on bunch plants and along the vines of runner types. While the plants flower above ground, the pods develop below; as the flowers fade, the stem bends downward, carrying the pods to the ground. Since peanuts bloom over a period of several weeks, the pods mature at various intervals. Each pod yields 2 to 3 peanuts.
At harvest, the whole peanut plant is uprooted and turned upside down to expose the pods to the heat of the day, which dries them out. Warm, dry weather is needed for successful peanut growing, and if the ripening period is adversely affected, peanut plants can become damaged and diseased.
Although native to South America, due to high global demand, peanuts are now grown across many continents in hot climates. The major growers of peanuts are China, India, the USA, Nigeria, Indonesia and Argentina.
Where do our wild bird peanuts come from?
We source the very best peanuts from reputable suppliers in a number of different countries, paying particular attention to the seasonality and success of their respective peanut harvests. That is why our peanuts for birds sometimes vary in size, colour and oil content. All of the peanuts we buy have been rigorously tested in their country of origin before export, and are re-tested when they arrive in the UK.
One of the main diseases that can affect peanuts is caused by a fungus called Aspergillus flavus. If growing conditions are moist and the peanuts are not properly dried out, the Aspergillus fungus can develop between the kernel and the skin of the peanut, producing a poisonous mycotoxin called aflatoxin that's highly toxic to both birds and mammals. All of our peanuts are accompanied by a certificate of 'nil detectable aflatoxin'.
How to store your peanuts
Store bird peanuts in cool, dry conditions. Avoid warm, humid places (for example, do not keep your peanuts in a utility room next to a tumble dryer). We recommend removing them from the bag and putting them in a dry, sealed container. This will help to keep moisture out.
What kind of feeder should I use?
We offer a wide range of peanut feeders to help you serve up these tasty treats to your garden birds! Many of our peanut feeders come with a caged or mesh design, allowing birds to peck away at the peanuts and eat their fill.
If the weather is wet, check your peanut feeder every 2-3 days for signs of blackening. If the peanuts go black, discard, clean your feeder and replenish with fresh peanuts.