Image of chickpeas for birds

Can Birds Eat Chickpeas? (Cockatiels, Parrots, Budgies)

Wild, as well as pet birds, can always eat chickpeas as they contain high amounts of protein, fiber, carbohydrate, folate, iron, zinc, and manganese. But you must avoid feeding them with raw or canned chickpeas(garbanzo beans) as those can be unhealthy for them. Only feed them cooked chickpeas having a very soft texture. 

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans or Kabuli chanas (as popularly called in the Indian subcontinent) are available in a variety of sizes. However, you can feed the birds chickpeas of any size, provided they are very soft and cooked.

Let’s take a deeper look at this topic.

Are Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) Good For Birds?

Chickpeas are stuffed with various kinds of nutrients and are great for regular consumption for birds. The best thing about chickpeas is, their texture and unique taste make them pair well with other food items and veggies.

Here are some of the benefits of feeding birds with chickpeas:

  1. Chickpeas are stuffed with multiple essential nutrients. Chickpeas are rich in protein, carbs, and fat. They also contain considerable amounts of vitamins (particularly vitamin B) and fiber in them. Ample amounts of minerals like manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium is present in them.
  2. Chickpeas have got a low glycemic index meaning it helps in better blood sugar regulation. The high fiber and protein content also play an important role in blood sugar management in humans. Hence it may play a beneficial role in birds as well.
  3. The presence of high amounts of fiber may help in better digestion. Chickpeas contain soluble fiber which helps in boosting the all-over digestion process and in easy bowel movements.
  4. Chickpeas contain low amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids which are considered healthy fats. At least in humans, they favor better brain functioning, muscle strength, and nerve functioning.

Takeaway: Chickpeas are food items that are low in calories and come packed with protein, fiber, fat, and loads of vitamins and minerals which are essential for their overall health. They have a low GI which helps in blood sugar regulation and the high fiber helps in better digestion.

Can Birds Like Budgies, Parrots, Cockatiels eat Dried, Raw, and Uncooked Chickpeas?

Feeding raw chickpeas or garbanzo beans to birds can be extremely dangerous as it can do them more harm than good.

Birds find it hard to digest uncooked or undercooked beans. Also dried & uncooked beans contain a component called hemagglutinin, which can act as a poison and can be very toxic to the birds. So it is a good idea to not experiment with raw or dry beans and to feed the birds cooked chickpeas(garbanzo beans) that were soaked in water overnight.

All kinds of pet birds including parrots, budgies, pigeons, cockatiels, etc should only be fed cooked chickpeas which before cooking, have been soaked in water since the night before or at least for a few hours. Make sure that after cooking they are soft enough to be easily mashed without any effort.

Simple Steps of Making Chickpeas Suitable Enough For Bird Consumption:

  1. Make sure you buy organic chickpeas and not store-bought canned chickpeas. Even then it will be a good idea to first thoroughly wash them in water.
  2. Keep the chickpeas in water overnight to let them get soft.
  3. The next morning, boil the chickpeas with fresh water until they are soft enough to be easily mashed with little effort.

If the size of the chickpeas is a little bit too large then you should mash them up. You can serve the chickpeas on their own or with birdy bread and other veggies. Legumes complement grains greatly so you can try feeding them with this combo as well.

How to Determine If The Chickpeas Are Sufficiently Cooked Or Not?

If the chickpeas are undercooked they will still consist of a raw and woody-like flavor.

Also, its texture wont is quite soft. You won’t be able to easily squish it with your fingers.

Boil it to the point at which you can easily mash them with suitable ease without using any excess force.

Will birds eat canned beans (chickpeas)?

Canned or baked beans and vegetables are a big No-No for both wild and pet birds as they contain high amounts of salt in them. Even the low sodium canned chickpeas contain a suitable amount of salt in them which is not safe for their consumption. Feeding birds salty food items is a very risky thing to do as excessive salt can be life-threatening for them. 

Birds need a very low amount of salt in their diet which in most instances they obtain naturally through the consumption of their daily food items. Salt along with potassium plays an important role in their nerve signaling, muscle contractions, and in maintaining proper body balance.

However, an excess amount can lead to dehydration, kidney damage, depression, digestive problems, heart failure, or various neurological problems which ultimately can lead to death. In general, it is a good idea to keep watch over the salt content of the food items the bird consumes.

So even though foods like canned beans are pre-cooked items, it is best to avoid using canned beans or chickpeas altogether especially for feeding the birds.

Takeaway: Most fast food items including canned beans, peas, and other veggies do contain lots of salt in them which are not at all suitable for the consumption of birds as it may lead to deadly complications.

Key things to keep in mind while feeding chickpeas to birds

  1. Always make them eat cooked chickpeas and not dried or canned chickpeas.
  2. Make sure you thoroughly wash chickpeas after you bring them from the market.
  3. Avoid using any kind of seasonings or flavor enhancers along with the chickpeas as those can in turn harm the bird. Serve the chickpeas with other veggies or other food items.

It is always best to research the best suitable diet for your bird and to seek advice from specialists. This is especially true if you are unsure of what food items you should feed your bird or if your pet bird suffers from any kind of health condition. Hence in such cases, you should always consult with a veterinary doctor about the best possible diet for your bird.


Are chickpeas good for a cockatiel?

Chickpeas or garbanzos beans are great snacks for cockatiels provided you give them in optimal amounts. They are rich in essential minerals, vitamins, fiber and are loaded with protein. Also always make sure you feed them cooked soft chickpeas and not dried or canned ones.

If you have any other queries or thoughts on this topic feel free to comment below!



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