Dos and don'ts when feeding peanuts

The Do’s and Don’ts of Feeding Peanuts to Wild Birds


As bird enthusiasts many of us find joy in feeding peanuts to birds. Enjoyed by a variety of birds for their high energy content and nutritional value.  There are however a few guidelines to follow when offering peanuts to wild birds in the UK to ensure their well-being and safety.


Benefits – Peanuts are a fantastic source of protein, fat and nutrients. Because they are high in calories, they provide much needed energy great for winter months or when birds are busy raising their young. Birds such as blue tits, great it is, woodpeckers and nuthatches are particularly fond of peanuts and will readily visit feeders containing them.


Choosing Peanuts – Always opt for peanuts for birds, never provide flavoured, roasted or salted peanuts as these can be harmful to birds. Raw, shelled peanuts are the best option to go for. Jumbo, peanut granules or standard peanuts are a good start. Make sure that they are from a reputable provider as peanuts can be high in a natural toxin called aflatoxin which can kill birds. Aflatoxin is a poison which is produced by fungus that affects crops.


Peanut safety – To prevent the risk of choking, always put peanuts in peanut feeders rather than offering them as a ground food. Peanut granules can be offered as a ground food, as these are already smaller for the birds to grab and or feed to their young. The mesh feeders with small openings are good for allowing the birds to extract peanuts safely without the risk of getting whole nuts lodged in their throats. Its good practise to regularly clean and inspect feeders to prevent the accumulation of mould of bacteria.


Feeding peanuts to wild birds is great way to connect with the birds and nature in your garden. However, it should also be done responsibly. It is best to do so in moderation, supplementing them with a varied diet of seed, mealworms, and suet to help your garden birds receive a balance diet. We tend to include peanut granules in a fair few of our mixes to ensure that they’re included in birds diet. Overfeeding peanuts can unfortunately lead to dependency and nutritional imbalances so its always best to aim for diversity in your feeding regime.

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