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    How to enriching your Parrot’s Environment

    ArticleParrot AdviceTuesday 04 October 2011
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    Full-spectrum lighting is especially important if natural light is not available.

    Full-spectrum lighting is especially important if natural light is not available.

    Often birds are completely housed indoors and never see the sunlight. Even those by a window will not benefit from the sun because the window acts as a filter preventing the bird from absorbing the benefits of the sun such as Vitamin D3. Birds need exposure to UVA and UVB rays from direct sunlight (windows block necessary UV rays) or full-spectrum lighting to synthesize vitamin D necessary for bone health. Birds use sunlight by preening their feathers. The substance on the feathers will undergo a chemical reaction from the sunlight producing Vitamin D3 which the bird ingests with further preening of the feathers. The indoor bird does not have the benefit of this reaction.

    Vitamin D3 is crucial for overall health, but particularly important for egg laying, strong babies and vitality in the young birds and breeding flock

    The most common health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency are: 

    Breeding / Reproduction-related problems:

    -Egg binding and soft shell eggs

    -Chick death -- usually occurring at about 18 or 19 days of incubation.    

    Physical Abnormalities:

    -Bent keels, splayed legs and beaks abnormality (i.e., soft / overgrown beak)

    -Seizures

    -Stargazing

    -Feather plucking

    Feather plucking

    Beaks Abnormality

    Conure Bleeding Syndrome (CBS) has been reported in several conure species, including (but not limited to) the Blue-crowned Conures, Nandays, Peach-fronted Conures, Orange-fronted Conures, Sun Conures and Patagonian conures. This condition tends to affect mostly baby conures, but adult conures that are severely stressed can be affected.    

    Birds enjoy natural sunlight and if you can provide that on a daily basis - that would be best and most inexpensive way to go. Many bird owners relocate their birds to an outside flight or they move the cage out every day for half an hour or so. However, when weather conditions prohibit this, full-spectrum lighting is a viable alternative...

    WARNING: Shatter Resistant or Safety-coated Light Bulbs are a potential source for toxic fumes that can be dangerous to birds. These bulbs have or may have a coating made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) - commonly known as Teflon coating -- which makes them shatter resistant. A veterinarian researched the death of a customer's birds and found out that the coating heated up during the use of the bulb, and in the enclosed coop produced high enough concentrations of toxic fumes to kill the chickens.

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