Essential Vitamins for Parrots
Your parrot requires parrot vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, feel good and display beautiful plumage. The parrot body is incapable of storing vitamins so the conscientious parrot owner will need to insure routine nutritional diets.
B-carotene converts to Vitamin A as needed for parrot health. Unused beta-carotene is excreted. Parrots develop a beta-carotene deficiency when they don’t eat enough leafy greens and yellow or orange foods. Beta-Carotene can be found in a multitude of vegetables including sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, squash, alfalfa sprouts, endive, kale, spinach and dandelion greens.
All parrots need Vitamin A for skin and tissue health. A Vitamin A deficiency may produce diminished choanal papillae, hardening of the epithelial tissues, legs and feet. Long-term Vitamin A deficiency may cause renal disease and uropygial gland abnormalities. While a bird can overdose on Vitamin A your avian veterinarian can advise you on how much your bird may need. As always, providing natural vs. synthetic sources of Vitamin A is important. Vitamin A can be found in____
Vitamin D3 works in conjunction with sunlight or full spectrum bird lights. Vitamin D3 helps parrots metabolize calcium and utilize it in their bodies and is necessary for proper egg shell production. Insufficient Vitamin D3 causes painful muscle contractions. In turn, adequate bird lights are essential for maintaining healthy bone structure, feather development and in female birds, egg production.
Parrots and birds require calcium for feather growth, bone structure and egg production. African Grey Parrots and other African parrots including Poicephalus, Lovebirds and Cockatiels require a Calcium rich diet. Insufficient calcium causes a number of health problems from seizures to soft-shelled eggs to brittle bones. Calcium can be found in a number of vegetables including dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips, edamame and collard greens.
Parrots require Iron in HEME form to combat anemia, chronic infections blood loss. Iron deficiency can result in anemia. Conversely, a parrot can get too much iron causing a condition called hemochromatosis, a condition in which too much iron is stored in the liver. Proper parrot nutrition is the key to insuring adequate levels of iron. Parrots eating a seed based diet are at risk for iron deficiency while parrots that eat a premium bird pellet such as Harrison’s Bird Food have been found to have healthy levels of iron in their blood. Iron rich fresh bird foods include spinach, collard greens, prunes, raisins, beans, lentils, chick peas and soybeans.
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This article was contributed by the experts at BirdSupplies. You can count on BirdSupplies.com for bird supplies specifically designed to provide for the health, enrichment and socialization needs of pet birds and parrots.