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Best D3 Supplement?

OrnerySennie

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Hi all! A quick question for you: it seems that egg is a good source of D3 for birds, but are there any other good ways to supplement that you guys would recommend? Tried-and-true products/foods? I'm looking for a nice, balanced way to give my sennie a D3 boost for the winter months. I'm skeptical of full-spectrum lighting (especially because I know her and she WILL stare into it even if it's directly above her cage) so I'm looking for some good dietary measures.

She's had some mood/plucking issues in the past, but since I purchased a pet cam and was able to remotely pinpoint some sources of stress for her and moved her cage to a spot that proved to have better lighting for her anyway, plus started feeding her nutriberries regularly, she has been so much better. However, there is no spot in my place with great winter lighting, so in these darker months she gets duller feathers and plucks again.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

Mizzely

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Any fortified pellet has D3. If you are feeling a pellet it is not advised to do additional artificial supplement.

Otherwise the ones I prefer are:


Hagen® (Living World) Prime Supplement for Birds: 26.4 IU per 0.55g/1cc dose.

Lafeber Avi-Era Bird Vitamins: 15.6 IU per 125mg scoop

Quicko Multivitamin: 10,000 IU/k, or 10 IU per recommended serving of 1 gram
 

OrnerySennie

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Got it, thank you. She is on pellets (always has been): I used to give her Harrison's but she really didn't care for it, so now it's Roudybush.
 

Mizzely

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Roudybush is a good pellet :) D3 can be overdosed which is why it's not usually recommended. However, depending on how much of her diet is pellets (example, if only half her diet is pellets) you could safely add a little extra without concern, especially if you only do it a few times a week
 

OrnerySennie

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Thanks Mizzely. :)

I'm assuming foods such as egg are still okay to give occasionally? She gets chopped fruit and veggies daily too. (Carrot, broccoli, apple, that sort of thing.)

With the way her feathers get dull in the winter I just know she's missing something. Her skin seems to get a little dry too. Maybe a humidifier would be best? I just did some research and am thinking maybe the Venta Airwasher if I can swing it (self employment, etc, ha).
 

Mizzely

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Yes humidity can be a factor too.

Egg yolk does have D3 in it, about 41 IU per large yolk. Just don't rely on it too heavily as animal products have been linked to heart disease in captive birds
 

Lady Jane

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Roudybush is a good pellet

I am no disputing this but I stopped feeding any Roudybush because of the use of corn - top of the ingredients list. Corn is not necessary for bird food, in my opinion.
 

Lady Jane

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I have been using Avitech Cal-de-solve however the companies products are not available since the owner died. I paid about 9 dollars for it on Amazon and now a seller has scalped the prices. Same jar is $38. How disgusting is that? So eventually I will have to shop for something else. I feed all Goldenfeast bird foods. The pellets do not contain D3 supplement but there are no fillers in their bird foods. Its a trade off I guess.
 

Mizzely

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Other corn free options that do contain D3 are:

Hagen Tropican Alternative
Caitec Ovenfresh
FM Brown Zoo Vital

And TOPS which does not include any D3

Pellets for Parrots
 

Lady Jane

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I actually purchased a bag of the smallest Caitec and the food was too large for budgies. I put it through a food processor which made it like powder. I have been using the powder on top of seed blend but never again. Don't know about the other two. Thanks for the info.
 

Lady Jane

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From Winged Wisdom

Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is essential in regulating absorption and excretion of calcium and phosphorus. This is especially important when the levels (ratios) of calcium and phosphorus in the diet are unbalanced. D3 may also regulate the amount of alkaline phosphatase in the blood and play a role in cell differentiation and immune system regulation.

There are 2 main forms of Vitamin D. Vitamin D2 comes mainly from plants. Vitamin D3 is produced exclusively in a bird's body when sunlight reacts with Vitamin D precursors in the diet. The ultraviolet rays of sunlight or an artificial UV light source transform Vitamin D precursors in the bird's skin to D3. Glass windows filter out the sun's UV rays. Since Vitmain D3 is 30-40 times more potent than D2, plant sources are considered insignificant as a source of Vitamin D for birds. Studies with poultry show sufficient Vitamin D3 can be produced for growth of chicks with 11-45 minutes of sunshine (not filtered by glass) each day. D3 formed in the skin acts as a hormone in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus.

The recommended allowance of Vitamin D3 for a maintenance diet is 1000 IU/kg. Higher amounts are required for breeding and growth.


Lack of Vitamin D3 can result in low calcium levels and produces similar symptoms. These include thin or soft shelled eggs, decreased egg production and hatching, and even seizures and bone fractures. In chicks, lack of D3 can result in bent or easily fractured bones. Diseases affecting the liver and kidneys can hinder the bird's ability to produce the enzymes necessary to convert Vitamin D into the D3. At these times, a D3 supplement may be beneficial.

Too much Vitamin D3 (hypervitaminosis D3) can cause calcification, nephrosis and gout. Two studies suggest that high levels of Vitamin D3 in young macaws (especially the blue and gold and the hyacinth) result in crop stasis, enlarged kidneys, gout and other signs. Other species given the same diets showed no effects. Another study showed cockatiels were also sensitive to high Vitamin D3 levels.

At 4-10 times recommended Vitamin D levels, effects can include: increased calcium and bone absorption, hypercalcemia, decreased PTH, mineralization of soft tissues, nephrocalcinosis and polyuria

Balancing Calcium, Phosphorus and Vitamin D3

As mentioned above, a proper bird's diet requires calcium and phosphorus in a ratio of 2 : 1 calcium to available phosphorus. Ranges of 0.5 : 1 to 2.5 : 1 can be tolerated by birds. Ratios of 1:1 are required to support adequate growth, 1.5 : 1 to maintain adequate serum calcium, phosphate and alkaline phosphatase values and 2 : 1 to achieve maximum bone density. Egg laying hens will require higher calcium to phosphorus ratios during laying periods.

Vitamin D3 is essential to regulate and enable absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body. This is especially important when the calcium to phosphorus ratios are unbalanced. The D3 will help to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorus retained in the bird's body. Vitamin D3 levels in the diet should be about 1000 IU/kg.

Pellet manufacturers have incorporated nutrients in their products, making it easier to feed a healthy balanced diet. However, there are variances among brands and concern that pellets have not been tested over time and are not a complete diet. Too much is still unknown about dietary needs. Many owners use pellets as a portion of the diet and supplement with fresh foods, seeds, grains, birdy breads and other supplements. Others avoid pellets entirely, providing a varied and nutritious diet and relying on the body's natural mechanisms to balance the use of the nutrients.

Be sure your bird has an annual exam which can disclose problems. Observe your birds for signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and excesses. If you suspect a problem see your vet and discuss changes to the diet.

Food Sources of Calcium, Phosphorus and Vitamin D3

Seeds are usually calcium deficient as can be seen in their calcium/phosphorus ratios. Millet 1 : 6, oats 1 : 8, sunflower seeds 1 : 7. Muscle meat is low in calcium and high in phosphorus 1 : 20.



Sources of Nutrients
Source: Avian Medicine: The Principles and Application. Based on
information from the National Research Council and a Kaytee Technical Bulletin
Vitamin/
Mineral Excellent
(over 20 times requirement) Good
(over 2 times requirement) Adequate
(1/2-2 times requirement)
Calcium




Phosphorus








Vitamin D3 Calcium carbonate
(cuttlebone, eggshell)
Bone Meal
Dicalcium phosphate

Bone Meal
Dicalcium phosphate







Fish liver oil
Liver
Fish oil
Fish & meat meals
Kelp
Alfalfa meal
Whey

Fish & meat meals
Brewer's yeast
Dried whey
Wheat Germ Meal
Peanuts
Pumpkin Seeds
Most oil seeds
Nuts

Eggs (especially yolk)
Dried milk
Cheese
Oil type seeds
Most nuts

Corn Gluten
Cereal grains
Egg






Dried milk

The Midwest Bird & Exotic Animal Hospital in Westchester, IL has compiled information on a number of foods. The Calcium and Phosphorus contents are for 1 cup of food.


Good Calcium Sources
Food CA (mg) P (mg) Ca:p Ratio
Beet Greens
Broccoli Leaves
Broccoli Stem
Cabbage (outside green leaves)
Celery
Chard
Chinese Cabbage
Collards (cooked)
Dandelion Greens
Endive
Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce Dark Green Leaf
Mustard Greens
Orange or Tangerine
Parsley
Spinach
Turnip Greens
Watercress
Watermelon
Yellow Wax Beans









Moderate Calcium Sources
Food CA (mg) P (mg) Ca:p Ratio
Apples
Blackberries
Blueberries
Cabbage (inside white leaves)
Cantaloupe
Carrots
Green Beans
Guavas
Okra
Pears
Raspberries
Rutabaga
Squash
Strawberries
Turnips
Yams






Poor Calcium Sources
Food CA (mg) P (mg) Ca:p Ratio
Apricots
Asparagus
Bananas
Beets
Broccoli Flowers
Brussels Sprouts
Cauliflower
Cherries (pitted)
Corn
Cucumber
Eggplant
Grapes
Lettuce (head, iceberg)
Mushrooms
Parsnips
Peaches
Peas
Pineapple
Plums
Pumpkin
Radish
Sweet Potato
 
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