Calcium Deficiency in parrots [pet health]

Calcium Deficiency in parrots [bird health]

Calcium deficiency, or hypocalcemia, is very common in parrots. Calcium is a mineral and even though it is the most abundant mineral in animal bodies,  including parrots, its insufficient absorption rate causes the deficiency.

Parrots eating kale




Calcium is needed for skeleton strengthening, muscle contraction, blood clotting, and eggshell formation. Calcium is a co-factor for many enzymes to function and also hormones secretion and can affect the muscles, heart, and nerves.

So if calcium is so abundant, why do parrots become calcium deficient? 


Sunlight. One of the main issues is no sunlight. Parrots need sunlight for the absorption of vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is a very important vitamin that helps the absorption of calcium by the body. Without sunlight, or vitamin D3, the calcium can't be absorbed and therefore calcium deficiency occurs.

The second is oxalates. Greens, nuts and other food which are high in calcium have oxalates compound. These compounds bind to calcium making them insoluble, in other words, unable for parrots to absorb by digestion.

Depending on the severity of this deficiency, it can become life-threatening and/or serious illness can emerge.

calcium issues in parrots



Prevention of Calcium Deficiency

No, not supplements. An adequate diet with plenty of sunlight or a full spectrum bulb.  Supplements can do more harm than good. The best way to ensure your parrot's well-being is by providing fresh food daily. There is many fresh food with high amounts of Calcium


Food with high calcium


Feeding your parrots with fresh food will natural help them keep their vitamin levels normal and no need for supplements. (Unless there's a medical issue)


Hypocalcemia

Never go crazy on Vitamin supplements, because too much calcium (or any vitamin) can also cause server damage. Hypercalcemia, or elevated calcium levels, can cause serious toxicity and be fatal. Symptoms include vomiting, pain, unable to lay eggs, kidney stones.

elevated calcium level symptoms



It is always important to follow direction and not overdose if your doctor does recommend supplements.


Reference: 


avianmedicine.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/calcium.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9929897


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