Something we see on a regular basis is captive birds deficient in protein.
Feathers (even a budgie can have up to 5000) may consume up to 30% of your birds body protein.
You’ll want to ensure no deficiencies for amino acids exist.
Aminos are the building blocks of feathers which are derived from protein.
Will high-protein lead to gout?
Jury is still out but there’s no research that supports the theory.
We want to keep an eye on vitamins A, D, E, and K which can only be done with a thorough blood workup at least annually with your veterinarian.
Electus parrots and blue front Amazons are well known to have vitamin A deficiencies.
Don’t rely on artificial lighting to help your bird process things like vitamin D, it doesn’t work like it does on reptiles.
Vitamin D helps synthesize calcium and is found in various forms like vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 as well as other metabolites.
Antioxidant activity comes from vitamin E and its two groups of compounds.
This helps protect cell membranes as well as stabilizing them.
The most important mineral required by your bird is calcium.
This does not mean that you always need to introduce a calcium supplement as calcium depletion occurs regularly with brooding hens but less so with male birds.
Your birds total diet should be controlled through what the bird eats.
Depending upon your bird’s diet a supplement like HARI Prime may need to be introduced.
If you are feeding 100% pellets additional vitamin supplementation is not needed. If a seed diet, added vitamins are a must.
Also, when changing your birds diet, it is a good idea to weigh your bird weekly to make sure the bird has accepted the new diet and is not losing weight when it did not need to.
In conclusion – Your bird is the most important source of information.
Every reaction from the introduction of new foods, bird toys or accessories is feedback which helps guide you towards a more granular and specific direction which will assist in identifying and reinforcing your bird’s positive behaviors.
written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing
your zygodactyl footnote
Also published on Medium.