Please Help My Senegal Parrot With A Vitamin D Deficiency

Senegal Parrot on back in man's hand on white background
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Pat F replied


Re: What should I do for my bird with a vitamin D deficiency, blood test to verify it.


He has a serious skin issue also.


you replied


what does the vet say?


Vet did blood test to rule out other problems and first text showed high uric acid and calcium deficiency.

Second test showed uric acid was normal and Calcium deficiency still low, but not extremely low.


My Senegal parrot is continually scratching like crazy.

I give him baths several times a week.

He has grown a lot of feathers back and numerous PIN feathers which seem to be painful to him.


The only test I have not done is an xray to see any bone issues.


He is a rescue and was on a seed diet for over 10 years, Vet said it will take at least a year for him to get better.


The vet also told me to get a UVB/UVA light and then at a subsequent visit he told me there was indications that a light was not a good idea because it irritated the birds eyes.


So I did not know what to do.


The bird is a picky eater, I have been trying to get him on a pellet diet.

He won’t eat pellets but I have sometimes gotten him to eat Harrisons feed.


As far as his skin, he scratches continuously and big flakes come off at times.


Let me know if you have any ideas please.




Hi Pat


I’m going to try to break this down, for the both of us.


I’m confused as to why your veterinarian is confused about the lighting situation.


We talk a lot about lighting here on Windy City Parrot and have little wiggle room when it comes to birds and lighting.


The fact that your vet was concerned about lighting irritating your birds eyes is quite disconcerting.


With the exception of pointing lasers directly into your birds eyes it’s unlikely that a commercial lightbulb made specifically for pets be they birds or reptiles would be harmful, by any stretch of the imagination.


I like to point out that birds get an enormous amount of information regarding their environment from the light that they receive.


All 10,400 species, to the best my knowledge have something called a pineal gland located directly behind the right eye.


This gland helps birds associate the quality and timing of light to help them make decisions about things like when to breed and when to molt.


Birds can tell time as accurately as any Rolex they just don’t know what day it is.


One of the most stressful things to birds is our North American light cycles that produce darkness at 5 PM in December and 8 PM in August.


This is why we recommend introducing artificial lighting over every birds cage.


He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.