Diet's Vary

Understanding labels can be very confusing

Unless you are chemist

Have you ever been confused with the information on a product label when it gives you the make up of the content. This has recently happened to me when purchasing a Wheatgerm oil blend. The main ingredient is cold pressed unrefined wheatgerm oil but then goes onto say fortified with vitamins A,D and E.

The next question l must ask myself do my birds require vitamins A,D3 and E and the answer yes but not in excessive amounts. Any introduction of supplements, consideration of what the birds already receive from the diet must be taken into account.

On the label after saying unrefined cold pressed wheatgerm oil the following highlighted in in red below

Specifications per litre  Vit-A 150,000IU, Vit-D3 40,000IU, Vit-E 1.300mg what’s that about and thank goodness for google

The answer was soon found IU is an International Unit, usually used to measure fat soluble vitamins including Vitamin A, D and E.
The conversion of IU to mg varies depending on the nutrient.



Vitamin A deficiency

The bird liver stores vitamins and an adult bird could be lacking vitamin A for as long as 2 to 5 months before signs develop. Bird with deficiency become emaciated, weak and may have ruffled feathers, hatch ability percentages will decrease and dead in shell will increase.

Vitamin D3 deficiency

Vitamin D3 is needed in the normal absorption of calcium and phosphorus being deficient vitamin D3 show irregular egg production which may also have poor egg shell development. Chick lack development and have a weakness in there legs in severe cases the beak and claws become soft.

Vitamin E deficiency

Vitamin E functions as a biologic antioxidant and the amount needed depends on the amount of linoleic acid and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet you can give vitamin E through feed or water and there are a number commercial suppliers available

Budgerigars need a balanced diet and it can not be stressed how important your birds should be receiving natural or extracted vitamins and supplement. Vegetables are a good source to satisfy your birds needs and most breeders add extra calcium to the breeding pairs.

The Budgerigar Society have a good scheme called

Veterinary Diagnostic Service

Always seek a vet’s advice if your birds become unwell

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