Safe Use Of Full Spectrum Lighting

 December 9th, 2010
Posted By:
Patty

Military macaw

I did a post about a year ago on full spectrum lighting.  Since that time, some new information and findings have been brought forward. We are continually learning that our human solutions to our bird’s problems are not always right on the money the first time around. This information is important to be aware of when we are choosing lighting and its positioning.  Following are the best parts of a very helpful and informative thread I read on one of the many great bird boards out there in response to a member’s question:

Poster on Macaw Talk bird forum:

“I moved my fids to another part of my house for the winter. It is a little on the dark side. So… I decided to get some full spectrum lighting lamps, which I did. They are gooseneck lamps about 5′ tall and I have them mounted over their cages. The lights end up being about 6-8″ above the top of the cages, and shine down directly over the cage. No loose cords or anything they can bite etc. I made sure that everything is very safe. The spot light is certainly on them. I find the lights very bright even though they are only 27 watts, and they don’t get very warm at all. But…. when should I turn them on and how long do I need to have them on for them.

I turned them on this morning, and found that they became very screamy and squawky, I only had them on for about 1 hour, and turned them off. My hubby wants me to find out more before we leave them on for any extended time. thanks for all your help…J”

Cages By Design

Response From Len, Macaw Talk Moderator:

“This is a subject still hotly debated. The intensity of light falls off inversely with the square of the distance from the source. In short, it looses power rapidly as you move from the bulb. In order for it to be effective in helping the bird’s body manufacture Vitamin D it has to be close, within a few inches. Often close enough that it becomes a hazard to beaks and toes. Even disallowing that they are like the UV tubes used in tanning beds. You’ll notice salons change their bulbs every few months. This is because while the visible light output doesn’t change significantly in only 3 months, the UV output falls off rapidly and drastically..and that’s the portion of the spectrum responsible for Vit D production. Notice also, that salons make you wear blinders when that close to UV light. There have been repeated reports of bird developing cataracts and blindness after prolonged exposure to full spectrum light. My PERSONAL opinion as the risks outweigh the potential benefits. Instead I would opt for full spectrum florescent or daylight type florescent lights like shop lights, several feet above the cages. they can be timed to coincide with dawn and dusk for the psychological effect. Vitamin D can be had in a good, well rounded diet.”

Response from original poster:

“Thanks!!  Below is what I bought – to me it looks like florescent light and bright white actually a little on the glare side than my regular house lamps, I have never used a tanning booth but I believe that light is on the blue side?

“high-tech 27-watt bulb, with a C.R.I.(Color Rendering Index) of 80-85, gives as much light as an ordinary 150-watt bulb
bulb can last up to 5000 hours, 5x longer than other bulbs- for years of normal use
The Kelvin temperature is 6500K
The bulb gives off 1300 LUMENS
simulates outdoor sunlight, which is balanced across the entire spectrum of color visible to the human ”

IYHO, do you think I should send them back? I of course do not want to do any harm to my fids…. Thanks”

Blue throated macaw

Sandy, Macaw Talk Admin:

“All I can add are Kudo’s to Lens post. I have heard for years that the light source needed to be within 6″ to do any good. Results, birds with cataracts as Len mentioned.

When we used them in the garage after just moving up here and housed the birds inside as it was winter we put them up. However, it was on the ceiling in fixtures which was about 3-5 feet above the cages.

I also did open the garage doors (large door and side) for most of the day for light, and a good air change. The lights were on timers.

I have read that after a few months that the UV as Len stated is diminished greatly. However, I know myself and others used them much longer than a couple of months and all was fine. Diet? I do not know. I do know that if in doubt I would mount them on the ceiling where the birds are not under a spot light and make them more easily to get out of when needed.

I know that Don has said that he uses them. I know him well enough to know that he explored all the avenues quite well before purchase.”

Len:

“Those sound like “daylight” replacement bulbs, not actually “full spectrum” (full spectrum includes UV, virtually invisible to the naked eye). Frequencies approaching UV are in the blue/violet visible range, hence the tendency to think of “seeing” UV as blue/violet. If possible, I’d either back them off a bit or use them as indirect light, bounced off a white ceiling. Technically speaking, daylight is around 5500K (Kelvin). The common practice is for monitors to be calibrated to something approaching 6500K for a brighter blue-white look (which tends to screw us all up when trying to visually color correct digital images). That the birds seem more agitated than normal may be a reaction to the light actually being bluer than anything they’re likely to experience in nature. Plus, they don’t see the same spectrum we do so they may well be seeing things totally differently further contributing to their unrest.”

Hyacinth macaw

As I mentioned, this is all up to date info from people who have immense knowledge about parrots and are very active in the avian community. I trust their opinions without hesitation.

This post is NOT intended to scare you away from using full spectrum lighting around your bird’s cage.  Instead, it is meant to help you to consider better bulbs and safer positioning of the lamps you use.  As mentioned, this and natural lighting are responsible for the production of vitamin D in the body, which directly affects calcium absorption.  Without it, a bird is deficient in that area.

Further, this is yet another reason to try to get our birds as much natural sunlight as we can.  That is the best solution to any lighting problems we might have. I know that not everyone can provide an outdoor aviary for their birds, but just 20 minutes of natural sunlight a few times a week is enough to keep your bird healthy and in good feather.

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41 Comments on “Safe Use Of Full Spectrum Lighting”

Eva  12/12/2010 9:46 pm

Hi patty! do you know if there are any plans for homemade aviarys for parrots? my dad was thinking about building one for our backyarkd. THANKS!


jacob  12/16/2010 4:23 am

What if you have 2 quaker parrots in a cage and they are both biting you and it`s hard to train them at the same time what do you do?And they are both like feathered dragons and wild birds how do you train them?


Bridget  12/16/2010 5:04 am

Thank you for the info on Full Spectrum Lighting, can you tell me what are the symptoms of a Macaw who doesnt get enought of this type of light.


Mindy  12/16/2010 5:31 am

I purchased a full spectrum bulb for timed exposure to my birds. The cages are large and it was very difficult to me to get the lights close enough to the birds from the top. As a result they were high and close but not directly over the birds. I used the light intermittently on each bird. After a week I began to notice redish spots on the mask of the macaw that looked like bruises or abrasions. Then I noticed similar marks on the featherless flesh around the eyes of the cockatoo. I sent photos to my avian vet who was stumped and wanted to see the birds. By the time I took them in (which was a few days after speaking to my vet) I came to the conclusion that they were being “sunburned” by the lamp. My vet had never seen this before and we decided to quit the use of the lamp. Within days the red areas on their skin began to resolve. The company took the bulb back and refunded me but I believe that it was the position of the light that caused the burning. Just a heads up. If you can’t get the light directrly over the bird think twice about using it. As it is, both my birds spend lots of time playing upside down and would have been right up close to the rays even if they had been coming from the top. The birds REALLY loved the bulb and hung out and played as near it as they could. I’m not sure if this was an isolated event or if other bird owners have seen the same sort of thing.


Charlene  12/16/2010 7:35 am

I found these coments about lighting to be really good information. Thanks ,charlene


Chad  12/16/2010 7:42 am

Another, more short-term consequence of having UV-spectrum lighting too close is, interestingly, sunburn. My green-cheek conure loved sitting close to his bulb during the winter when I had it on a goose-neck lamp close to his cage (within 6-8 inches or so). Within a few weeks, we noticed a pinkish inflamed area on the top half of his eye area, on the white outside part of the ‘bullseye.’ As it turned out, our vet picked out sunbird – er, sunburn – as a consequence of hanging out next to the bulb too long. Since it was hard to distinguish between ‘long enough’ and ‘too long,’ we moved the bulb to a different lamp about 6′ away from the cage, inverse square law be hanged. It still lit up the room quite well, and our green-cheek certainly benefitted from it nonetheless.

I guess that we should be thankful that we learned our lesson with a species that had only a very small amount of exposed skin. I would imagine that large macaws, with their near-featherless faces, would have a harder time of sunburn should it occur.


bRad Nichols  12/16/2010 8:39 am

I’d much reather my Bird in good feather then for him to pluck his feather.
I’m sure most would agree.
bRad
Eugene, Oregon


Denise Criw  12/16/2010 9:22 am

I noticed since using one with my Parrotlet his beautiful green feathers are turning gray, and the bulb is not close.


Wendy  12/16/2010 9:43 am

I have used full spectrum lighting for years for my (4) cockatiels and have had no problems. I have a very large flight cage and one incandescent 60W bulb (on a timer) placed right on top of the cage toward one corner. The perch on the inside is about 12″ bleow the bulb. The birds like to sit under there on occasion or the perch below that. The rest of the cage is not under that direct light. But the birds have the option to be right under the light, near or far away. They are all in great health, terrific feathers, and their colors are bright. One of my ‘tiels is 21 yrs old and stll in great health. Screaming has not been an issue. But they do get vocal with chirping and jabbering when the light turns on, just like their outside feathered friends do in the morning hours after the sunrise, or just before the sunset.


Inge  12/16/2010 9:55 am

Surely there must be some study regarding how much Vitamin D a particular species makes with a day’s exposure to sunshine. For humans, it’s approximately 10,000 IU, but who knows how much it is for birds — once this is known, supplementation would be possible. Better too little than too much, however — D3 has low toxicity, but it is an oil-soluble vitamin, so i builds up in the tissues. It would NOT be a good idea to supplement with Cod Liver Oil since in addition to Vitamin D, it contains Vitamin A, and there have been many studies showing that too much Vitamin A can be more readily toxic than D.


Heidi  12/16/2010 10:47 am

Interesting, thanks!
I’ve started to sit out in the sun whenever possible and whenever the sun is available with our (feather-clipped) conures. I like it, they like it and it’s sure good for all of us. I noticed that our birds prefer to sit in the shade more than in the direct sun. I also read that the most vit D producing spectrum is available around lunch whereas the afternoon sun (which is so often recommended over midday sun) is composed of frequences that are more damaging.


Len Zielenski  12/16/2010 11:23 am

Next time you wish to quote, especially in its entirety, it would be nice to ask first.

Thank you,

Len


Holly Phillips  12/16/2010 11:48 am

I am planning a move up to Alaska this summer. Should I be more concerned about the lighting for my African Grey or just be sure he gets the vitamins he needs in his food? In winter there is only 4 hours of twilight a “day”.


Dennis  12/16/2010 12:06 pm

Hi, I’m kind of lost. I have 2 Macaws, a Camelot and a Blue and Gold. What lights are you exactly recommending here? Thanks! :D


Sharon Hatfield  12/16/2010 12:19 pm

Hello, I have 2 Quakers under a bright skylight in my dining area. Is this going to count as “sunshine” and also figure as”hours” of sunlight. They seem to be doing very well. I know especially when overhead it is bright enough on sunny days I don’t want to look directly at it.
Sharon Hatfield


Lyn Wilkinson  12/16/2010 1:29 pm

http://www.csnlighting.com/Litebook-C89632.html?refid=G10622.litebook&gclid=CJm5sNaj8aUCFc9a7AodJR06pQ

I use “Litebook” for my Gray and conure. They love it. This was recommended by a friend that dit post doc work on humans and the work environment with light spectrum changes. I thinkl this is more complicated than brightness. I can tell you I feel better after a few minutes of indirect exposure to my eyes.

Sincerely.


ray levine  12/16/2010 2:12 pm

speaking as a cariovasc physician –and assuming some cross-species metabolism:
sunlight is necessary fo conversion of freeT4 to the more active[1000x]freeT3 in the skin of humans… ultra-violet radiation is necessary for conversion of vitD to it’s more active moity for adaquate calcium metabolism and bone formation… the behavior problems and incidence of autistic behavior in humans has been linked to hypothyroidism in the pregnant mother – probably due to environmental toxins [phthalates] and[? decreased exposure to sunlight?] during pregnancy… thus it would seem logical that exposure to natural”’full spectrum ”’ light has a very positive benefit/ risk ratio and all attempts to expose to natural sunlight particularly during winter months should be attempted…


Heidi  12/16/2010 3:40 pm

Hi
I have a 25 yr old rescued cockatoo, a 4 yr old senegal female, 6 canaries and a blue fischer lovebird. Just out of curiosity, I moved a plant “grow light” into their room and placed it in the ceiling fixture. I kept the glass off of the ceiling fixture so the bulbs would be bare to the room but well above the cages, basically just to brighten up the room and help with my eyesight. I find the blue of these lights help me as my eyes get older, the yellow tint of regular bulbs makes my eyes tired.
The moment I turned on the light, all of the birds..and I mean ALL of the birds LOOKED UP right at the bulbs. The canaries started singing like it was spring and the senegal said very clearly for the first time: “HELLO”.
I then placed another “grow light” but a spot light type on the right of the cockatoo’s cage where one of her perches are but again well away from the cage. She spends alot of her time over there with her little head turned away, but her back to the lamp as close as she can get.
She has had a very very very hard life and is an avid plucker due to circumstances beyond her control. We feel, the vet and I, that she will do it for life b/c now it is habitual and part of her coping mechanism. I just love her. But the feathers on her back grow back better than on her front. I wondered if this was due to her habit of sitting with her back to the light.
I took the light away and she screamed all day and all night until I put it back. She then hopped up to the perch next to the light, turned her back to the light, muttered a few times and fell asleep. So much for that. Perhaps it is the heat, but I have a heat source below her cage and to the back of it in the guise of a baseboard heater. Her cage has to be close to the patio doors b/c she needs to have the windows open so therefore the heater thing.
All in all the birds are doing very well as they are. They do not look, nor do the vet tests provide any evidence of deficiencies. And YES I do vet check my canaries. They are family too…
All my birds get good quality bird food including vet endorsed bird food but also human food. They love eggs, and broccoli and flax seeds and I even got some hemp seeds for myself for a treat and they loved those too.
As with tanning beds and natural sun, too much of a good thing is just that. Even chocolate can kill if you could eat enough or are allergic. And I heard that drinking a bathtub full of water will kill you from water poisoning so don’t drink the bathwater…LOL

Cheers,


Sunny  12/16/2010 3:57 pm

Could someone please summarize all of the information pertinent to ordering full spectrum lighting for Parrots:
(1) what is the state of the art bul’s brand name(2) model,(3) manufacturer, (4) cost, (5) where to purchase or order it from, (6) safest distance and angle of positioning, etc.

Many thanks.

Sunny RainbowHeart


SUE IN ARKANSAS  12/16/2010 4:41 pm

thanks for the info. I JUST RECENTLY MOVED FROM A BASEMENT APARTMENT IN ILLINOIS TO A BRIGHT SUNNY HOUSE IN ARKANSAS. aBOUT 3 WEEKS AFTER THE MOVE I NOTICED THAT OLIVER A BLUE FONT AMIZON STARTED TO LOOSE OLD FEATHERS. IN THE BASEMENT APARTMENT I WAS USING FULL SPECTRUM LONG BULBS, OLIVER WAS GETTING TO MUCH LIGHT FOR TO MANY HOURS A DAY. SHE LOOKS MUCH BETTER AND IS MUCH HAPPIER. THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH ALL THE NATURAL LIGHT IS SHE CAN SEE THE BIRDS IN THE YARD AND TALKS LOUDLY TO THEM, BUT THATS OK SHE IS HAPPY.


Laurie  12/16/2010 6:06 pm

For crying out load, howsabout just good old daylight? I’m sure you all have windows in your homes, so put your birds near them. I say, keep close to nature, that is the answer for everything. My bird goes to bed when the sun goes down, and believe me, she knows when it does. She gets up when it gets light outside. Simple as that, she’s happy, playful, affectionate and well adjusted. As Len intelligently said, give our birds as much NATURAL light/sunlight as we can.


Angela  12/16/2010 11:27 pm

My Nandy conure has perches in front of 2 different windows where she gets morning sun and afternoon sun….and she’s quite healthy and happy . I don’t feel the need to supplement with artificial light. And wow Len….lighten up man. You should be flattered that you were quoted on this incredible site.


angela  12/17/2010 12:21 am

i got a full spectrum light origanally for my bird its allways been aprozamently 6 feet away and has had n o bad affect upon my bird it runs all day long and is good for the plants to my bird also gets available day light as it comes into the window i donot get any direct sunlight in my house unfortunantly so the light has to as into her exposer


laurie  12/17/2010 12:28 am

OPPSIE!! Guess a lot of people didn’t “ask permission” to quote Len’s “statements”. Sorry. I still say, give them natural light and forget it, they will DEFINITELY survive, believe me, and you can quote me on that, ha ha!!


Lori  12/17/2010 1:49 am

Is it really necessary to use ultra violet lights on our indoor feather friends? I have had my bird for almost 10 years, he does get natural lighting but at times I do have to have the curtains drawn thru the day while I am at work throughout the week. So what should I do?


Bill  12/17/2010 2:39 am

Way too many misconceptions to deal with in the forum, just from the space available. May I suggest Everyone read the relevant sections in Wikipedia on “full spectrum lighting”, “Vitamin D” and “light transmission of glass. The citations lead to more comprehensive sources for those interested.
The simple term “full spectrum lighting” is not technically definable and is an advertising phrase.
Most ‘full spectrum’ lights do not provide useful amounts of 279 to 300nm light, the spectrum of UVB that skin uses for Vitamin D synthesis. Furred and feathered animals usually excrete the essential ‘pre-vitamin’ (7-dehydrocholesterol) which is spread on the fur or feathers and again harvested and ingested during grooming. (We excrete it on our skin, then absorb the synthesized Vitamin D.) Cockatoos with their feather and skin dust instead of oil (Largely) lead to questions? All ‘toos have ‘bare eyes’ with surrounding skin uncovered by feathers. In tree tops in the tropics, is this enough? I’m of the opinion that no fully feathered bird has enough exposed skin area to synthesize useful amounts of Vitamin D. Even my ‘plucked’ (Naked body) Moluccan has more than enough wing and head feathers to ‘shade’ most of his skin, and I doubt nature evolved bird skin that secretes enough useful amounts of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the normally feathered areas to contribute to Vitamin D synthesis. Birds live such precariously balanced energy lives unneeded processes are quickly selected against.
Most UVB is not transmitted by ‘float glass’ which is what most windows are made of. (Less than 10% transmission.) Latitude counts as mid latitudes outside of Summer (Most of the US) and high latitudes (Much of Europe, all of Alaska.) at all seasons don’t have very useful amounts of UVB in their natural sunlight. And time of day counts even in the tropics. Mid day has almost all that is available.
When more than the minimum necessary of UVB is present, excess production of the vitamin that isn’t absorbed is destroyed by the same UVB that produces it and an equilibrium is reached, which is usually more than needed by the individual.
Fortunately there are dietary sources of Vitamin D as well as the natural production in the skin or feathers.
Birds that like to sit near a ‘full spectrum’ light should be experimented with using a Infra-red (Heat) light source with some visible light production. This tells you if the bird is actually wanting the heat. Lights over the cage contaminate the experiment in that most birds prefer the highest available perch! Mine do. That there are reports of the birds liking certain lights but sitting back to the light is very suggestive here. Most of our parrots evolved in much warmer climates than the majority of parrot owners now do, or how warm most home interiors are kept. Or even what is comfortable for most people year round.
I’m skeptical of any scientific basis for suggesting birds must be within inches of any UVB light source for useful Vitamin D synthesis to occur. All such light sources I’m aware of will ‘sunburn’ human skin in a short time at significantly greater distances and thus (Inverse Square Law) lower exposures. Just Don’t do this to your birds till there are big and duplicated studies published that are totally independent of any financial interests in light or dietary sources for Vitamin D.
I personally know of no incandescent light commercially available with Vit. D useful UVB emissions. I see many advertisements that suggest they do. Special filaments or technology other than incandescant, and special glass are necessary, Most are other-than-incandescent lights. “Grow Lights” do not have the UVB needed for Vitamin D synthesis.


Jimbo  12/17/2010 8:28 am

I think Artificial lighting is not great for birds. You should endeavor to mimic the natural environment in which the birds live. I live in Africa, and I own a 2 parrots. I have the luxury to take my birds outside every morning, and they walk around the garden, play in the trees and interact with the garden birds. In the afternoon they are taken indoors to a free standing perch. They are never locked up. They are extremely happy. I do realize there are inherent dangers to this. If by chance they are taken by an African Hawk Eagle or African Goshawk, then so be it, at least they are not caged up. I do realize that not everyone can do this, I am merely stating that a natural environment is naturally the best for your bird.


Faith Embleton  12/17/2010 10:55 am

I live in the Canada’s North West Territories and have an 11 year old very healthy African Gray that I have had since he was three months old. Congo spends his winter days as much as possible in front of our picture window and loves it there. He has never seemed to show any signs of problems due to light even though we have very short days and little sunshien soon December 21 it will be just a few hours of light for us all. I think the key is good diet.


Barbara DelGiudice  12/17/2010 5:43 pm

Hi friends I want to tell you that I cannot get my Cockatiels outside regularly and I use daily vitamins and a diet of mixed pellets including the organic food listed in Chet’s bird store, Harrison’s organic bird food and Dr. Lafeber’s pellets. I also bake birdie bread to give them daily. I make it with spelt flour, water, backing powder and olive oil. They love it! I use spelt flour because I am allergic to wheat. If you use eggs please buy them from chickens you know are well taken care of. Use the muffin recipe on the back of the Spelt flour bag and baking powder without Aluminum!

I use Sun Seed Sundrops Advanced Daily V in the water. They work pretty good. My cockatiel feels much better on these drops. I change the water if it gets dirty and put in new drops. I give them fresh fruits and veggies every day (frozen if no fresh available.) My cockatiels are 13 and 7 years old.

My 13 year old was not on a proper diet for 7 years because I did not know that seed only was a deadly diet, so he has some health issues. Poor thing. But he feels great now. He didn’t like many of the vitamins I gave him so I went back to the vitamins I gave him when he was very young. SunSeed Sundrops. It made a difference in his health. He had more energy and ate more food..

Here is the vitamin content in SunSeed Sundrops Advanced Daily V per ounce: Vitamin A 30,000 IU, Vitamin D3 2400 IU, Thiamine 18mg, Riboflavin 25.8 mg, Vitamin B6 6mg.,Ascorbic Acid 300 mg, NIacin 120 mg.

I also have a SunBox for me that I let my birds use. I don’t know all the technical stuff about it but they love it! It certainly helps my depression from lack of light, but isn’t the same as sunlight of course. I also need to take vitamins and supplements and they do make a huge difference in the way I feel and my immune system.

My avian veterinary did not ever stress to use vitamins but I decided to use them because they made a big difference in my 13 years old bird. They vet could only give him vitamin shots for so long, and Baby is a picky eater. :)

If you are interested in Sunseed Sundrops just look at the left sidebar on my website at the bottom. They are really cheap.


charles lamb  12/17/2010 6:42 pm

a good place to start is with the reptilian eye disorders that have been occuring
http://www.uvguide.co.uk
I have found that they use a different gas in the compact flouresent bulbs versus the long
tubular bulbs. I had used zoo med 40 watt 48″ 5.0 on my african grey for years and found
no adverse reactions. As a matter of fact he seemed to get better from his calcium defiency, became more lively and started chewing his toys more. They came out with the compact flourescents and I tried them only
to find out that my bird started closing his eye that he looked at the light with(seems to be
a charactaristic of this and then he became Sunburned on that side. I researched it alot a
few years ago. The info mightve changed since then but please use caution. the distance
between the bird and the light must be at least 18 inches.
I have heard that the uv lasts for about 9 months and I have changed them at that point and they seem to still help him. I only give him 2-3 hours a day (of the long tubular bulb )

From what I understand manufacturers must now state a safe distance for the compact bulbs. In addition I recommend that you burn off the bulb at a different location for 2-3 days for the gasses to settle down.


Patty  12/17/2010 8:40 pm

Len,
I sent you an email.
Patty


Patty  12/17/2010 8:51 pm

SUNNY, DENNIS and BRIDGET,
Click on the link I provided at the beginning of the post. This should answer your questions.
Patty


Heidi S., Michigan  12/18/2010 9:33 am

Thanks for the information. I’ve never heard of the Macaw Talk bird forum, but now that I see how well-informed these folks are I’m going to check it out. So be happy Len! It will bring people to you who want to know more.

I have 4 cockatiels (all less than 2 years old) and of course I want the best for them. They have their own room with a very large window, a big java tree, and a million toys. I want them to be happy. They are never confined to the cage but are free to use it if they like.

I do have a full spectrum bulb sold by Avitech that is on a timer. It’s on from about 9-4. Doesn’t really shed all that much light, but here in Michigan I figure it might help. Since they are all free flight, I assume they’re not getting much from it, but now it sounds like maybe that’s a good thing?

I’m thinking now I’ll shorten the time it’s on to perhaps only 2 or 3 hours.

Thanks for the new info.


Sandy  12/19/2010 12:46 am

It is interesting to hear from so many people about their birds. I have a cockatoo and did a lot of research on many aspects of his care after I got him. I used several sources of information, one of which is Bird Talk Magazine. I subscribe to it and look forward to the great articles by well qualified specialists on a variety of subjects each month.. One such article had all the information you need to be able to provide proper lighting for your birds. I would be very carful providing lighting, other than natural, for my bird in the absence of doing my homework and using only reputable sources of information. May your animals live a long, happy, healthy life.


Kathy  12/19/2010 12:40 pm

What about a Vit D supplement?


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Hazel Lewry  12/21/2010 12:28 am

20 minutes of exposure to natural light a few times a week? That’s handy to know. Our lad comes out walks in the late afternoon (in his special backpack carry bag)…. and when folks comment on a parrot in the backpack, I always joked “Well he needs his Vit D topup like the rest of us!!” So how right was that? We shall continue the walks, and give the lights a bit of a wide berth.. our preference.


Patty  12/23/2010 3:06 am

Hi Kathy,
I am not a fan of any commercial supplements for birds because there is no government regulation of them. If you researched the ingredients in them, you would be shocked. Vitamin D is found in very few foods. D3, specifically, is that which you gain by exposure to the suns UV and UVB rays or through animal products, most of which we can’t offer to our birds, or through supplements. Light is a far better way to avoid a deficiency in this area.
Patty


Marc  12/24/2010 1:01 am

hi all, from my personal experience with keeping australian birds, and watching them in the wild, i have noticed that in reality birds are mostly active during the dawn and dusk periods avoiding the heat of the day times, just havin a snooze in a shady spot. and there is also no substitute for natural sun shine i have installed high quality skylights in both my bird room and above my 1200L coral reef noticing a difference in both environments for the better.


Paige Ashmore  07/13/2011 9:46 am

I just found out about full spectrumlighting. i have a balanced spectrum on my CAG at the moment because I can’t afford to buy one until the first of the month, and the way our Pres. is going I may not get paid then, but, is it okay to use balance spectrum in the interim? Or should I take it off of him altogether?
Thanks for all the great information.
Paige

10 yr old CAG (resuced 2 mo.s ago)


Lucinda Heimsoth  05/07/2013 6:25 am

Multicast sans fil est un avantage, organisation fondée sur la mission, la coupe progressive multimédia situé à Huntsville, en Alabama.