Full Spectrum Lighting… To Be or Not To Be?

Written By: B.D. Butler - Feb• 10•11

There have been multiple opinions regarding full spectrum lighting.  Heck, I even called a veterinarian that said it wouldn’t be needed in Seattle, then read TONS of conflicting reports on a couple forums that I belong to.  I have read various opinions in Domestic Bird Publications, and well… it turns out that there is good and bad in everything.

First, we as humans on this planet need Vitamin D, and guess what kids, so do other animals, including your parrots.  The easiest way to get Vitamin D for a parrot is time in the sun daily.  Now birds can have sun, but can also overheat just as easily, so shade is vitaly just as important.  They need to be hydrated as well, so make sure they have access to fresh water, and you might be surprised when they take a bath in their water bowl… not the Dexter has ever done that.

Now if you live in climates that don’t have the plethera of sunshine, like Seattle,  they make Full Spectum bulbs that you can put in lamps, and in overhead lighting.  You can also be sly and go to Ikea, and find a cheap stand up lamp that will shine into your birds cage.  You do want to be careful at the angle and location of the lamp, because you want to make sure that your bird has the option of getting out of the lighting.  A timer is a good idea too (too much full spectrum UVB lighting can send your feathered friend into a hormonal roller coaster).  The veterinarian that I spoke to , said that too much lighting, and lighting at a direct angle can cause cataracts.  This is where the double edged sword situation comes in.

Questions…. do you want your bird to be emotionally and physically healthy with being exposed to Vitamin D, which helps with mood(yep same as seasonal effective disorder SED in humans) and aids in calcium absorption?  Or would you like to deal with hormones and possible cataracts at a later age.  I suppose it would be a matter of taste, similar to Splenda vs. Sugar.

Parrot UVB lighting Link…

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  1. […] I use “bird lights” aka UV lighting during the day to help with nutrition, and mood.  (you can see my post on UV lighting here http://parrotearth.com/2011/02/10/full-spectrum-lighting-to-be-or-not-to-be/). […]

  2. […] 5. Make sure you have full spectrum lighting, this really helps regulate mood, increases vitamin d production and makes for a happy bird.  http://parrotearth.com/2011/02/10/full-spectrum-lighting-to-be-or-not-to-be/ […]

  3. […] stop what I am doing and walk away.  There are times he will stretch out and  try to chew on his UV Lamp, because this is a dangerous situation, I act immediately.  I grab something else for him to chew […]

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