Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Are UVB / UVA lamps for birds necessary?

“Birds are exposed to natural sunlight when they live in the wild, but this is generally not taken into account when we make a list of their needs in captivity. The importance of full spectrum lighting for captive reptiles is currently very well studied, but little has been thought about this need in birds.
Many animals and also humans synthesize vitamin D3 from exposure to UVB radiation from the sun . Without this vitamin, calcium from food is not properly absorbed and therefore the bones are weakened (metabolic bone disease) or the shell of the eggs is deficient. Recent studies have shown that the amount of this vitamin increases in the blood when birds are exposed to UVB radiation, even when compared to birds that receive vitamin supplements in their diet. Furthermore, synthesis from the sun is a natural mechanism, regulated by the body; it is more efficient and does not present the risk of overdosing.
Another important component of full spectrum light is UVA radiation . Both reptiles and birds have structures in their retinas that allow them to see within the UVA spectrum (humans cannot). This means that by denying them sun exposure, their vision is incomplete, sort of like forcing them to be color blind. This partly explains the hundreds of studies in which UVA radiation has been shown to be essential for the emotional well-being of birds and reptiles . If you intend for your birds to reproduce, it is essential that you provide them with broad spectrum light, whether natural or artificial. Light may also help with feathered birds.
In some cases the cage can be exposed to direct sunlight, but in many others the owners are not there during the day, they do not have a good orientation to the sun or the climate does not allow leaving the cage outside. Remember that exposure to the sun through glass does not allow UVB / UVA radiation to pass through . So, how do we get our pet to get a correct exposure? Very easy; Just install a reptile or bird lamp over your bird’s cage or perch . Those that are recommended are compact fluorescent lamps 5.0. These are inexpensive and are easily installed in any socket. The amount of UVB radiation they emit is equivalent to what a wild bird would receive in a shaded tree, which is where they spend most of their time. In this way you can leave it on between 8 and 10 hours a day to complete the recommended photoperiod for birds without risk of excessive exposure to UVB rays. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the distance between the bulb and the hanger , which generally should not be greater than 12 inches to be effective.
Follow these simple tips when creating a healthy environment for your pet and you will see how it develops happy, active and with a shiny and healthy plumage.



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