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Dave007

UVB LIGHTING--IT'S IMPORTANCE

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UVB is a necessary part of the process in which vitamin D3 is produced in the skin of humans and animals, and also what causes sunburn in humans. The vitamin D3 that is produced is responsible for regulating calcium metabolism. A lack of UVB and vitamin D3 can ultimately result in metabolic bone disease in reptiles, and rickets In humans. Nearly all animals that are active during the day are exposed to UVB. This includes birds living in heavily shaded tropical forests, and birds in open areas with direct sunlight exposure. Even though birds are exposed to UVB in their natural habitat, UVB has been traditionally ignored for pet birds. We know from science and experience that UVB is beneficial, if not absolutely necessary for humans and most reptiles. We now know that birds also benefit from UVB. There was a good article in the journal .Exotic DVM. Recently on .The Effect of UV-B Lighting Supplementation in African Grey Parrots.. This study determined that exposure to UVB with African Grey Parrots resulted in higher blood levels of vitamin D3 as compared to Parrots without exposure to UVB lighting, with and without vitamin D3 In their diet. The author found that the parrots were able to meet their vitamin D3 requirements through UVB. Alone, rather than through the presence of Vitamin D3 in their diet. The author states in his article that .it would appear prudent to supply both an adequate diet and UV-B lighting to grey parrots in order to prevent clinical manifestations of hypocalcemia in this species. And .the author now routinely recommends provision of UV-B Lighting to African species..

 

An article explaining one method that birds use to synthesize UVB that involves the preen (Uropygial) gland.

In this process, Vitamin D3 precursors are secreted by the preen gland. These precursors are spread over the birds feathers when the bird preens. These precursors and then exposed to UVB and converted to active vitamin D3, and then ingested upon future preening. As some birds lack ( any Amazona Species) A preen gland, birds are also able to produce vitamin D3 through the exposure of the skin on their legs and near their beak to UVB.

 

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, too much dietary vitamin D can result in an overdose. This is actually how many rodent poisons work. With UVB induced photosynthesis of vitamin D3, the risk of overdose is potentially reduced since his has been discovered to be a biologically regulated process. UVB is necessary for the physiological health of pet birds.

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Really interesting read Dave - and obviously UV is so beneficial. Thank you very much for this.

 

My only problem is that Harvey is hardly ever in his cage - how could I introduce UV lighting when he's all over the house (accompanied of course) - also how much of it does he need? I do use D3 supplementation, along with a healthy and varied diet - but would obviously do anything that would aid further. Thanks in advance. Jill x

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In certain areas, they can be had easily. In other areas they're not popular. In large pet stores, a certain type of uvb bulb is made for reptiles. Reptiles can't survive without that type of light.

Birds can survive without that light although it's much healthier for them to have it. If they're hard to find, here are 2 sites that sell the whole setup--bulb, stand etc.

 

www.parrot-and-conure-world.com/full-spectrum-light-for

 

Pet-supplies.drsfostersmith.Com/petsupplies/Uvb%20Bulb

 

Others here can tell you how and where they got they're setups.

 

Sorry that I couldn't give you more sites. I'm familar with these two and their product is good. The prices are fair.

 

Post edited by: Dave007, at: 2009/10/21 18:56<br><br>Post edited by: Dave007, at: 2009/10/21 19:04

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Not really. The type that's used for reptiles also has UVB and UVA content and the UVA in those bulbs has to do with mercury. Although both types of bulbs do the same thing ( Vit D3 ), the reptile version must be kept very close to them to provide extreme warmth because reptiles are cold blooded animals and the lighting for birds has nothing to do with warmth and should be not kept extremely close to them. It's the spectrum of rays that benefits a bird. Most reptile UVB bulbs are made so that they can sit on fish tanks which can be kept warm.

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i`m going to get this set up for my cag i was told use it for about 4 hours aday? i would use this on a timer but should i have it 4 hours solid or broken up in the four times if you know what i mean?? also what times of the day would you guys set this up for? many thanks.

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I have my timer set for 4 hours a day during the week then its usually off on the weekends because Babalu is out allot. I was told 4 hours by the store I bought it from and Im pretty sure it said it on the box too..

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How necessary is this UVB lighting? My TAG's cage will be placed where he gets a good amount of natural sunlight and will be out and about a lot. We live in a very sunny island, though he'll actually be outside the house when I let him out with a harness (which I am planning on doing every one or two weeks). Will I need the UVB lighting? Once again, how neccesary is it? Thank you in advance for the answers.

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How necessary is this UVB lighting? My TAG's cage will be placed where he gets a good amount of natural sunlight and will be out and about a lot. We live in a very sunny island, though he'll actually be outside the house when I let him out with a harness (which I am planning on doing every one or two weeks). Will I need the UVB lighting? Once again, how neccesary is it? Thank you in advance for the answers.

 

I would say it's important to have anyway. I know that windows filter out the beneficial rays so only being outdoors would really give the health benefit. When it is cold, going outdoors for a grey is not safe so you would need it for days when the temperature outside is low.

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It is never actually 'cold' here, and it never snows here, so that's not a problem. Also, the windows have the netting or whatever on them so no insects can come in, meaning that the glass of the window is usually open, except when we go to sleep. Doors are open unless the TAG is outside of his cage.

I might buy a UVB lamp just instead, but reading the above do you still think it's needed. Also, thank you very much ^^

 

(I still didn't get my TAG, by the way, but most likely I'll get him/her this July. Maybe August. Maybe a bit later xP

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Guest Craig Katherine

Just a quick tip, the bulbs which are long tubes need a special unit to run not standard domestic fittings as they flicker on and off, not seen by human eyes but to birds it would be like living under strobe lights thats the same with any foluresent light not just full spectrum lighting..

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One other important thing to remember about florescent bulbs is that although they continue to put out 'light' for a long time, their power diminishes - specifically in the wavelengths you want. Most bulb packaging tells you what the lifespan of the bulb is. I used to doubt it as a way for them to get you to buy more bulbs until I started keeping a planted aquarium. I can definitely tell when my bulbs need replaced in that scenario as the plant growth slows to a crawl.

 

Also, Dave's response about if reptile bulbs can be used for birds is mostly correct, but I wanted to humbly add some clarification. Some bulbs, I'm assuming the ones he was thinking of, are dual-purpose to cover the UV needs and heat requirements. Others are designed to only provide the UV with the heat provided by a separate source. I would say consult the packaging or manufacturer, for as he did say, you do not need a bulb with a heat component and need to be careful with one that has one.

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Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'm starting to take Archimedes outside... He's starting to get used to going outside but I'm curious, how much natural sunlight would a grey need to get the necessary UVB exposure? right now we're up to 10 minutes of outside time before I could tell he's had enough... But I'm hoping to stretch it to longer times, or even split it up into 2 or more sessions during the day if thats best for him

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Just a quick tip, the bulbs which are long tubes need a special unit to run not standard domestic fittings as they flicker on and off, not seen by human eyes but to birds it would be like living under strobe lights that's the same with any foluresent light not just full spectrum lighting..

 

This is true if your using the old magnetic type ballast, the new electronic ballast work differently and scientist see no harm using them as a bird light... Thanks Jayd

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what?? Only 4 hours a day? I was told 12 hours.. (8 to 8 og 9 to 9..)

 

I run mine 12 hours a day. That's basically the same amount of natural light Greys receive in the wild. No idea where petshop people and some bulb manufactures got their information from. :)

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oh.. thats good.. i suddnely got scared I did something very wrong.. I have a timer on mine.. sooo smart. wakes us both up.. and riminds us of when its night:P It also makes it easy getting him back in his cage, cuz he knows its nighttime=)

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LOL. I know. We all fret over doing the best for our greys. I use timers as well for my birds lights. Lest we space out when busy and forget. :)

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