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Effects of UVB radiation on calcium metabolism in psittacine birds
  1. M. Stanford, BVSc, FRCVS1
  1. 1 Birch Heath Veterinary Clinic, Birch Heath Road, Tarporley, Cheshire CW6 9UU


The effects of providing ultraviolet (uv) radiation (285 to 315 nm, ultraviolet B) on calcium metabolism in two groups of 20 healthy grey parrots (Psittacus e erithacus) fed either a seed or pellet-based diet were investigated. There was a significant increase in the concentration of ionised calcium in the plasma of both groups, independent of the calcium and vitamin D3 content of the diets fed, and a significant increase in the plasma concentration of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol in only the seed-fed group. In a separate study there were no significant increases in plasma ionised calcium or 25-hydroxycholecalciferol between March and August in a group of 28 South American parrots (Pionus species) exposed to unfiltered natural sunlight.

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