LUBARP: Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Poisoning

The Liverpool University Budgerigar Ailment Research Project, sponsored by the Lancashire, Cheshire and North Wales including the Isle of Man Budgerigar Society, was started in 1984 and ran for 8 years.

I had noticed when talking to fanciers that many used a great variety of mineral and vitamin supplements and it was not unusual for 2, 3 or even more of these to be used in one stud. This led to concern that there was the distinct possibility of birds being poisoned; indeed vitamin A poisoning was diagnosed in a stud of birds at about this time.

It was decided to investigate this in 1989-90. The work which was done indicated that vitamin A poisoning was a distinct possibility if certain of the commercial supplements were mixed. On the other hand vitamin D3 poisoning, while it was produced experimentally, was unlikely to occur in fanciers’ birds.

This work also indicated the minimum levels of these vitamins and from this point of view all the commercial available supplements were satisfactory. The moral of this work was that fanciers should use only one of these supplements and that the manufacturer’s instruction should be followed.

Original text Copyright 1990, Dr John R Baker.

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