Balancing nutrients is absolutely key in maintaining your feathered friend’s overall health and wellness!
Many of you have read my blogs suggesting a higher magnesium dosage to balance out your bird’s consumption of calcium. The proper ratio of magnesium to calcium is about 1:1 to 1:1.25 to aid in the absorption of calcium so that plaque doesn’t build up in the arteries, kidneys and other soft tissues like muscles of the body, connective tissues as well as joints.
Avian Nutrition Specialist
However, while many of us are beginning to understand the importance of magnesium in our birds’ diets, we must also consider both Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K3. Both of these vitamins not only aid in the uptake of calcium, K2 actually prevents and reverses calcifications in all of the organs and tissues mentioned above. Vitamin K2 also aids in protecting the elasticity of arteries and vessels.
To make sure my birds are receiving enough calcium/magnesium/D3/K2 I feed a calcium supplement known as Algae Calcium, a highly absorbent form of plant calcium. I also feed soaked, raw organic almonds and lots of meal worms which are very high in magnesium.
Ensuring my flock receives enough Vitamin D3, especially during weeks they cannot be outside due to weather, I feed an abundant amount of alfalfa leaves. Alfalfa is a reliable dietary source of Vitamin D3. (1) Tall Lichen, as well as Ghee (clarified butter with all milk solids removed. A very healthy dietary fat) and fresh, cage-free, organic hard-boiled eggs also contain Vitamin D3.
Vitamin K3 is not all that difficult to obtain from food sources. Young, tender leafy greens such as cilantro leaves, parsley leaves, young microgreens of kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and arugula all contain healthy levels of Vitamin K2. Cabbage and sauerkraut also contain good amounts of Vitamin K3, but I do not recommend mature cabbage and sauerkraut made from mature cabbage – Instead use baby cabbage to make your own young, tender kraut that contains “hemicellulose” fiber, a kind of fiber easy for a parrot’s system to digest. Mature cabbage and kraut, along with mature greens are very difficult for a parrot’s non-cecum system to digest. (2)
Remember, while it may be of good intent to feed a widely diverse and varied diet to our companion birds, BALANCE is absolutely key to ensure optimum health for the long life of your parrot!
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Ref: (1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6326678; (2) https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/wilson/v107n01/p0093-p0121.pdf
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