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Importance of UV light for ornamental birds

Ultraviolet light is a necessary component for the welfare of ornamental birds.

Just like humans, birds need UV light for the synthesis of vitamin D3. Too little or no vitamin D3 is formed under low-UV light conditions. The function of vitamin D3 is to enable the absorption of the calcium in the feed in the intestine and to incorporate the calcium into the metabolism. If a bird gets too little UV light or no UV light at all, the absorption of calcium in the digestive tract is disturbed. This can lead to hypocalcaemia. This can result in the following symptoms and diseases:

  1. Restriction of muscle function

Calcium is very important for muscle activity, since every muscle cell has a calcium store, which must always be full to ensure muscle activity. If there is insufficient absorption from the digestive tract, a deficiency situation arises.

  1. Bone damage

Calcium deficiency can result in unstable bones and skeletal deformities. Deformed bones put strain on the joints, which in middle age can lead to osteoarthritis with the symptoms of lameness and pain.

  1. Laying distress

Deformed pelvic bones lead, among other things, to laying problems. But an empty calcium store in the smooth muscle cells of the oviduct also leads to a weakening of muscle contractions and thus of pressing. If at this point the egg gets stuck in the cloaca, a life-threatening emergency can ensue. Furthermore, a calcium deficiency can lead to deformation of eggshells.

  1. Central nervous disorders

Calcium has extensive effects on nerve functions. A calcium deficiency can lead to failures (such as tremors, paralysis and cramps) in the brain, since the largest accumulation of nerve cells is in the brain.

Ultraviolet light, calcium and vitamin D3 are jointly responsible for important bodily functions. If birds are kept outdoors in free aviaries all year round, no artificial UV light is needed as the sun is the best source of lighting for birds. If you don't have an outdoor aviary, you have to rely on artificial UV sources in order to be able to offer the birds UV lighting that is as natural as possible.


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