We spent 40 hours and 14 days researching and testing 10 different kinds of vitamins for birds and found that quality ingredients, ease of administration, and brand reputation were the most important factors with consumers who were shopping for bird vitamins. Nekton-S Multi-Vitamin for Birds scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. Nekton-S is a high quality multi-vitamin that can be mixed with soft if necessary or ideally mixed with the bird’s water. Nekton-S provides minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and trace elements that are necessary for your bird’s health.The company has been providing quality bird vitamins for over 35 years and has an excellent reputation.
Vitamins for Birds Buying Guide
Causes of Mineral and Vitamin Deficiencies
Some birds may have a metabolism that slows down or prevents them from absorbing the proper nutrition they need to be healthy. This problem can happen with all animal species. The biggest cause of this problem usually traces back to an insufficient diet. If you are feeding your pet bird a seed diet only it will eventually cause problems for your pet.
While a good quality, fortified pellet is a good base food for your bird, they need other things as well to ensure they have a well-rounded diet that will keep them healthy and happy. Feeding your bird an insufficient diet can lead to all kinds of problems that are associated with lack of proper nutrition.
One of the most common problems seen in pet birds is a lack of vitamin A but calcium, vitamin D3, and phosphorous deficiencies are also often seen. These deficiencies are traced back to many bird illnesses.
Signs of Vitamin Deficiencies
Vitamin A – Insufficient vitamin A can often cause respiratory problems in your bird. Without the proper amount of vitamin A your bird’s production of mucus can be compromised which increases the potential for them to get a bacterial infection; if it is not treated and remedied this can lead to your bird dying early.
Signs that your bird is suffering from a lack of vitamin A include white spots in and around his beak, white spots in the eyes and also the sinuses. You may notice loss of appetite, dullness of the color of his feathers, sneezing, swollen eyes and wheezing as well.
Vitamin D3 – This important vitamin is crucial for helping your bird absorb the right amount of calcium to stay healthy. Most seed-based diets are high in phosphorous and very low in calcium. Many birds are also lacking vitamin D3 that they get through exposure to sunlight or artificial sun which can intensify the problems that are associated with vitamin D3 deficiency.
Other problems that can arise from lack of calcium include deformities and curvatures of the bird’s long bones and vertebrae. Parrots, especially African Greys, are very susceptible to this problem. Other signs of calcium deficiencies include depression, tremors, seizures, and overall weakness. Aggression and nervousness are two other common signs.
A very common sign of vitamin A and calcium deficiency is feather plucking and dry, itchy skin. (The usual cause of feather plucking)
Vitamins Crucial for Your Bird’s Health
Some of the vitamins your bird needs include B-complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin D3. We have listed the benefits of these vitamins below.
Vitamin A – This important vitamin is affects your bird’s skin and helps with eye health, reproductive health, health of the feathers and the immune system as well. Beta carotene is a common form of vitamin A. The excess is eliminated through excretion. It is the most common deficiency in pet birds. Look for signs of weight loss, dull feathers, swollen eyes and other symptoms to indicate a lack of this important vitamin.
Vitamin E – This important antioxidant is important to scavenge the free radicals that can affect your bird. It protects vitamin A, vitamin C, the B vitamins and regulates vitamin A as well. Vitamin C commonly breaks down on its own before the bird consumes it. It is a very important vitamin for strong blood vessels and cell walls.
Vitamin D3 – This vitamin is very important for the health of your bird’s feathers and bones and helps with healthy egg laying as well. It is important for helping birds absorb and use the important calcium they need. Just like humans, birds create vitamin D with the help of full spectrum lights or the sun. Windows automatically filter out a lot of the suns UV rays so you will not be able to rely on them getting the vitamin D3 they need from the windows.
B-Complex Vitamins – The B-complex vitamins are also important and include B6, B12, riboflavin, thiamin, folic acid, biotin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. Each of these has their own function within your bird’s system but all B-complex vitamins help your bird break down the nutrients and food they need. B complex vitamins should be given to your bird daily because they are excreted from the bird’s body on a daily basis.
Calcium – This is the most important mineral for your bird. It is needed for healthy eggs, feather health, blood clotting, and the formation of strong bones. Birds get calcium from cuttlebone, vitamin supplements, and mineral blocks.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 – Fatty acids are also beneficial to your pet bird. These important fatty acids help your bird’s immune system and enables their bodies to respond to any diseases they might get. Given in the proper proportions these fatty acids will help your bird stay healthy.
Cautions When Using Bird Vitamins or Supplements
If you own a pet bird and want to provide it with the best possible nutrition you can, you will need to be careful, especially with supplementing certain vitamins like Vitamin D3. If too much is given Vitamin D toxicosis can be caused with results in too much calcium accumulation in the bird’s kidneys. This problem is common in Macaws that are given too much vitamin D.
You also need to be very careful about the water consumption your bird has each day. Much of the vitamin supplements on the market for birds are added to the water. If the bird doesn’t like the taste they will reduce or stop their drinking which can result to dehydration. This can be a critical problem that can cause dangerous problems and death for your bird.
If your bird doesn’t like the taste of the vitamin supplement you are trying, don’t just leave it thinking they will “get used to it”. You may have to try a few different ones to find a supplement your bird likes, but it will be much safer for them in the long run.
Birds are excellent companions and pets but they have needs that they rely on you to provide. A bird’s nutrition, just like any pet, is very important and up to you to ensure. Just tossing your bird a bowl of seeds each day is not enough and can quickly lead to all kinds of health problems for your birds.
The good news is that there is something you can do to ensure the best possible health for your bird. Diet and nutrition is critical for the health of any pet and birds are no exception. Finding a high quality pelleted or seed food is just the beginning.
A high quality vitamin supplement will help you provide your bird with all the nutrients and extra vitamins they need to be in excellent health. There are tons of different vitamin and mineral supplements on the market to choose from.
Now that you know a little bit about the important vitamins a bird needs, you will be able to sort through a lot of these choices and figure out the best vitamin and mineral supplement for your pet bird.
The three top-rated vitamin supplements we have reviewed above are great to start with. Each of them comes from reputable companies that offer the right types of vitamins birds are usually deficient in. All of them are easy to administer and will provide your bird with the extra nutrition they need.
The buying guide we have included with these helpful reviews provides you with the information you need about the causes of vitamin deficiencies, the symptoms to watch for, and the vitamins your bird needs to have a healthy, happy, long life. This information will enable you to confidently choose the right vitamin supplement for your bird’s needs.