Sunday, July 1, 2012

UV lamp for budgies (Avian Sun)

Photo © LafeberVet.com

Budgies are often housed indoors and never see the sunlight. Even if you put the cage next to a window, they will not benefit from it, because the window acts as a filter that blocks the benefits of the sun, such as Vitamin D3. I have written a post on this topic before, because it's really important for budgies.

Vitamin D3 is crucial for an overall good health, but it helps in particular to make your budgies resistant against the following problems:
Dr. William Grant, Ph.D. lead a study that found that about 30 percent of cancer deaths in birds could be prevented each year with higher levels of vitamin D.  
"Vitamin D protects against cancer in several ways: it increases the self-destruction of mutated cells; it reduces the spread and reproduction of cancer cells; it reduces the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, which is a step in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous."

Photo © LMP Loyd on flickr

Budgies enjoy real sunlight and if you can provide that on a daily basis, that would be the best and least expensive way to go! Many owners relocate their birds in an outdoor aviary, or they put the cage outside for half an hour per day or so. This is what we also do, but the weather conditions in Belgium haven't been so favourable lately. In this case, full-spectrum lighting is a good alternative.

How do I get an avian sun and how much does it cost?

I ordered mine through my avian vet and the light bulb cost me about 50 EUR or 40 GBP. The UVB and UVA emissions last 6 months. I still need to get the floor lamp, although I think you can get some models that you can attach to the cage itself. The important thing is that you always provide both sun and shadow for your birds, so that they have a choice. Remember that your birds need approximately 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness at night. Some models will simulate dawn and dusk with a slow brightening and dimming and can be placed on a timer for daily consistency.

The instructions about correct lamp/light distance and so on, can all be found in the manual to the Avian Sun.

Photo © Zoo med

If you want to read more, here's a couple of links to the UV lamp that we've got:

http://www.zoomed.eu/Engels/Light/Avian%20Sun.htm
http://www.zoomed.eu/PDF/Birds%20and%20UVB.pdf

5 comments:

  1. I have one and the birds always loved it. Unfortunately it is not very sturdy and wobbly, even when screwed together tight. I would check the rods before leaving the store as the first one I bought didn't have the screw threading.

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    1. OK, thanks for the advice! :)

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    2. Agreed, the ZooMed lamp is garbage! We have FeatherBrite UV lamps mounted above our flight cages:

      http://featherbrite.com/swag-lights.html

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  2. Very interesting, I never even thought of vitamin D. I'd like to try bringing my budgie's cage outside with me for a little while each day, but do you know if there is any danger of sunburn or overheating?

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    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment. There isn't really any danger, as long as you don't put your budgies out in plain sunlight in the middle of the day. It's best to avoid the hottest hours (12 PM - 5 PM) and provide your birds a bit of shade, or a bath so they can cool down. Thanks for taking good care of your budgies!

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