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Dean_NZ

Use Of Charcoal In Budgerigars

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Hi all,

 

Im deep into the research again on my quest to develop my own scientifically based nutritionally sound soft food, perhaps even for commercial sale. I was busy reading up on all sorts of protein/carb/fat, vitamin/mineral information and came across a caution about charcoal.

 

I know of some top breeders who swear by charcoal, and although i dont use it myself i hadnt thought there were any down-sides to it. I have also seen its use recommended here on the boards so although i am in no way declaring this as law, it is worth thought. Everyone can make up their own minds:

 

Charcoal Supplementing

 

While it has been claimed that charcoal added to grit or soft food removes toxins from the digestive tract of Budgerigars, this has never been scientifically proven. What has been scientifically demonstrated, is that charcoal added to the diet removes Vitamins A, B2, and K from the digestive system and therefore contributes to Vitamin deficiencies.

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That is really interesting about the charcoal. I dont use it either, but its interesting to know that it may not be all that safe.

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Very interesting......thankyou for posting that. I dont use charcoal as such, but I believe it is a component of the Murphy's Minerals that I sometimes use.

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It is also noted that adult birds are capable of producing vitamin K on their own through digestive processes aided by bacteria found in the gut. Any anti-biotics use on a bird will destroy good bacteria also, and as a result cripple the birds vitamin K synthesising abilities increasing their need for vitamin K supplementation TEN TIMES until the gut bacteria is restored. (This restoration occurs over time, and can be aided by probiotic supplementation, or by the bird eating the droppings from other flock members, however it does still take time to restore bacteria levels FIRST and vitamin K levels SECOND).

 

If a hen lays with low vitamin K levels, or low ability to produce vitamin K, this is passed on to the egg (which is low in vitamin K stores). Chicks that hatch with low vitamin K levels have next to no blood clotting ability and can bleed out and die from a wound as small as a nail scratch from a passing hen or cock. Such chicks may also bleed internally and will seem very pink, may have red or purple bellies due to the bleeding.

 

Edit: Interesting to now see that firstly - charcoal intereferres with vitamin K, and secondly - 'preventative' anti-biotic use which is prolific in certain aviaries may actually be extremely detrimental to breeding, and to the welfare of birds in general. Everything we feed our birds has an effect one way or another...

Edited by Dean_NZ

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