Parrots & Calcium
Me? I thought of calcium as something that kids need to drink to have strong bones and something older people need to keep those bones strong!
Parrots have hollow bones, part of keeping them lightweight. I never thought much about parrots needing calcium and I was surprised to find that they need it for several reasons!
Bones, Feathers, Blood Clotting & Egg-Laying
Meet their need for CALCIUM!
I’m always touched at how sweet parrots are to each other: they feed each other, they preen each other and they cuddle!
Unless they are biting another’s toes! And making them bleed. Parrots are notorious for not having a lot of blood and can bleed out easily. The ability to clott is a must!
“As for minerals, calcium is the most important for birds. Calcium is needed for strong bone formation, blood clotting, feather growth, and healthy eggs. Birds canreceive calcium through supplements, cuttlebone, and mineral blocks.”
“To absorb calcium, vitamin D3 is needed, which can be acquired through sunlight naturally, or in pellets as a supplement. Let your parrot enjoy some safe time outdoors or provide access to a full spectrum light. Light filtered through window panes is not full spectrum.”
Based on my research the best way for a parrot to absorb calcium is to provide calcium itself, like sprinkling baked egg shells on their food. Supplement vitamins are great, but egg shells are CALCIUM and parrots benefit greatly. I sprinkle these daily on my flock’s breakfast (fresh foods, mostly veggies) and they disappear…
I eat eggs every morning – they are an inexpensive food that has everything the body needs except vitamin C. When I’m low on egg shells for my parrots, I keep my egg’s shells, wash them out and then bake them around 100 degrees for 20 minutes. I don’t let them get tan/brown, just dry, dry. They take on a crisp crack when I break them in my hand. I place them in my mortar and grind a little with the pestal until they look like confetti. I like to either make the calcium a powder, if I am baking cookies for them, or I like for it to be large enough for them to ‘bite,’ which they do!
Of course, if I have mating parrots, I add a dish and provide additional calcium for the hen to feed on, and she does!