Calcium

Learn what to feed your birds.
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tobiask190
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Calcium

Post by tobiask190 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:21 pm

I read online that cuttlebone doesn't really give birds the necessary nutrients. Is that true? If that's so, would it be fine if I add a drop or two of a dilute solution of calcium chloride into their water to supplement their calcium?

Dave
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Re: Calcium

Post by Dave » Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:54 pm

A few comments on Calcium for birds. This is from what I've read over the years. It is how I've raised my birds for quite a few years.

1. I've never used cuttlebone for finches, although there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it.

2. Whatever calcium source you use must be paired with vitamin D3, or the calcium won't be useful to the bird.

3. Calcium sources are egg shells, ground mollusk shells, some greens like Kale, proprietary calcium treatments like 'Morning Bird Calcium Plus' and others.

4. 'Calcium Plus' should only be given every other day, or the bird loses the ability to absorb calcium from natural sources. I just use it before and during the breeding season, and only 2x per week. http://www.morningbirdproducts.com/prod ... mplus.html

5. Vitamin D3 sources are eggs, and proprietary vitamins for birds. Products like 'Calcium Plus' also have D3, which is convenient. Sunlight (actual direct sunlight on the birds, not through a window) will allow birds to make their own Vitamin D3.

I'm not sure that anyone knows everything about bird nutrition. Studies on chickens and turkeys don't always relate to finches. And finches aren't a big market, so little or any real research is done for them. Calcium chloride is a salt, and it does have calcium. I don't know what the extra chloride would do for or to a bird.
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wildbird
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Re: Calcium

Post by wildbird » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:29 am

It is usually better to let the bird choose when and how much calcium it needs. They can't do that if you add it to their water. Finely crushed egg shell, ground oyster shell and finely chopped kale and, also, a cuttlebone will provide the needed calcium. It is always good to have a powdered form that can be added to the water in case of egg binding symtoms.

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Re: Calcium

Post by catherlee » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:56 am

Since I also have poison dart frogs, and calcium and D3 is essential for amphibians and reptiles, this is a common powdered supplement that I use with each feeding for them.

I've sometimes sprinkled the supplement onto the bird's seeds. It is extremely fine, like talcum. A small jar is a several bucks on Amazon. The birds get fresh fruit and greens and sunlight when the weather's nice out on the covered patio.

I don't know how much of the calcium they actually ingest, but thought that couldn't hurt, could it?
Pair of red-head Gouldians, male canary, blue poison dart frog, orchids, goldfish, clownfish, and a brindle greyhound.

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Re: Calcium

Post by wildbird » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:32 pm

Calcium can be overdosed. I would just provide a cuttlebone, crushed oyster shell and finely crushed egg shells free choice. This way the birds will take what they need. Keep a calcium liquid or powder supplement made for birds on hand in case of egg binding.

tobiask190
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Re: Calcium

Post by tobiask190 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:31 pm

Ah, okay. Thank you for all the advice!

Hyansith
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Re: Calcium

Post by Hyansith » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:58 pm

I have silver bills and a cut throat and neither have ever shown an interest in their cuttlebone or their mineral block. I feed them a mix if dry egg food, seed and occasional broccoli. There is a source of grit.

Do I need to be offering them an additional source of calcium?

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Re: Calcium

Post by Icearstorm » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:40 pm

Hyansith

You could try crushed oyster shells, crushed limestone, and/or baked eggshells. Most finches aren't powerful enough to break pieces off of a hard mineral block, but some may try if you score the block with a knife so they have an easier time pulling off little chunks. What is this grit source? Finches hull their seeds so they don't require true grit, but most commercial "grit" is just a calcium source.

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Re: Calcium

Post by Hyansith » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:09 pm

Icearstorm

I had to look into this as the packaging offers no indication of it's content and is just called 'Bird Grit'. It's basically limestone and crushed oyster shell. We use it for the birds where I work.

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Re: Calcium

Post by Icearstorm » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:07 pm

Hyansith

That should work for calcium, provided that they're eating it.

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