Calcium?

Owlet

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Oct 27, 2016
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What would be a good source of calcium? Today I found out that Lincoln might be a little deficient in calcium. I want something that's still relatively low in calcium because I don't want him to then have an overabundance of calcium.
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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DYH Amazon
What would be a good source of calcium? Today I found out that Lincoln might be a little deficient in calcium. I want something that's still relatively low in calcium because I don't want him to then have an overabundance of calcium.

Lots of sources.

If you have a medical pill crusher and you have 'white' Tums on hand, crush one and shake a bit of it on chop. This way you can control the amount of calcium you add.

Others will be along shortly with a number of other simple ways of adding Calcium.
 
OP
Owlet

Owlet

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Hmm my family use to take calcium supplements, maybe we have some left over that I could crush. Would a granite mortar and pestal be okay to crush it? I can't think of any reason it wouldn't be but might as well make sure because we don't have anything specifically designed for crushing pills (unless a meat tenderizer works)
 
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SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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Western, Michigan
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Hmm my family use to take calcium supplements, maybe we have some left over that I could crush. Would a granite mortar and postal be okay to crush it? I can't think of any reason it wouldn't be but might as well make sure because we don't have anything specifically designed for crushing pills (unless a meat tenderizer works)

Take great care when using Human supplements! The concentrations are much greater by size and you could easily exceed your want to add a bit of additional calcium to your Parrots diet.

Check if any of your family have Tums. Most individuals will start with Tums and then go to supplements.

A meat tendeizer will work well, understanding that all you need to do is too lightly twist the head over the Tums tab. No need to hammer at it! :D
 
OP
Owlet

Owlet

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Oct 27, 2016
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I'll have to check, I'll make the supplements a last resort and only give a teeny pinch. Are there any foods I could give him? Eggs? I could always get a cuttle bone too but I feel like that'd be too much and I'm not sure he'd take to it.
 

Aidualc

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Oct 15, 2016
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Nemo- CAG, Sebastian- Sun Conure, Rio- Senegal, Pepper- Senegal
In order for the calcium to be useful he needs UV to allow the production of Vitamin D3 that is needed for calcium uptake. Unless he has a daily dose of UV my guess is that increasing the dietary intake wontl do much good. And as far as I understand it's quite hard to overdose on calcium.. so that shouldn't be too much of a worry :)!
 

GaleriaGila

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Smart stuff above. I'm guessing the low-calcium input was from a vet blood-test? I'd hope they'd have recommendations.
Good luck!
:)
 

plumsmum2005

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Fly free Plum, my gorgeous boy.
Just to add that D3 is also necessary for phosphorus absorption and utilization as well as calcium. Also D3 providers are egg yolk, 20 min hard boiled, sweet potatoes and sunlight.

Some calcium providers are egg shells (very clean), collard, turnip and mustard greens, kale, dandelion, broccoli, almonds, oats, berries and sesame seeds.

Anansi has mentioned that he feeds Jolly and Maya hard boiled egg 2 x per month with crushed shells. Great to know what is in short supply so it can be given attention.
 
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davefv92c

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Nov 29, 2016
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could you please tell us what brought you to the conclusion that
your bird was short on calcium. in your OP you said nothing about a vet visit which
would have given you the info you seek here. if there is some way I can tell things like this about my bird without having to use a vet I would like to learn them to.
 

plumsmum2005

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Nov 18, 2015
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Lou, Ruby, and Sonu.
Fly free Plum, my gorgeous boy.
could you please tell us what brought you to the conclusion that
your bird was short on calcium. in your OP you said nothing about a vet visit which
would have given you the info you seek here. if there is some way I can tell things like this about my bird without having to use a vet I would like to learn them to.

Annual AV check ups will give you this info. :)
 

EllenD

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Aug 20, 2016
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Senegal Parrot named "Kane"; Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure named "Bowie"; Blue Quaker Parrot named "Lita Ford"; Cockatiel named "Duff"; 8 American/English Budgie Hybrids; Ringneck Dove named "Dylan"
As someone who is 37 years old and who has had chronic calcium-oxalate kidney stones since the age of 19 (I've probably passed somewhere between 50-100 stones large enough that I knew about them, had a cystoscopy to remove one that got stuck, and ended up in the hospital for a month and had to take the fall semester of my sophomore year of college off because I got a horrible urinary tract infection from a stone causing a urine obstruction, which caused a horrible kidney infection, which caused sepsis, I'm well aware of calcium and oxalate food sources. I have to keep my intake of both low, so I'll probably have osteoporosis soon, but it's the lesser of two evils. Both of my urologists (one a kidney stone expert and researcher) have basically told me that some people are just "stone collectors", and can't process calcium, so it remains free when I eat it and binds to free oxalate, forming stones. I actually eat little to no oxalate food sources so that I can intake some calcium sources, it helps a bit, but I just passed a 6mm stone two months ago that looked like spiky boulder 😲. Oye.

Anyway, a lot of people don't realize what food actually has the most calcium in it. They immediately think DAIRY, and that's just incorrect.

I don't know why you want to increase your bird's calcium, but I can tell you that he will absorb 50%+ more calcium from the food he eats than he will from supplements. Most calcium taken in from "pills" is not absorbed by the body and just goes right into the urine (this is actually true of most vitamins and minerals, if taken in "pill" form most of the vitamin or mineral does not get absorbed into the bloodstream but rather into either the urine or fat stores, depending on whether it is water soluble or fat soluble). So you want your bird to take the calcium in by eating food with a large calcium content and not give him supplements.

The food that contains the most calcium by far are the dark green, leafy veggies like kale, spinach, bok choy, collards, mustard, romaine lettuce, etc. Any leafy, dark green veggies contain 10x the amount of digestible calcium that dairy products contain. Next on the list are sesame seeds and chia seeds, which birds love. Again, way more digestible calcium than dairy. Next are oranges (believe it or not), which are a good choice for birds because they also have a lot of digestible potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. My birds all love fresh squeezed orange juice with nothing else added! Next are winged beans, then white beans, then navy beans. Then quinoa, another favorite of my birds. Up next is broccoli, which my green cheek would eat all day if I let him, then black molasses, which I wouldn't feed to a bird but there you have it. Another good one for birds are raw almonds, they are loaded with calcium, as well as dried figs. There are also some herbs that are full of digestible calcium, such as dill, basil, and the dark, flat leaf parsley.

Everything I have just listed contain more absorbable, digestible calcium than milk, cheese, or eggs/eggshells.

How do I know this? Besides having the kidney stone issue I also bred English and American budgies for 20 years starting when I was 16 years old. When I first started breeding the budgies I would feed my breeders commercial egg food and ground up eggshells, and provided a calcium block. My mom had bred cockatiels and budgies for years and this is what she fed her breeders. Then at 19 the kidney stones started, and I was immediately put on a strict low calcium, low oxalate diet. I went to seminars and since I was going to school to be a Doctor or Veterinarian, I did my kidney stone diet research in coordination with my animal science degree. I just typed all of those foods by grabbing my breeding Diet and Supplement notebook I've kept for 20 years. I used it to keep track of the breeder's/baby's diets, supplements, medications, weights, etc. So I eliminated the egg food/eggshells and started my breeders on a fresh food diet consisting of only these foods along with their pellets, and in 20 years I only ever had 1 egg-bound hen, and I was easily able to help her pass it in the bathtub in about 30 minutes. So these "absorbable" or "digestible" food sources of calcium are by far the best way to increase your bird's calcium blood levels.

If you must use a calcium supplement or "pill" instead of using an absorbable calcium diet, make sure you are giving them a CALCIUM OROTATE supplement. I capitalized the type of calcium to use because #1 it's not the common type of calcium supplement you see in most stores, and #2 because it is the by far the most absorbable supplement form of calcium available. In fact if you do your research, calcium carbonate, which is the most common type of calcium supplement available, as well as any other type of calcium supplement except calcium orotate, are basically just urinated out at the amount of 50%+ to 80%+. And the other 20%-50% that isn't just passed from the body in the urine? It's not necessarily absorbed in a good way, unfortunately. This goes for all animals, birds, and reptiles (reptiles have a very serious issue with this calcium supplement thing), where the bit of calcium supplement that isn't passed in the urine actually forms calcium placque in the arteries, including the coronary arteries, causing heart disease! If the calcium is taken in the form of dietary calcium (from food) or as a calcium orotate supplement, most of the calcium is absorbed into the body, allowing the blood calcium levels to rise, this calcium level available for the body to use as needed, and there is little to no free calcium available to form calcium placque in the arteries, to bind with free oxalate and form kidney stones, or to simply be urinated out.

So the bottom line for increasing the amount of usable calcium in you or your bird's body and lowering or completely eliminating free calcium that is not usable by the body and only causes problems such as kidney stones and coronary artery disease, is to increase you or your bird's intake of foods high in absorbable calcium, as I listed above in order of calcium content from high to low, and by avoiding calcium supplements. If you must take calcium supplements or give them to your bird, use only calcium orotate supplements, as they contain by far the highest amount of absorbable calcium and allow the lowest amount of free calcium in the body, which may either cause serious health issues or just be wasted in the urine/fecal matter.



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Notdumasilook

New member
Jul 28, 2015
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Charlotte, NC
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Blue Fronted Amazon, Cookie..Sun Conure..lil Booger (RIP) Have owned Parakeets, lovebirds, cockatiels, cockatoos, pocket parrot, and quakers.
easiest way is a QUALITY pelleted diet that has D3, calcium, and phosphorus already. Zupreems, Harrisons, and Im sure many others out there.
ANY supplements my vet feels my bird needs I add to Almond butter... (natural with NO salt).. make em a lil "sandwich" with whole grain bread.... bingo... problem solved.
 

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