Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Full Spectrum Lighting For Pet Parrotlet

Hi there,

Just wanted an expert opinion on full spectrum lighting for my parrotlet. We live in an apartment and therefore the parrotlet is kept indoors as one of the family. He is in the living area with the family. I have read about the importance of natural sunlight for our bird and I am concerned that the lack of this will have a detrimental effect on him. I don’t know much about what is available and would greatly appreciate any advice you could give me. Thanks


Dear Ann:

Thank you for your email. Almost everyone that keeps parrotlets in the US keeps them indoors as pets. Even breeders generally do not keep their birds out of doors. There is a lot of controversy regarding ‘full-spectrum’ lighting and the need for it with pet birds that are not breeding. I do recommend it for people who breed their birds as they do need vitamin D to metabolize calcium which is vitally important for breeding hens. However, pet birds, especially males that are an otherwise healthy and balanced diet who also receive vitamins probably do not need it. In fact, it has been my experience over the last 30 years of keeping parrotlets that too much light is the problem and it often leads to prolonged molts, aggression and feather destructive behaviors. Also, I have never heard of a pet bird having an issue because of the lack of full-spectrum lighting. However, if it makes you feel better, you can certainly get one and use it. Light is light so it doesn’t matter which manufacturer you use just make sure it isn’t too close to the cage as it can cause cataracts and eye damage nor turned on for more than 12 hours a day or his hormones will go into overdrive and he can start having the problems I described above.

Hope this helps!

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

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