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Shedding Some Light On Bird Lights

Published on Wednesday, 16th May 2018
The clocks may have gone forward for British Summer Time, but even as we experience more hours of daylight in the spring and summer months, Parrots without regular access to a safe place outdoors may still miss out essential UV rays, as the glass can block them out.
Parrots are part of the family and spend a lot of their time indoors with their human flock. UV doesn’t penetrate solid things such as plastic or glass. So even if a Parrot was sat by a window all day, they would get no benefit. To get UV naturally Parrots need to be outside, either in an outdoor wired cage or harness.

Given the British weather, it isn’t always possible for a bird to spend lots of time outside. This makes an ultraviolet (UV) bird light one of the most crucial bits of kit your customers can buy for their Parrot.

Let’s take a look at why UV light is so vital to pet birds and Parrots and how you can help your bird-keeping customers give their Parrot the UV they need.
The Importance of UV
Unlike humans, Parrots can see UV using their specialised retinas. They use it to identify different species, recognise mates and find their food. Without it they are effectively colour blind.

There are two forms of UV light, UVA and UVB. Parrots mostly need UVB. UV light is emitted from the sun every day. UVA is the longest of the ultra violet lights and accounts for 95% of radiation from the sun.

All colours under UV appear more pronounced. For example, greens appear greener and reds appear redder, making objects, food and people much more appealing!

Other benefits of UV to Parrots includes a reduction in feather plucking, improved appetite, better plumage and a general boost to their overall health.

The Vitamin D3 in UV helps Parrots to synthesise calcium.
Vitamin D3 helps a Parrot absorb calcium through their skin or through a special process in their preening gland. Calcium is a critical mineral for all Parrots and helps them build strong bones and eggshells.
African Greys have a particular requirement for calcium.
Bird Lights
Lots of reputable bird light brands are available for you to offer to your bird keeping customers. Brands such as ZooMed and Arcadia offer compact bird lamps and associated fittings, that provide the correct balance of UVA and UVB.

Normal indoor and outdoor lights won’t emit any UV so Parrots won’t get any benefit from them.

It’s recommended that Parrots spend two four-hour periods under the light. Set up the light no more than 45cm away from the bird but in a way so that the Parrot can’t get to it.

Upsells such as holders, stands and reflectors help customers keep a light in place, close to the cage, so the maximum amount of light gets to the pet bird or Parrot.

Bulbs should be replaced at least every 12 months. Any longer than that and the special coating on the bulb loses its effectiveness.

Therefore, you can sell them 365 days a year. This encourages repeat visits to your store and more opportunity to serve your customer’s needs.

Make sure you take the time to understand UV, so you are informed enough to grow sales and educate your customer on lighting up the lives of their feathered friend. 

Owners may not realise just how important they are. Every bird and Parrot species can
benefit, so you need to make them aware of its importance.

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