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Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lining in the respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts. Unfortunately for birds, all-seed diets are deficient in vitamin A, and vitamin A deficiency may be associated with poor immune function and a breakdown in these linings, allowing bacteria and other pathogens to enter the body and cause infections like sinusitis.
Dietary carotenoids found in dark, leafy greens as well as yellow and orange vegetables serve as a source of “pre-vitamin A”.
* Particularly rich sources of vitamin A
Fruits rich in vitamin A include apricot, cantaloupe, mango, and papaya. Keep in mind that the apricot pit contains cyanide.
** The blue- green algae, Spirulina, can also serve as a source of vitamin A.
Orlando Diaz-Figueroa, DVM, MS, Dipl. ABVP (Avian Specialty)