Vitamin D3 and sunlight and its effect on a pigeons immunity.
This might ruffle a few feathers pardon the pun but I’ve been doing a bit of research lately into viruses with the appearance of covid 19. A lot of studies have been released by prominent health authorities in different countries including Britain highlighting a connection why some people react to Corona virus differently by having less serious symptoms or by being A symptomatic (no symptoms), Vitamin D3 is one of the main factors they discuss and the lack of it. In people it weakens their immune system making them vulnerable to viral infections. Viruses are known as opportunist only coming to the forefront of a species when it is weak.
With this in mind I decided to research Vitamin D3 in the avian species this lead me to these findings from avian specialists that bird’s absorb vitamin D3 through the top of their heads where the feathers are the thinnest, their eyes, their legs and the gland at the base of the tail which contains Vitamin D3 which is then ingested whilst preening in the body. It is also recommended that for optimal health for caged bird’s that they should be exposed to as much sunlight as possible and recommend between four and six hours every day.
Bird’s predominately receives it’s vitamin D3 in all the above processes from exposure to sunlight.
So to summarise Vitamin D3 is synthesised by humans, animals and birds to produce a strong immune system by sunlight exposure.
Here’s my theory based on using the facts and information from above transferring them into pigeon racing which I hope may explain a few of the commonly raised questions pigeon fanciers seek to get answers.
1. Why is it that there is more disease in our bird’s especially young bird sickness when years ago they never seemed to be that many?
2. Why years ago were losses minimal and they always came back the next day?
3. Does the darkness system affect our bird’s?
4. The sport nowadays is so costly what with all the medications and the bird’s I have to breed, house and feed it didn’t used to be why is it now?
5. I have to lockdown my loft at the end of the racing season otherwise the hawks kill them there’s nothing I can do or is there?
The clever one’s have probably already worked out where this is going!
Here’s a list of the interventions we do that restrict sunlight hence vitamin D3 causing a weakening of our bird’s immune system which in turn might go some way in answering the questions commonly asked above.
1 locking the bird’s up in the closed season
2 The darkness system
3 The design of our lofts
4 The length of time we leave our bird’s outside of the lofts daily
To summarise there is a causation that sunlight can have a profound effect on your bird’s health against viruses by naturally building up a immune system from vitamin D3. This also has an effect on the fanciers pocket by not spending their hard earned money by not having to buy copious amounts of medical products which we all know is not cheap.
I hope this has been useful for fanciers.
Yours in sport
Dave Bunker Brierley 2020