CHOLINE FOR BIRDS

Choline does not always count as an essiential vitamin for all species of animals and is in fact, a vitamin-like compound, being a structural component of fat and nerve tissue with a biological function. Choline is a water-soluble dietary nutrient and important for all cells to function normally. Choline is rerequired for synthesis of essential components of membranes and is an important source of labile methyl groups. Most common signs of choline deficiencies are fatty liver and haemmorrhagic kindney necrosis. Choline low diets can also cause infertility, growth impairment, bone abnormailties and hypertension. Most species can replace it through an adequate supply of methione, folic acid and vitamin B12.  It should be given in the first few weeks of a bird’s life (approx. 8 week), however, as young birds are not able to produce enough for their needs them- selves. Most animals feeds, in particular commercial bird diets contain a higher percentage of choline than of other vitamins. Choline promotes growth and helps the reduction of fats. Broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables may also be good sources of choline.
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