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AVIAN GOITER

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS GIVING IODINE FOR BIRDS?

I remember my father adding iodine into the drinking water for his pigeons once a week. About the reason, I never asked him and also forgot the matter. That's why I never gave iodine for my canaries. Later, as Gouldian Finches arrived in my breeding room, there was a female loosing feathers in the head. A breeder told me that it is a deficiency of iodine and an iodine cure is necessary ...
Most people knows iodine and the normal use. In the case of an injury to the body, it is used in the hospital or at the family doctor to disinfect the wound. Even in most private household, it is present in the first aid cabinet. But Iodine is not only a disinfectant. Iodine is a true all-rounder. Thousands of years ago, algae - from which iodine is extracted - were used for healing. Back then algae were used for wound treatment. These healing properties of iodine are used in principle to this day. Iodine is also an essential trace element and helps in the prevention of diseases, both in humans and in animals. In the first place stimulates the thyroid glands, which produces a hormone called “thyroxine” essential for body and mental development. Although a lack of dietary iodine is the main cause of goiters (thyroid hyperplasia) is in many parts of the world, this is not often the case in countries where iodine is routinely added to table salt and other foods. Also in bird it has been considered as a common problem and is most commonly observed in budgerigars and pigeons but also other finches, parakeets and parrots can get an iodine deficit. An examination of the Zoo/Exotic Pathology Service (West Sacramento, CA, USA) were carried out for the period from October 1984 to April 2001. From nearly 12,500 avian accessions, 30 reported a morphologic diagnosis of thyroid hyperplasia. Twenty nine of 30 birds from varying species had multiple diagnoses at necropsy, while the remaining bird was diagnosed with thyroid hyperplasia alone.
With birds is the thyroid gland directly related to their feather production. Birds do not get enough iodine in their diet from the seeds, water and other nutritional supplements in captivity. In addition, there are some seeds or additional feed given to the birds which containing so-called goitrogenic agents. Goitrogenic foods are foods that interfere with iodine absorption, leading to an enlargement of the thyroid or also thyroid degeneration.  A steady stream of iodine is every time necessary to keep the thyroid running optimally. But here is particularly noteworthy Australian finches have a higher requirement for iodine and therefore tend very quickly to a deficit. 
Some examples of seeds containing goitrogens: Rapeseed, flaxseed, linseed, millet, hempseed, pumpkin seed, turnip seed, soybean. To the greens containing goitrogens belong generell all cruzciferous vegetables. But especially mentioned in detail bok choy, broccoli, chinese cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, leafy Greens, watercress, spinach, cauliflower, collard greens, mustard greens. Also, some varieties of nuts that are eaten by parrots contain goitrogens, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts.
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