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View Full Version : Does rabbit requires UV lighting (Vitamin D3), i.e., natural sunlight w/o windows?



Happy Hopping
06-10-2015, 10:14 AM
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood, UK has a parrot that passed away. He lost his nostrils due to a lack of UV lighting.

Then someone else told me that UVB lighting (Vitamin D3) in almost all cases needs to be supplemented by artificial lighting... Windows in our homes block out 95% + of UV required by our pet birds.

So I wonder does rabbit needs the same thing? That we should take them outside under the sun whenever possible?

here's a link on UV light on birds

http://www.featherbrite.com/beoffuspli.html

On the other hand, UVB can cause skin cancer, so exactly what should we do here?

mini lop1
13-10-2015, 05:55 PM
i read in rabbiting on magazaine latest issue I think Autumn one? about the link to this and dental problems

Santa
13-10-2015, 11:09 PM
Harcourt-Brown spoke about this at her lecture the other week. She basically said that the primary mechanism for calcium absorption in rabbits does not require vitamin D, unlike many other animals including humans. In rabbits, vitamin D is only important if there is insufficient dietary calcium and that's when it is necessary. So if a rabbit is on a good balanced diet then it's not necessary although it wouldn't hurt and would be nice for them if it is possible for them to get some sunshine.

Happy Hopping
14-10-2015, 06:54 AM
very useful tips, thank you

Tinsel
14-10-2015, 08:00 AM
My vet said he thinks it's vital. I had a much lower incidence of dental probs than would be expected with rabbits (over 25 over the years so not a small number) and he was sure it was because they free ranged 24/7 (some resisted the shed even). It was an unusual rural/secure setup though, and not practical for most people. :wave:

Happy Hopping
14-10-2015, 08:46 AM
From May to Oct., my 2 buns have the backyard to hop around, as the winter comes, they stays indoor. But the above article is saying that w/ the windows blocking UV, it's pointless to sunbath under the windows. SO they get 6 mth. of sunbath in the backyard. But so is people here. Noone sunbath outdoor in the cold, so winter is out of the question. In April, when it's sunny outside, I can take them to the front deck, but I don't do backyard due to the possibility of bacteria on the lawn thru out the winter. So I wait at least 21 days of sun to kill any bacteria in the lawn before they can come out in May

SarahP
14-10-2015, 09:00 AM
I think a certain amount of confusion has been caused by the whole sunlight through glass thing. My interpretation is that there are many benefits of UV lighting generally (many of which are still not fully known), and vitamin D formation is only one of those things. I think the thing about sunlight being pointless through glass only relates to vitamin D formation, but that UV light through a window counts for its other benefits.

I have always had a full spectrum light bulb in the guinea pig room (alongside natural light via the window) - no idea whether it really helps, but it's something I've always done.

Happy Hopping
14-10-2015, 10:36 AM
but the pressing concern is the lack of vitamin D, so even sunlight can do some other benefit, the rabbit / human is still missing vitamin D

SarahP
14-10-2015, 11:20 AM
Depends whether you see it as a concern for rabbits though - eg. see post no. 3.

Happy Hopping
14-10-2015, 11:33 AM
I know, Dr. Hancourt-Brown 's finding conflict w/ the other people who post (Post 5)

SarahP
14-10-2015, 11:38 AM
I do think it's significant that wild rabbits are naturally active at dawn and dusk, rather than during the hours where they would be getting vitamin D from the sun (around mid day).

And then when you look at nocturnal mammals (eg hamsters, mice and rats), they've obviously evolved so that they don't need vitamin D from the sun.

Happy Hopping
14-10-2015, 12:06 PM
interesting point. But doesn't domestic rabbits changes that equation?

Hugo's There
14-10-2015, 12:16 PM
My vet said he thinks it's vital. I had a much lower incidence of dental probs than would be expected with rabbits (over 25 over the years so not a small number) and he was sure it was because they free ranged 24/7 (some resisted the shed even). It was an unusual rural/secure setup though, and not practical for most people. :wave:

But do you not think thats due to them being able to graze through out the day so having a more natural diet to wear their teeth rather than the sunlight?

mini lop1
14-10-2015, 03:32 PM
also to add with us humans it was mentioned on tv just 10-15mins of daylight (not sunny weather) just being out would provide us with the vitamin D we needed for the day, so maybe that's how wildies get there vit d, they don't need to be in full sun just daylight

tabithakat64
14-10-2015, 05:23 PM
Lots of conflicting advice and studies on this, personally I'd rather be safe than sorry and provide a UV light just as you would for a reptile if I had an indoor rabbit.

The potential health benefits in of providing a light versus of lack of vitamin D leading to a greater chance of dental or skeletal issues is enough to sway me.

Happy Hopping
14-10-2015, 07:52 PM
also to add with us humans it was mentioned on tv just 10-15mins of daylight (not sunny weather) just being out would provide us with the vitamin D we needed for the day, so maybe that's how wildies get there vit d, they don't need to be in full sun just daylight

so would 15 min. be enough for a bun then?

mini lop1
15-10-2015, 07:31 PM
so would 15 min. be enough for a bun then?

that I do not know it was just some info that got my attention it was on this morning not long ago, I have to take vit d supplements so that's why I started to listen