Living with an exotic bird requires that you become an expert in his care. You'll have to learn about his nutritional requirements, including what vitamins and minerals he needs. Iodine is one of the minerals your parrot must get, but don't be quick to supplement it in his diet.
Essential Trace Mineral
Iodine is vital for your parrot's health because it helps keep his thyroid working properly. Your bird doesn't need massive amounts of iodine, though. He should be able to get all he needs from his food if you're feeding him a quality parrot food and fresh fruits, grains, greens, vegetables and sprouted seeds. He may get a bit of iodine from his drinking water, depending on the iodine content of the tap water in your municipality.
Iodine to Treat Goiter
If your parrot isn't getting enough iodine through his diet, he could develop a goiter. Goiters put pressure on his vocal organ and his trachea, causing breathing problems. If your parrot wheezes or squeaks when he breathes, stops talking and has a hard time swallowing, take him to his avian vet immediately. The condition puts stress on your bird's heart and its main vessels, and could cause seizures or possibly death if left untreated. Your vet will prescribe iodine supplementation to add to your bird's water. It will supply the iodine he needs to bring the condition under control.
Iodine for Tumors
Fatty tumors can become painful and can endanger your parrot's health if they grow too large and are left untreated. Bring abnormal growths to your vet's attention so you can determine a course of treatment. If the tumor isn't infected or doesn't have an open wound on it, your vet will likely prescribe iodine supplements to stimulate your bird's thyroid gland so the fatty issue can be absorbed.
Consult the Avian Vet
If you take it upon yourself to supplement iodine in your parrot's diet, you'll run the risk of overdosing him on it. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your parrot before supplementing him with iodine or anything else. If the vet determines an iodine supplement would be beneficial, he'll recommend drops for your parrot's water or have you get an iodine block at the pet supply store for your bird to nibble on.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.