VITAMINS are complex organic compounds essential in small quantities for normalgrowth, maintenance and reproduction of bird life. Birds are unable to synthesise almost of these compounds and they must obtain them directly or indirectly from the diet. Until the 20th century, nutritionists and lay people alike considered carbohydrates, fats, protein plus certain minerals to be the only dietary elements. After birds became ill on a diet solely of the above nutrients supplemented with mineral elements, however, it became evident that natural foods must contain other substances in the diet indispensable for health and a deficiency of one or more of these substances (=Vitamins) in the diet would result in a breakdown of bodily activities and produce symptoms of disease. Vitamin deficiency is now only rarely, but poor storage (heat, moisture, about exceeding the shelf life), can negatively impact the nutrition and so can lead to vitamin deficiency. If there is a shortage of only one vitamin in a diet the hypovitaminosis due to his vitamin is usually recognisable by the symtomps and provided there is no irreversible damage. Should a diet be insufficient in more than one vitamin, however, it is very difficult to diagnose a hypovitaminosis, as the symptoms are generally many and varied. Frequently we birdbreeders and birdkeepers don’t always recognise or recognise in time that a diet is deficient in a vitamin, as the animal’s organism may still hold reserves of this vitamin so that the symptoms of the deficiency disease are delayed or only slight at first. We classify the Vitamins into two types:  FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMINS:     - Vitamin A     - Vitamin D     - Vitamin E     - Vitamin K       WATER-SOLUBLE VITAMINS:                      - Vitamin C                      - Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)     - Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)     - Vitamin B3 (Niacin)     - Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic       Acid)     - Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)     - Vitamin B8 (Biotin)     - Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid,       Folate)     - Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin,                        Cyanocobalamin)     - Choline
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