Hudson L, Wise J, Tucker R, Davis C, Ward A, Brown C. 1997. Development of hand-rearing techniques for Roseate Spoonbills, Ajaia ajaja, at the Fort Worth Zoo. In Proceedings of the Second Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Fort Worth, TX.
The Fort Worth Zoo has held a breeding flock of roseate spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja), since the 1960’s and has had more success breeding and parent-rearing roseate spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja), than any other institution worldwide. To infuse new genetic material into the North American population, Fort Worth began collecting hatchlings and eggs from free-ranging birds for hand- rearing. Fledglings were first collected in 1982 and eggs in 1993. Since 1982 Fort Worth has hand-reared thirty-two birds including those fledglings and eggs collected off site and those in the zoo flock. Over time techniques, diet, and amounts fed have been adjusted. Documentation of the first bird hand-reared from hatch in 1987 indicates it attained 73 % of the body weight of parent-reared birds by day 14. The following birds raised from hatch beginning in 1993 only reached 30 % of the body weight of parent-reared birds by day 14. Growth rate has since increased to 60% of parent-reared weight by day 14 in 1997. Differences in diets and amounts fed may account for differences in growth rates.Hand Rearing Ajaia ajaja.pdf     371 KB