Calcium and insect gut-loading: the development of a protocol for achieving the best CA:P ratio for insectivorous animals

Citation

McClements RD, Lintzenich BA, Slifka KA. 2003. Calcium and insect gut-loading: the development of a protocol for achieving the best CA:P ratio for insectivorous animals. In Ward A, Brooks M, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Minneapolis, MN.

Abstract

Commercially raised insects have inverse calcium to phosphorus ratio. Captive insectivorous animals are potentially at risk for metabolic bone disorders if the calcium to phosphorus ratio is not equalized. This is achieved through an active supplementation program where the feeder insect is given access to a calcium rich diet prior to ingestion by the insectivore. A zoo-wide insect supplementation survey was conducted to evaluate the Brookfield Zoo protocol and found that not only was the protocol less than ideal, but the baseline data required to enable comparisons was absent. In addition, there is very little published information and/or protocols to follow when supplementing feeder insects. Therefore an experiment to determine baseline data and to enable re-evaluation of the protocol was initiated.

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