Developing an energy intake model for parent-rearing Saddle-bill storks (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)


Schlegel ML, Farley M, Ranger W. 2003. Developing an energy intake model for parent-rearing Saddle-bill storks (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis). In Ward A, Brooks M, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Minneapolis, MN.


A model was developed based on food disappearance to determine the quantity of food and estimate the metabolizable energy (ME) requirements for the growth of parent reared Saddle-bill storks (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis). Based on the initial observations in 2001, a feeding protocol was developed and utilized for parent-reared storks in 2002. Food disappearing from the food dish offered to two (1.1) adult Saddle-bill storks in 2001 was recorded daily beginning when two (0.0.2) chicks were seven-days old and continued until the chicks were 111 days of age. The storks were fed a diet of skinned-adult mice, whole-adult mice, whitebait smelt, trout, carnivore meat diet (Natural Balance, Pacoima, California 91331 USA), and insects. The ME content of the food items offered was calculated based on 75% of the determined gross energy content. Based on average adult body weights (5.52 kg), each adult stork required 509 kcal ME/day (141.4*BWkg^(.75)). In 2001, peak total food disappearance occurred between the chick ages of 25 and 65 days when an average of 3128 ± 28.76 g (n = 36) and 3409 ± 31.5 kcal ME (n = 36) disappeared from the food pan daily, and provided, an average 2.35 times (1196 kcal) an adult’s ME requirement per chick. In 2002, the same adult pair hatched and reared three (0.0.3) chicks. While the ME available per chick was lower in 2002 than the previous year, total food and ME removed from the feed pan between day 30 and 72 increased 27.6% and 24.6%, respectively. The energy intake model developed was effective to estimate the energy requirement of parent reared Saddle-bill stork chicks and has been used for the basis of parent-reared chick diets for Painted (Mycteria leucocephala), Yellow-billed (Mycteria ibis), and Storm’s (Ciconia stormi) storks.

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