The formulation of an artificial diet for captive kiwi (Apteryx mantelli)


Minson CJ, Potter MA, Thomas DV, Lentle RG. 2009. The formulation of an artificial diet for captive kiwi (Apteryx mantelli). In Ward A, Treiber K, Schmidt D, Coslik A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Tulsa, OK.


Population numbers of North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) are estimated to have almost halved in the last decade. Despite some success of captive breeding, captive bred kiwi suffer higher embryonic and adult mortality rates, smaller eggs and lower hatching rates than wild kiwi. A major contributor to these problems is likely to be diet. The current diet fed to kiwi in captivity was formulated over 30 years ago with no reference to the nutrient requirements of the birds.

This preliminary study aimed to firstly, reformulate the captive diet so that it more closely matches the nutrient composition of the natural diet and secondly, to present this food in a manner that is both palatable and able to be physically consumed by kiwi.

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