Vitamin A supplementation via cricket dusting: the effects of dusting fed and fasted crickets of three sizes using two different supplements on nutrient content

Citation

Sullivan KE, Livingston S, Valdes EV. 2009. Vitamin A supplementation via cricket dusting: the effects of dusting fed and fasted crickets of three sizes using two different supplements on nutrient content. 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.

Abstract

This study was undertaken to determine the efficacy in delivering vitamin A supplementation via dusting feed crickets (Acheta domestica) to reptiles and amphibians, many of whom have shown vitamin A deficiencies at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and other institutions. While there have been multiple previous studies regarding supplementation in crickets, the majority have focused on calcium supplementation. Levels of vitamin A in crickets without any supplementation have been found to be minimal. Topical treatment of dust supplement on the food source (crickets) is a commonly used practice in zoological institutions to increase calcium and vitamin supplementation. Other options include topical vitamin application to the skin of the amphibian, and gut loading the food source. Due to the ongoing issue of low vitamin A levels in captive amphibians and reptiles, it is important to understand the efficacy of supplemental vitamin A.

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