Desai SV, Schlegel ML. 2011. Evaluating the stability of nutrients of cut eucalyptus sideroxylon browse for koalas. In Ward A, Coslik A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Ninth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Kansas City, MO.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the stability of leaf nutrient contents in Eucalyptus sideroxylon browse branches over the course of one week. Twelve branches were cut and transported to the koala barn within 1 h. These branches were kept in a walk-in cooler and three branches were sampled 1.5, 45, 93, and 141 h post-harvest. The branches were weighed and the leaves and petioles removed and freeze-dried to a constant weight. The freeze-dried samples were ground and sent to two commercial laboratories for vitamin E, CP, ADF, NDF, sugar, fat, and ash analysis. Non-fiber carbohydrates were calculated. Leaves sampled after 93 and 141h post-harvest had 9.4 and 11.7% (6 percentage units) lower (P < 0.05) NFC than leaves sampled 1.5 h post-harvest, respectively. Leaves sampled after 141 h post-harvest tended to have 19.7% (2 percentage units) greater (P < 0.10) crude fat than after 1.5 h post-harvest. Additional research is needed with a larger sample size to determine the crucial storage length of Eucalyptus post-harvest without impacting nutrients provided to the animal.29_Desai.pdf     115 KB