Nutritionally complete food-free diets for primates: potential benefits and concerns

Citation

Henry BA, Reppert A. 2015. Nutritionally complete food-free diets for primates: potential benefits and concerns. In Bissell H, Brooks M Eds. Proceedings of the Eleventh Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Portland, OR.

Abstract

Many zoos and institutions offer nutritionally complete foods (NCF) in the diets of captive primates (Oftedal and Allen, 1996). These foods, which often take the form of extruded biscuits, canned diets or gels, provide a source of important nutrients like protein, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals, thereby helping to meet minimum estimated nutrient requirements (Oftedal and Allen, 1996; NRC, 2003). These nutrients can otherwise be difficult to fully supply with commercially available produce and other items appropriate for nonhuman primates. Additionally, NCF provide an energy and nutrient dense diet item for animals with increased energy or nutrient needs (e.g. for weight gain/underweight, pregnancy/lactation, etc). Furthermore, NCF are cost-effective and operationally easy to procure, store and provide in the diet.  These combined benefits address many of the considerations involved in formulation (Crissey, 2005).

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