Evaluation of a commercial vitamin and mineral supplement in milk replacers on serum nutrients in pre-ruminants

Citation

Gaffney M, Schlegel ML.  2015.  Evaluation of a commercial vitamin and mineral supplement in milk replacers on serum nutrients in pre-ruminants.  In Bissell H, Brooks M Eds. Proceedings of the Eleventh Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Portland, OR.

Abstract

Since opening in May 1972, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has hand-raised hundreds of ruminant neonates. In order to improve success rates and generate appropriate protocols with any hand-reared neonate species, it is important to document each animal’s daily status and changes implemented to husbandry practices with each experience. Milk formula composition and consumption, solid-food intake, body weights, and fecal output and consistency are all closely monitored by animal care staff. This paper evaluated the effectiveness of a commercially available vitamin and mineral supplement in milk replacers on serum and whole blood nutrient concentrations in pre-ruminant animals hand-raised between 01-Sept-13 and 01-Dec-14. The inclusion of the vitamin and mineral supplement in eight milk-replacer formulas increased the average dietary concentrations of copper, iron, vitamin E, and selenium by 77.5, 798.0, 391.0, and 81.0%, respectively. However, 50% of the formulas were still below the recommended concentration for both dietary copper and iron as suggested in NRC (2001). At least 91.6, 88.5, and 97.5% of the neonate hoofstock hand-raised on the formulas were within or above the adequate range for serum copper, iron, and whole blood selenium concentrations. Ninety-seven percent of the serum vitamin E concentrations were within the ranges reported for plasma vitamin E concentrations in five related families of artiodactyla.

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