Browse Collection and Preservation for Winter in a Northern Zoo


Watts J. 2017. Browse Collection and Preservation for Winter in a Northern Zoo. In Ward A, Coslik A, Brooks M Eds. Proceedings of the Twelfth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation and AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Frisco, TX.


Zoo nutritionists agree that herbivores need browse to maintain and improve their dental, gastrointestinal, and psychological health, and ideally browse should be offered throughout the year. Unfortunately, zoos in temperate climates such as Chicago’s have difficulty providing browse for their animals in the colder months, and many zoos have limited available space for browse storage.  The Chicago Zoological Society – Brookfield Zoo has had a relationship with the local utility company for 6 years, wherein the utility company provides browse from trimmings around power lines.  Browse from this source is vacuum sealed and placed at -20ºC for storage.  Browse stored in this manner has been palatable for animals even after 8 months.  This procedure may be helpful for other institutions to store browse.

[Watts 2] 2017 NAG abstract (browse) Watts.pdf     40 KB

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