Evaluation of the Nutritional Adequacy of Three Diets Fed to the Black-footed Ferrets (Mustela nigripes) at the Metro Toronto Zoo

Citation

Hellinga D, Atkinson JL, Bernal L, Stevenson M, Aruda J, Valdes EV. 1997. Evaluation of the nutritional adequacy of three diets fed to the black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) at the Metro Toronto Zoo. In Proceedings of the Second Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Fort Worth, TX.

Abstract

Previous work at the Metro Toronto Zoo (Oyarzun et al., 1995) has found that the nutrient concentration in the Metro Toronto Zoo (MTZ) diet fed to the SSP Black-footed ferrets {BFF, Mustela nigripes) met or greatly exceeded the daily recommendations established for mink (NRC, 1982) as well as nutrient levels reported in the BFF natural diet (Dierenfeld & McGuire, 1989). The MTZ diet fed to BFF is a modification of the original diet developed at the Sybille Wildlife Research Centre and includes a variety of ingredients such as commercial mink pellets, ground rabbit carcass, blood meal and supplements. However, the use of the commercial mink pellets, included as the main ingredient of the BFF diet seemed to be the source of an excess of certain nutrients, particularly polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s ) and minerals.

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