The milk repository at Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park

Lactation, the exocrine secretion of milk from mammary glands for the nourishment of young, is a defining characteristic of mammals. All female mammals produce milk, and milk is the first food of all neonatal mammals. The diversity of the mammalian radiation is reflected in the diversity of lactation strategies that have evolved. This in turn is reflected in differences in...

Comparative crop milk composition in grantivorous and frugivorous Columbidae

Crop milk, a glandular secretion produced by doves, pigeons, and some species of penguins and flamingoes, was collected from five different species of dove squabs at the Memphis Zoo between day 0 and 14 post-hatching. These species (Ptilinopus jambu, Ptilinopus magnificus, Gallicolumba luzonica, Gallicolumba rufigula, and Streptopelia decaocto), range from primarily frugivorous to primarily granivorous representatives of Columbidae. The samples...

Columbiform crop milk and crop milk replacer

Altricial chicks undergo an intense period of growth in the first few weeks of life. These chicks’ huge needs for nutrients are usually met by their parents feeding them high protein food items such as insects, other invertebrates, or vertebrate prey. Columbiformes (doves and pigeons) have conquered this nutritional obstacle a different way, by manufacturing the perfect food for their...

Nutrient composition of American flamingo crop milk

Crop milk samples (30 mL) were collected from juvenile (6-7 wks old) American flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber, n = 14) in the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve (El Cuyo, Mexico) on the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The samples were analyzed for dry matter, crude protein, fat, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, molybdenum, zinc), vitamin A,...