Callitrichids: nutrition and dietary and husbandry

Meeting the nutritional needs of Callitrichids is essential to their survival and reproduction in captivity. Development of appropriate dietary guidelines involves information on 1) feeding ecology, 2) published nutrient requirements, often from studies of laboratory primates, 3) food preferences, and 4) foods available in zoos for diet formulation. This monograph is meant to provide a general overview of the feeding...

Penguins: nutrition and dietary husbandry

Provision of nutritional, behavioral, and environmental requirements is basic to the successful maintenance and reproduction of captive penguins. The following guidelines for nutrient intake and dietary husbandry were developed from studies of natural feeding ecology, published nutrient requirements of related species, information on potential penguin foods and their nutrient composition, and evidence of food preferences. Penguin foods are perishable and...

Fruit bats: nutrition and dietary husbandry

Bats (order: Chiroptera) account for one-fourth of the world’s living mammals. Their closest taxonomic relatives are still debated, but Chiroptera are commonly included in a supraordinal grouping along with the Dermoptera (flying lemurs), Primates, and Scandentia (tree shrews).58 There are over 900 species of bats, divided into two suborders: Megachiroptera, consisting of the single family Pteropodidae, and Microchiroptera, consisting of...

Asian Small-clawed otters: nutrition and dietary husbandry

To sustain a captive population of Asian small-clawed otters, the nutritional needs of the species must be met. Developing appropriate dietary guidelines requires consideration of (1) feeding ecology, (2) target dietary nutrient values, (3) food items available to zoos, and (4) information on diets offered by institutions successfully maintaining and breeding them. This paper will address these nutritional issues in...

Quality control of feedstuffs: nutrient analyses

Nutrient analyses are integral features of a quality control program designed to ensure the nutritional value and monitor nutrient composition of diets used for captive animals. Other components of a good quality control program include issues such as the presence of toxins, including mycotoxins, microbial contamination, and organophosphate/pesticide contamination. These issues will not, however, be included in this discussion. A...

Micronesian kingfishers: nutrition and dietary husbandry

Due to the rapid decline of the wild Micronesian kingfisher (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina) population on Guam, few data on dietary habits and associated nutrient intakes were gathered prior to establishment of a captive population. Although further information would be very helpful in developing appropriate diets for captive birds, the species is now extinct in the wild. Therefore, the dietary guidelines...

Assessment of nutritional status of captive and free-ranging animals

The essence of nutritional assessment is to determine the adequacy of the diet so that risk of disease might be limited and productivity and longevity might be enhanced. Knowledge of nutritional status, whether of an individual or of an animal population, is important for evaluation of captive management or quality of the wild habitat. This technical paper reviews some of...

Leaf-eating primates: nutrition and dietary husbandry

Species differences in natural feeding habits and digestive system structure suggest that all captive primates should not be fed in the same manner.28 Primates whose diets consist primarily or exclusively of leaf material possess highly developed, and delicately balanced digestive systems, which enable them to utilize this abundant food source. The order of Primates consists of several species whose natural...

Hay and Pellet Ratios: Considerations in Feeding Ungulates

Formulating appropriate diets for zoo animals is a complex and challenging job, especially when formulating diets for the many types of herbivores. Herbivore feeding strategies include animals in a continuum from selectors of fruit and dicotyledon foliage (concentrate selectors) to unselective grazers of high fiber diets (grass and roughage eaters).18 Body size and digestive tract morphology are adapted to these...

Feeding captive piscivorous animals: nutritional aspects of fish as food.

Piscivory is a term which specifically refers to the consumption of fish, but for the purposes of this document also encompasses a variety of organisms including marine invertebrates. Fish and marine invertebrates are prevalent constituents in the diets of a diversity of captive animals. Appropriate selection, purchase, storage, and thawing of these products is critical to the successful husbandry and...

Elephants: nutrition and dietary husbandry

Elephants are the largest extant herbivores on earth. Although the average weight of adult Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) tends to be less than that of adult African elephants (Loxodonta africana), in the wild their weight ranges overlap (Asian, 1,800-5,000 kg [4,000-11,000 lb]; African, 1,800-6,000 kg [4,000-13,000 lb])33 and are influenced by age, sex, health, and food supply.1,19 Their nutrient needs...

Feeding captive insectivorous animals: nutritional aspects of insects as food

To successfully manage captive insectivorous species, data on nutritional composition of invertebrate prey are especially important. Since live insects may be the only food offered to some species, nutritional deficiencies can quickly arise if the nutrient levels in the live prey are imbalanced. Unfortunately, the few commercially available invertebrates are an incomplete nutrient package without appropriate supplementation, and may adversely...

Vitamin D and ultraviolet radiation: meeting lighting needs for captive animals

Most animals meet their vitamin D needs through diet or exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. However, rickets and osteomalacia, classic consequences of calcium and vitamin D deficiency, are problems in a number of captive species, including certain basking reptiles and nursing primates, when little or no access is provided to natural sunlight.1,2,4 Vitamin D deficiency may occur even when diets...

Hay Quality Evaluation

Hay is the foundation of dietary husbandry for most captive herbivores, and its quality determines the need for other feeds. Quality can be high, low, or in between, but standards that are appropriate for hay fed to lactating dairy cows may be different than standards for hay fed to mature elephants. Hay that is high in protein and low in...