UNDERSTANDING RAW MEAT DIET FORMULATIONS

Concerns over raw meat diet formulations for zoological carnivores have included microbial contamination and food safety, protein source, and variations in nutrient composition and product consistency. The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act along with the 2012 AVMA Policy on Raw Pet Foods have heightened awareness of food safety concerns related to raw meat diet formulations. This awareness...

INGREDIENT VARIABILITY, STABILITY, AND PROCESSING EFFECTS

Often the assumption when constructing diets for pets is that nutrient requirements are a fixed number found in a table. Likewise, we often hear of nutrient values for ingredients and assume that they are a constant. Common sense tells us both assumptions are false. For ingredients these values are subject to wide ranges in variation from supplier to supplier, from...

NUTRIENT STABILITY OVER TIME IN MANUFACTURED FEEDS

Understanding nutrient stability over time is of critical importance when determining the shelf life of animal feed. Trials examining nutrient stability are difficult to manage because of the long duration of trials, particularly if multiple environmental conditions are examined. It is well known that a variety of factors including temperature, humidity, light, and interactions between nutrients (e.g., oxidation of fat...

Chemical analysis of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIR)

Samples of Pennisetum purpureum (PP) were collected weekly commencing the summer of 2002 and throughout the year 2003. This grass is used in the feeding enrichment program for the African elephants (Loxodonta africana) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK). Samples were submitted to a laboratory where analyses of moisture, crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), fat...

The good, the bad and the ugly: Feedstuff evaluation and quality control

Overall diet quality is controlled by the quality of the individual items that comprise the diet. This seems intuitively obvious, but is “easier said than done” when it is applied to zoo diets. Usually we use multiple items in combination (complete feeds, produce, meat, fish, whole prey, etc.) to meet the nutrient needs of the animals in our care, and...

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...

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...

Allometry and Ecology of Feeding Behaviour and Digestive Capacity in Herbivores

Allometry and Ecology of Feeding Behaviour and Digestive Capacity in Herbivores Peter J. Van Soest Cornell University, Ithaca, New York Ruminants are animals that have specialized on the capture of energy in cellulosic carbohydrates in contrast to perissodactyls that tend to consume volume with lower extraction. Thus equids, for example, are more tolerant to low quality forages than many ruminants...