Hand-rearing and growth of a grey seal (Halichoerus grypus)

Typical grey seal lactation lasts 15-21 days, followed by abrupt weaning by the dam and a several weeks long period of relatively significant weight loss while the pup learns to feed and fend for itself. It was with this natural history in mind that we formulated a grey seal hand-rearing protocol pending the birth of a female pup in early...

Evaluation of a commercial vitamin and mineral supplement in milk replacers on serum nutrients in pre-ruminants

Since opening in May 1972, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has hand-raised hundreds of ruminant neonates. In order to improve success rates and generate appropriate protocols with any hand-reared neonate species, it is important to document each animal’s daily status and changes implemented to husbandry practices with each experience. Milk formula composition and consumption, solid-food intake, body weights, and...

Designing an online hand-rearing resource center: first steps

In 2014, Safari West and the Safari West Wildlife Foundation (Santa Rosa, CA) hosted “The Inaugural AZVT (Association of Zoo Veterinary Technians) Focus Group: The Art and Science of Hand-Rearing”, a symposium that was attended by 80 zoo professionals from around the globe. With the initial focus on carnivores and hoofstock, twenty international speakers provided their insights into both historical...

Nutritional and physical characteristics of commercial hand-feeding formulas for parrots

Hand-rearing is a common practice for the propagation of psittacines, however, research on their nutrition is limited and the neonatal requirements are not well understood. We analyzed the nutrient composition and physical characteristics of 15 commercially available parrot handfeeding formulas. Formulas were compared with the average nutritional content of the crops of free living Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) chicks. When the formulas were prepared...

Hand-rearing and growth of two ibex (Capra ibex nubiana) kids from 24 hours to weaning at 105 days of age

Two male ibex kids were hand-reared from approximately 24 h after birth. Goat production and exotic captive small ruminant management systems were researched and compared to National Research Council (NRC) energy requirements in order to design a strategy for optimal feeding and growth. Weights were collected on each ibex daily or every other day throughout rearing to evaluate gain and...

Growth curves and their implications in hand-rearing monk parrots (Myiopsitta monachus)

Monk parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) were hand-reared over two chick seasons spanning from 2010-2011. Information on the growth curve of chicks hand-raised in 2010 was used to develop a feeding protocol for the 2011 season. This protocol was focused to address the problem areas of delayed growth and then excessive growth experienced by the baby parrots hand-reared in 2010. The 2011...

Hand raising manatee (Trichechus manatus)

Manatee (Trichechus manatus) calves are abandoned each year in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico around Florida and some of those animals are brought to SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment in Orlando (SWF) for rehabilitation and future release back into the wild. While in most cases we are unsure why the calf was separated from the mom, it is likely...

General procedures and guidelines for hand rearing felid neonates

There are many reasons to hand rear felid neonates in a zoological setting. The criteria for doing so should be set in advance of parturition and all preparations made for the process. The possibility of illness or common ailment should be anticipated and plans should be made for routine veterinary checks. Staff involvement, feeding schedules, formula, feeding supplies and methods...

Polar bears: aspects of handrearing

Zoos faced with the issue of handrearing polar bear cubs have found success with various formulas. Despite many common ingredients in zoos’ polar bear milk replacers, adjustments were made to accommodate specific medical or nutritional needs of the cub(s), and consequently there were differences in solids/energy offered and weaning age. Cubs from three institutions (San Francisco, Brookfield, and San Diego...

A preliminary evaluation of a hand-rearing formula for southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) calves

Exotic neonates may be hand-raised in captivity for various reasons. Records and evaluations of these hand-rearing efforts, the protocols used to achieve typical species growth and behavior, and data on the composition of mother’s milk, are needed to increase the success of hand-rearing a number of exotic species, including the southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum). Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK)...

Kori bustard nutrition and dietary husbandry

Kori bustards (Ardeotis kori) are reported to be omnivorous, consuming mostly insect and plant material in their grassland habitat. A complete nutrient analysis of these food items and their contribution to the overall diet has not been determined. The gastrointestinal tract of the kori is typical of an insectivorous bird, but to date they have been fed in captivity as...

INTAKE AND GROWTH RATES OF THREE PASSERINE SPECIES AT DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM

Whenever possible, avian parents are tasked with raising their young. Occasionally circumstances dictate that young are pulled for hand rearing. Protocols are in place for different species that indicate food items and amounts to feed as well as developmental indicators and husbandry parameters. Avian species have different diets as adults but many utilize similar food items to feed their young....

BIOACTIVE FACTORS IN MILK: COMPARISONS ACROSS NONHUMAN PRIMATES AND HUMANS

Milk is not just a food, but also a means by which mammalian mothers signal biochemically to their offspring. Milk contains a host of signaling molecules that influence growth and development of offspring. Some of these signaling molecules have been implicated as risk factors or as being protective against the early development of metabolic diseases in humans, such as obesity...

Comparison of proximate composition of domestic cat (Felis catus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), African lion (Panthera leo), and Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) maternal milk with exotic cat hand-rearing formulae

The aims of this study are (1) to compare proximate composition of milks of five felids, the domestic cat (Felis catus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), African lion (Panthera leo), and Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) to establish if there exist species-specific differences in felid maternal milk composition, (2) to conduct proximate analyses on commercial hand-rearing formulae...

Preliminary efforts on hand-rearing three species of flamingos

Between 2002 and 2005, the Fort Worth Zoo has hand-reared 37 flamingo chicks: nine Caribbean (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber), seventeen lesser (Phoeniconaias minor), and eleven Chilean (Phoenicopterus chilensis). The chicks were raised from hatching to the point of self-feeding. Body weight and formula consumption were measured daily. Feeding schedule transitions (from ten feedings per day to weaning) were based on body...

Growth rates and nutrient intake of hand-rearing pink-backed pelicans (Pelecanus rufescens) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Between December 18, 2006 and February 12, 2007, four pink-backed pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) chicks were hatched and hand reared at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK). A pelican hand rearing protocol was developed based on that of the San Diego Zoological Society. The diet was designed to consist of combinations of capelin, smelt, sardines and herring, along with a vitamin and mineral...

Milk composition and lactation strategies across mammalian taxa: implications for hand-rearing neonates

The two major features of mammalian reproduction are viviparity and lactation (milk production); of these, only lactation is both unique to mammals and occurs in all living species of mammals. Milk is the complex lacteal secretion of the mammary gland responsible for the provision of nutrients and energy to the growing neonate. Once adopted during the course of mammalian evolution,...

A novel approach for hand-rearing Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis)

A hand-rearing protocol was developed based on progressive series of food items offered to parent-reared flamingo chicks. Two (0.2) Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) were hand-reared due to parental neglect and medical management starting at 24 and 32 days of age. The hand-rearing formula was based on ground Flamingo 24 (Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego CA 92112 USA), Zoologic...

Milk composition of the bongo antelope (Tragelaphus eurycerus) through lactation

Bongo antelopes (Tragelaphus eurycerus) are a species of antelope that originate from Africa. The gestation length is about 285 days. Bongo antelope calves weigh about 20 kg when born. Adult females weigh between 210-230 kg, while adult males weigh 240-270 kg. Young reach sexual maturity when approximately two years old. The milk samples used in this study were part of...

Nutritional evaluation of a hand-rearing protocol for the San Clemente Island Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi)

The San Clemente Island (SCI) Loggerhead Shrike, a subspecies found only on SCI, 80 km off the coast of San Diego, was federally listed as endangered in 1977. The wild population has numbered 12-18 birds for the last 10 years making this one of the most endangered birds in North America. As part of an ongoing, federally funded captive recovery...

Hand-rearing hoofstock: a team approach

There are many reasons for hand-rearing neonatal hoofstock in captivity. From 1989 until 1992 the Fort Worth Zoo had no male springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) or dama gazelles (Gazella dama). In 1993, when males were added to these herds, offspring began to be produced. Calves were rejected by first time mothers who had also been hand-reared, and by dams with a...

Development of hand-rearing techniques for Roseate Spoonbills, Ajaia ajaja, at the Fort Worth Zoo

The Fort Worth Zoo has held a breeding flock of roseate spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja), since the 1960’s and has had more success breeding and parent-rearing roseate spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja), than any other institution worldwide. To infuse new genetic material into the North American population, Fort Worth began collecting hatchlings and eggs from free-ranging birds for hand- rearing. Fledglings were first...

Evaluation of 3 Milk Replacers for Hand-Rearing Indian Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus)

Hoofstock neonates are often hand-raised for multiple reasons. Feeding maternal milk is optimal, but is rarely available for hand-rearing. Therefore, suitable substitutes must be identified. Published nutrient composition of maternal milk is frequently used as a guide. In many instances, however, no information is available regarding the milk composition of a particular species. Nilgai have been successfully raised at the...