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...