Evaluating a field nitrate test for sudangrass hay to prevent nitrate poisoning

The objective of this study was to compare a field nitrate test using two different test strips to the hay nitrate concentrations determined at a commercial laboratory. Twelve samples of sudangrass hay collected in 2006 through 2008 were used to compare the nitrate concentration determined at a commercial laboratory using the RQflex Reflectometer method to those determined by a field...

Purchasing forage for a diverse group of exotic animals beyond the nutrient analysis

The approach of this paper is from a forage utilization perspective as it pertains to providing forage for the diverse, and often non-food related, purposes of a zoological institution. The paper covers aspects of forage production often over-looked or poorly understood by zoo professionals yet vital to the health and wellbeing of our captive collections. The purpose of the paper...

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...

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...