Nutrition and immunity: vitamins and minerals

Infectious diseases impinge on animal health and welfare. Appropriate nutrition may aid in minimizing the incidence of infectious diseases by optimizing immunity. Formulating diets that optimize immunity requires knowing the specific cellular mechanisms by which nutrients affect immunity, and how these mechanisms pertain to specific nutrients and pathogens. Understanding the nuances of nutrition and immunity is important because higher dietary...

A zoo-wide evaluation into the current feeder insect supplementation program at the Brookfield Zoo

Commercially raised insects are an important food source for captive animals. For those animals that are purely insectivorous, the nutrient concentrations of the food source are vitally important for the health and welfare of the animal, particularly the Ca to P ratio. In the summer of 2002, a zoo-wide evaluation of the current methods of insect supplementation was conducted at...

A survey of African (Loxodonta Africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephant diets and measured body dimensions compared to their estimated nutrient requirements

Nineteen zoos completed a survey between 1997 and 1998 detailing information on their elephants including: species (African; Loxodonta africana or Asian; Elephas maximus), sex, weight, height, girth, length, and age. Captive female African (3375 kg) and Asian (3453 kg) elephants appeared heavier than published data for their free-ranging counterparts (2800 and 2720 kg, respectively). Elephant weight and dimension information from...

Validation of techniques for elemental analysis in a zoo nutrition lab

Quantities of minerals in samples such as diets, excreta, and water are a key factor in identifying nutritional needs and thus are an important aspect of laboratory analyses. Perchloric acid digestion with atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) has been a useful and valid method for quantification of physiological levels of minerals. However, recent technology has brought into consideration techniques such as...

Advances in nutrient metals digestion using open and closed vessel microwave systems

Rapid technologically evolution in sensor, computer, and vessel enhancements have led to lower detection limits and residual carbon values for both open and closed vessel microwave techniques. Application of these technologies to the determination of nutrient metals (as well as nitrogen content) of food and feeds has shown that both high level (Fe, Zn, Cu) and important trace (Se, As,...

Some basic considerations in evaluating mineral nutrition

Diets which are balanced in their nutrient content is key to good nutrition. While reasonable balance is important with all nutrients, proportion or balance is critically sensitive for certain minerals. When feeding diets where dietary mineral composition is unknown, utilizing mineral supplements which contain minerals in proportion to the needs of the species involved will draw the total diet toward...

Evaluation of eight species of native Texas browse as suitable forage substitutes for black rhinoceros (Dieros bicornis)

Duplication of natural foodstuffs for animals in captivity can be a difficult task. While it may not be possible to provide food sources normally available in an animal’ s natural habitat, a prospective goal might be to provide similar nutrients from locally available foods. Eight species of native Texas browse were studied for adequacy as a source of browse for...

Efficacy of chelated minerals; review of literature

The recent report (Leach and Patton, 1997) of an assay procedure for chelated minerals removes an obstacle that has long hindered consideration of chelates by the animal feed industry. In the absence of a reliable assay, it is understandable that some would hesitate to embrace a technology that’s existence could not be proven empirically. Nonetheless, circumstantial evidence kept most minds...