Potential of alternative protein sources for exotic carnivores: observations and discussion

Historically, the zoological community has depended on horsemeat and beef as the two options for feeding exotic carnivores. Horsemeat was generally preferred by veterinarians and nutritionists as a leaner, more wildgame-like product. Unfortunately, within the last 10 years all horsemeat packing plants in the US have closed due to public pressure opinion that horses are more pets than livestock and...

Ideal protein and zoo carnivores: further considerations for optimizing diets

Carnivorous zoo species are often fed “natural product” diets, i.e. raw meat-based meals for large felids, whole vertebrate prey, entire fish for aquatic or otherwise piscivorous species, and/or a variety of invertebrates consumed by insectivores. In general, these types of diets contain relative excess protein compared to nutritional requirements established for domestic cats and dogs, (NRC, 2006) or production species...

Advances in feline nutrition 2: evaluations of protein and fiber sources for raw meat based diets in captive exotic felids

Little nutritional or metabolic information has been collected from captive exotic felids fed raw diets. In depth data on nutrient composition (e.g., fatty acid and amino acid composition) are sparse, and may impact diet formulation. Additionally, although several studies have examined total tract nutrient digestibility in captive exotic felid, (Clauss, et al., 2010; Vester, et al., 2010a) most have focused on horsemeat and beef-based...

Similarity of rumen degradable protein (RDP) degradation rates comparing in vitro and in situ techniques

Protein provided to ruminants can be divided into rumen degradable protein (RDP) and rumen undegradable protein (RUP). The RDP provides amino acids and ammonia-nitrogen which are vital to the growth of rumen microbes. An imbalance of the RDP supply and microbial RDP requirement can alter ruminal fermentation. The imbalance could lead to reproductive inefficiencies, inadequate growth, and ruminal acidosis. To...

Energy and protein supplies to captive orangutans

The diet of Sumatran orangutans at Perth Zoo was reviewed and altered to simulate more closely foods available in the wild. Diversity of offered plants was increased to over eighty species. Cereal based concentrates were replaced by foods of animal origin, including fish and cheese. Dietary supplements were eliminated. The proportion of different foods was adjusted to meet Dietary Reference...

Feeding the immune system: energy and protein needs for immunocompetence

The immune system utilizes a combination of constitutive and adaptive mechanisms that interact with one another to protect the host from microorganisms and infectious disease. Constitutive defenses of the innate immune system consist of effector cells, such as monocytes/macrophages and neutrophils, along with mucosal and epithelial barriers, secretions and plasma acute phase proteins. The innate immune system is capable of...

Comparative protein requirements of three species of parrots with distinct dietary specializations

Highly specialized nectarivorous and frugivorous birds have overcome the constraints of low dietary protein levels. Proposed physiological mechanisms that enable such specialists to subsist on low-protein diets include low protein requirements, low endogenous protein losses, high feed intake, and high protein digestibilities. These traits were compared among nectarivorous red lories (Eos bornea), frugivorous Pesquet’s parrots (Psittrichas fulgidus), and granivorous budgerigars...

The captive Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus): Nutritional considerations with emphasis on management of cystinuria

An important and widely recognized condition of the maned wolf is cystinuria, or excess levels of cystine in the urine. Cystinuria has been identified in the majority of maned wolves tested, both in captivity and in the wild. Cystinuria also occurs in humans and domestic dogs, and has been demonstrated in these species to have a genetic basis. In all...