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...

Basics of ruminant animal nutrition

Cellulose is the main constituent of plant cell walls and is the most abundant carbohydrate on earth. With exception of some snails and arthropods, animals lack the necessary enzymes for the digestion of cellulose. Bacteria and fungi are the main cellulose digesters. Animals have coevolved with their feeds, and by different strategies, herbivores use plants as source of most nutrients....

Effective duration of a copper oxide bolus administered orally to bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus dorcas)

Two male bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus dorcas) (70.5 kg) received a 12.5 g copper oxide bolus orally during anesthesia and were offered a diet of high fiber herbivore pellets with ad libitum access to Bermuda grass hay, water, and either a white salt or trace mineralized salt block. Blood samples were collected prior to bolus administration and every four weeks subsequently...

Hypomagnesemia, hypocalcemia, and ruminitis in ungulates: an under-recognized syndrome?

Macro- and microminerals are critical in maintaining normal physiologic processes. Requirements for domestic ungulates have been documented and are available through the National Research Council (NRC). Normal values have not been established for most wildlife species. Due to specialized feeding habits, collection of baseline data for each species is needed to develop complete diets and detect nutritional diseases. Several cases...

Variation in voluntary intake of feeds by captive giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis): Implications for meeting nutrient requirements

Data prompting evaluation of captive giraffe feed selection were obtained from a modified reversal study investigating the effects of dietary physical form and carbohydrate profile. Six non-lactating adult female giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) were used in seven 21-day periods. Supplements were: an experimental non-pelleted browser supplement (EF) and a mixture of 75% Mazuri Browser Breeder (PMI Nutrition International, LLC, Brentwood,...

Implications of carbohydrate feeding for captive herbivore nutrition and welfare

Carbohydrates comprise the major portion of most herbivore diets. Research is limited regarding the effect of carbohydrates as provided in commercial feeds, forage, and browse on the nutrition and health of captive herbivores. However, the diversity of carbohydrates, their digestion characteristics, nutrients they supply, impacts of their physical form, and potential impact on animal health strongly recommend that they be...

Comparison of parathyroid hormone, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium in serum and urine of nyala (Tragelaphus angassi) on concentrates or a forage only diet

The nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) herd at Busch Gardens Tampa has historically had one of the highest incidences of Johne’s disease (Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, Mptb) within the collection. A 10-yr epidemiologic review at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay revealed 27/83 (32.5%) Mptb culture positive individuals. At the time of this trial, 20/21 positive animals were also noted to be hypocalcemia. It was...

Nutrition of the enigmatic browser: Comparative bioenergetics, digestion and feeding of northern versus tropical ungulates

Wild ungulates use time, habitat, and food in complex ways in relation to social, security, comfort, and bioenergetic needs to optimization fitness from decisions during day-to-day living. Species in highly seasonal environments experience changes in nutritional requirements in association with adaptations to quality and quantity of available food. Evolutionary implications are closely tied to seasonal bioenergetic cycles and become extremely...