A case of non-scaling in mammalian physiology? Body size, digestive capacity, food intake, and ingesta passage in mammalian herbivores☆

As gut capacity is assumed to scale linearly to body mass (BM), and dry matter intake (DMI) to metabolic body weight (BM0.75), it has been proposed that ingesta mean retention time (MRT) should scale to BM0.25 in herbivorous mammals. We test these assumptions with the most comprehensive literature data collations (n=74 species for gut capacity, […]

Differences in fecal particle size between free-ranging and captive individuals of two browser species

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20161.abs Data from captive animals indicated that browsing (BR) ruminants have larger fecal particles—indicative of lesser chewing efficiency—than grazers (GR). To answer whether this reflects fundamental differences between the animal groups, or different reactions of basically similar organisms to diets fed in captivity, we compared mean fecal particle size (MPS) in a GR and […]

Serum concentrations of amino acids, fatty acids, lipoproteins, vitamins A and E, and minerals in apparently healthy, free-ranging southern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffe)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20114.abs This pilot project began establishing a nutritional profile for free-ranging giraffe. The results will be used as a tool to begin assessing the nutritional status of captive giraffe. In October 2004 serum samples were collected opportunistically from seven adult and 17 sub-adult giraffe being anesthetized for different studies. Seventeen animals were from Double […]

Case studies in antelope aggression control using a GnRH agonist

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10079.abs Maintaining surplus captive male antelope in bachelor groups can result in aggression in some species, leading to injury or death. Suppressing endogenous testosterone using gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs has been used in primates to control aggressive behavior, but little information is available on the use of GnRH analogs in nondomestic ruminant species. The […]

A system for predicting energy and protein requirements of wild ruminants

Abstract Wild ruminants require energy and protein for the normal function. I developed a system for predicting these energy and protein requirements across ruminant species and life stages. This system defines requirements on the basis of net energy (NE), net protein (NP), and ruminally degraded protein (RDP). Total NE and NP requirements are calculated as […]

Effect of varying dietary starch and fiber levels and inoculum source (mule deer vs. dairy cow) on simulated rumen fermentation characteristics

This study measured starch and fiber digestion and microbial fermentation of three commercial exotic animal feeds using mule deer (MD) or dairy cow (DC) rumen inoculum. Diets were formulated to provide either high starch/low fiber (based on neutral detergent fiber fraction; NDF) with either alfalfa (diet A) or grain and oilseed byproducts (diet B) as […]

Diet and diet-related disorders in captive ruminants at the national zoological gardens of South Africa

Although diet-related disorders have received much attention in the zoo literature, evidence-based results on relationships between diet and disease are still rare, often due to a lack of quantitative dietary information that can be linked to clinical or necropsy reports. We investigated 24 species of captive ruminants from one facility for which quantitative feeding instructions […]

Using a three-axis accelerometer to identify and classify sheep behaviour at pasture

Identifying and classifying feeding behaviour in free-ranging ruminants will help improve efficiency of animal production. Another potential benefit would be in understanding the role behaviour has in determining heritability of methane measurement. The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy, sensitivity, specificity and precision with which tri-axial accelerometers can identify sheep behaviour at […]

Seasonal mortality in zoo ruminants

While seasonality has often been investigated with respect to reproduction, seasonality of mortality has received less attention. We investigated whether a seasonal signal of mortality exists in wild ruminants kept in zoos, using data from 60,591 individuals of 88 species. We quantified the mortality in the 3 consecutive months with the highest above-baseline mortality (3 MM). […]