Effects of Dietary Physical Form and Carbohydrate Profile on Captive Giraffe

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Celeste C. Kearney
Animal Sciences
University of Florida
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The effects of altering physical form and carbohydrate profile of giraffe diets were evaluated using six non-lactating adult female giraffe in a modified reversal study. Dietary treatments consisted of a supplement ration composed of commonly fed commercial concentrates (GF) and an experimental supplement (EF) containing greater concentrations of sugars and soluble fiber and lesser concentrations of starch than GF, as well as small, heavily lignified particles used to modify dietary fiber size and texture. Each study animal was housed individually and fed EF or GF ad libitum for 21 days, and then received the other feed supplement in the subsequent 21 day period. Alfalfa hay, salt and water were offered ad libitum in all periods. In each period, blood samples were collected before feeding on day 21, feed refusals and fecal samples were collected on days 15 through 21, and behavior was recorded for 48 hr via observation and instantaneous sampling on days 13 through 15. Feed intake, blood measures, and minutes spent exhibiting various behaviors were evaluated. Data were analyzed with a statistical model that included animal, period, and diet. Data presented are least squares means. Significance was declared at P<0.10 and tendency at 0.10


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