CZAAWE Resource Article

Proportion of soft tissue in selected bone cuts fed primarily as enrichments to large carnivores
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Zoo Biology
Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20141.abs Zoos often offer large bones or cuts of meat containing bone (bone cuts) to carnivores to provide oral stimulation and behavioral enrichment. Because of its abrasive action, the act of chewing on a bone can increase the oral health of large felids as well as provide an enriching activity. Unfortunately, because the quantity of edible tissue on the bones is usually unknown, when feeding these cuts one can easily miscalculate an animal's caloric and nutrient intake. To fully comprehend the contribution of bones as a dietary item as opposed to an enrichment item, we removed the soft tissue from a total of 70 samples, representing 14 types of bone cuts commonly used in managed carnivore feeding programs. Across types of cuts, soft tissue averaged 50% of wet weight, with pork knuckles averaging the lowest (23%) and horse shanks the greatest (74%) percent soft tissue. Zoo Biol 27:154–158, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.