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Dec 6, 2012

Diet Improvements and Resultant Health Benefits in Medium-Sized Monkeys


Evidence-based diet review and change for monkeys at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park

Between 2003 and 2011 the diets of all medium-sized monkeys at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park were subject to a continual process of review and improvement. This was initially triggered by poor dental health of Abyssinian colobus monkeys and continued to tackle other low level health concerns such as obesity and poor faecal consistency in several species. Diet review resulted in the removal of all fruit, bread, eggs and seeds from the diets and changes to commercial products used for some species. All species are now provided with similar diets consisting of a suitable commercial pelleted feed, a variety of fresh vegetables and small amounts of dog biscuits and cooked brown rice to provide opportunities for scatter feeding. Compared with the 2003 diets the 2011 diets have higher levels of protein (3-47% increase) and fibre (36-77% more NDF) and lower levels of readily digestible carbohydrate (6-14% decrease). Resultant health benefits have been improved gastrointestinal and dental health and weight loss in some previously overweight individuals. In addition, the 2011 diets are also considerably less expensive than the 2003 diets resulting in an estimated annual cost saving of £9,717 based on current prices and number of animals held.

 

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park

COMMENDATION received in BIAZA Awards 2012 for Significant Advances in Husbandry and Welfare



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