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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Managing Nutrition of Avian Zoological Collections

By Joeke Nijboer, PhD, Nutritionist, Rotterdam Zoo

When working with large zoological collections containing disparate species, a team approach is critical to improve nutrition for multiple species. The keepers’ experience regarding the birds’ habits and preferences, combined with input from the curator, veterinarian, and outside nutritional consultants are all necessary. Input from other institutions where a given species has a history of longevity and successful reproduction can be invaluable. In large collections, decreasing waste, spoilage, overfeeding, and excessively time-consuming diet preparation must be considered along with improvement of the birds’ nutritional intake.