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

Nutrition in Toucans

By Joeke Nijboer, PhD, Nutritionist, Rotterdam Zoo

In nature, toucans (Ramphastos spp) eat mostly fruit but also consume insects, rodents, and invertebrates. Like mynahs, toucans are susceptible to iron storage disease. Their basic diet should be a low-iron pellet with a variety of fruits (apples, banana, grapes) offered daily. If the bird picks the fruit preferentially over the large toucan pellets, the pellets can either be crushed, or very small low-iron pellets can be mixed with the fruit, so the pellets adhere to the fruit and are ingested. These long-beaked birds may have difficulty drinking water and may become dehydrated if not provided a large enough drinking pan.