THE MERCK VETERINARY MANUAL
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Nutrition in Crocodilians

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Captive alligators and crocodiles are usually fed a combination of rodents, poultry, fish, and meat-based diets. A varied diet is recommended. Diets consisting primarily of fish should include ≥3 different species of fish and should be supplemented with 25–30 mg of thiamine and 100 IU vitamin E/kg of fish, as fed. Signs of vitamin E deficiency (eg, steatitis) have been reported in crocodilians fed fish inadequately supplemented with vitamin E. Although previously reported otherwise, alligators can digest some carbohydrate; however, the total carbohydrate in the diet should not exceed 20%. Commercial, dry alligator diets are being marketed, largely to reduce the cost and to improve nutrient intakes of farmed alligators; their use is still uncommon in zoos.

Last full review/revision July 2011 by Joeke Nijboer, PhD; Teresa L. Lightfoot, DVM, DABVP (Avian)

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