Haith’s Prosecto replaces ‘nutritionally inadequate’ Waldrapp Ibis diet at RZSS (Edinburgh Zoo)
“We removed the possible risk of salmonella contamination from the mice and chicks, which was a concern for the vets, and raised protein supply in the diet with Prosecto.” Andy Beer, Nutritionist RZSS
- Keepers reported no issues with acceptance of dietary changes
- Replaced low bio-availability diet with insect protein diet
- Mice and chicks replaced with beef mince and Prosecto
The process for dietary review and change arose from internal discussions between the Vets, Nutrition and Bird keeping staff at RZSS (Edinburgh Zoo) because of concerns that the previous diet based on mice and day old chicks was nutritionally inadequate because of poor chick viability on hatching and early post-partum mortality. Nutritional analysis of day old chicks’ shows an apparent high crude protein value (64.90% Zootrition) but in reality much of this is the form of keratin (feathers, beak and feet) which has low bio-availability and is indigestible.
An alternative was sought which would raise protein supply in the diet and a combination of beef mince and Prosecto (Haiths PRO) was determined as being suitable. Prosecto was selected because it contains insect protein (the previous diet contained mealworms) and is manufactured to a BIAZA Award Winning SuperClean Quality Control (QC) standard by Haith’s PRO. The new diet has removed the possible risk of salmonella contamination from the mice and chicks which was of concern to the Vets).
Over a four week period in 2016, the proportions of mice and chicks were reduced and ultimately removed as the proportion of beef mince and Prosecto increased. Keepers reported no issues with acceptance of the dietary change – one possible issue is that the Ibis share an enclosure with Black Storks in a mixed exhibit and it is thought that the latter also indulge in the mince: Prosecto based diet! There are, however, plans afoot to look at including Prosecto in other species of diet.
Currently, there is also a proportion of sprats in the diet (retained from the original diet), but over time these may be removed or included periodically as nutritional enrichment.
Acknowledgements: Haith’s PRO would like to thank the RZSS team including Sean Meechan and Andy Beer whose work will hopefully go on to benefit collections throughout the UK.
Determination: Iron 89 mg/kg (low in iron); Calcium (Ca) 0.45%
Vitamins and minerals (available separately)
About Haith’s PRO - Professional Avian Diets for Zoos & Wildlife Parks
Haith’s PRO is the BIAZA Award Winning bird food service targeted at bird-keeping professionals. We provide super-clean seed to promote better bird health as dust, waste husk and extraneous materials can - if left in bird food mixes - damage delicate tissues and allow entry of pathogens. We’re confident that our diets can help reduce vet costs; reduce the chances of disease and promote sound health and nutrition, all delivered on the backbone of a robust quality control processes.