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RECORD KEEPING

(Recommended Dietary Records)

Record the Information.

Ideally, dietary records should consist of transaction information, dietary information from previous institutions (when provided), all institutional diet information (up-to-date, changes, etc.), and information from daily animal care staff reports (animal weights, abnormal feeding behaviours, keeper comments, evaluations and questions), as well as all other information pertinent to the nutritional health of the animal. Dietary records should be freely available for review by animal care staff. We advise the use of “Zootrition” as the standardised form for this information – for further information go to: www.stlzoo.org/animals/animalfoodnutritioncenter/zootrition

Record the Use.

The nutrition records should be an integral part of the feeding program. The records will help document thought processes regarding diet formulation and presentation that may prevent repeating past mistakes. There is very little nutritional information available for most captive wild animals. For this reason, every bit of information collected is immensely important. Records should include information associated with feed intake (including food preferences), feeding behaviour, general appearance (weight, coat, eyes, teeth, etc.), change in status (pregnant, lactating, growing, old age, etc.), change in schedule (fasted for veterinary reasons, did not eat because animal did not come into the feeding area, etc.), and animal movement (death, moved house, removed from collection, etc.). These records may be used to track feeding trends, plot appropriate nutrient intake for stage of life, identify variability in nutrient requirements between individuals and species (captive vs. domestic animals), and improve overall management of the captive wild animals in our care.

Source: European Zoo Nutrition Centre (www.eznc.org)

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