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Elephant Vitamins

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by animalszoos, 24 Apr 2016.

  1. animalszoos

    animalszoos Well-Known Member

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    What are elephant vitamins? Who supplies them? Which zoos use them? Which zoos don't use them? What animals are fed elephant vitamins? What do they do? What ingredients are in elephant vitamins?
     
  2. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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  3. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Vitamins are vitamins, they are same for all species, and all are needed in all animal species; ok some vitamins are more esential for one than other animal.

    Elephants would mostly need to be supplemented with vitamin E, and also vitamin A (particularly if they are not eating fresh grass, alfalfa or browse), and vitamin D - particularly for elephants kept in zoos who are not exposed to sunlight (UV from sun) or kept in countries from more Northern (Southern) latitudes, like above 40-45 degrees Northern or Southern latitude. It may also be supplemented biotin (good for skin and foots) and foliacin (in pregnant mares). There is no some particular need for supplementation of other vitamins; and cobalt (altough feed contain it) should be supplemented for syntesis of vitamin B12 by gut bacteria - and after digestion of bacteria, utilised by the elephant itself.
     
  4. animalszoos

    animalszoos Well-Known Member

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    Apparently elephant vitamins are meant to make the animal feel more full for the less amount of food.
     
  5. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Oh no, that's not true. Elephant should be fed with appropriate diet suplemented with vitamins, and no other solution is better than this. They first must take enough plant fiber to be healthy enough. That would be, about 0.9% dry matter intake of the total elephant weight, or in other words, elephant with about 3,000 kg (3 tones) should be fed with about 40 kg of hay (13% moisture), or with about 230 kg of fresh grass, alfalfa or browse, suplemented with some vegetables, fruit, and vitamin-mineral supplement.
     
  6. animalszoos

    animalszoos Well-Known Member

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    Manatees are fed elephant vitamins in captivity, look at this.
    'One of the changes for a manatee in captivity is their diet. Instead of feeding off of huge amounts of plant life, they are given a diet of mainly lettuce along with a few green plants. They are also given elephant vitamins. This is because in the wild a manatee will consume up to 9% of its body weight in food each day. They do so because there isn’t a high amount of nutrients in the foods they consume. In captivity these elephant pills help them to get full on less food. It also helps them to get all of the nutrients that they need without the same volume of food.' - Manatees in Captivity - Manatee Facts and Information
     
  7. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    I think this text is written by a journalist, and in fact, the diet was changed from plant variety, to mainly diet of lettuces supplemented with vitamins and minerals, and thus percieved more efficient diet (by journalist), with less amount of feed consumed and supplemented with elephant vitamins. This elephant vitamins, maybe are written so because manatees can be expected to have simmilar nutritional needs as elephants, and thus it is used vitamin combination given to elephants.