Join our zoo community

Iron in browse vs. grass. Browser animals!

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Nikola Chavkosk, 2 Mar 2016.

  1. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2016
    Posts:
    1,299
    Location:
    Prilep, R. Macedonia
    Apparently, grass contain 100 to 1000 times higher iron (Fe) content than leaves from different trees.

    It is thus needed, grass/grass hay, alfalfa/lucerne hay, to be completely cut of the diet for browser animals (eg. for endangered okapi), and particularly those who are prone to iron storagge disease (ISD) (or hemochromatosis), like black rhino for example, or eventual future captives like Javan or Sumatran rhinoceroses.

    Here what I have found:

    Iron content per kg raw feed

    Grass/alfalfa: 108.0-632.0 mg/kg (108-632 ppm) !!!!
    Leaves from Ficus carica (in California): 4.1 mg/kg (4.1 ppm)
    Leaves from several Ficus and Spondia spp. (in Nigeria): 0.16-0.881 mg/kg !!!!
    Leaves from olive trees in Mediterranean (healthy): no mesuarable iron content !!!

    This is almost unbelievable

    http://www.uwyo.edu/uwe/county/johns...ral-report.pdf (Mineral Content of Range Grass - University of Wyoming)
    Content of nutritional elements in sudangrass and ryegrass determined by ICP-AES. - PubMed - NCBI
    http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/...8/871.full.pdf (Seasonal Variations in Fig (Ficus carica L.) Leaf Nutrient Concentration..)
    http://www.akamaiuniversity.us/PJST14_1_406.pdf
    Iron in olive tree leaves in the Mediterranean area - Springer
     
    Last edited: 2 Mar 2016
  2. HorseChild

    HorseChild Active Member

    Joined:
    3 Nov 2015
    Posts:
    35
    Location:
    USA
    Why is high iron bad for okapi?
     
  3. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2016
    Posts:
    1,299
    Location:
    Prilep, R. Macedonia


    I don't know whether the high iron-diet is detrimental for okapis, but it is apparantly for black rhinoceros - who suffer from exces iron accumulation in internal organs, like liver.

    Okapi like black rhinoceros i browser who in the wilderness eat most leaves from trees, and leaves are low in iron.
     
  4. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2016
    Posts:
    1,299
    Location:
    Prilep, R. Macedonia
  5. HorseChild

    HorseChild Active Member

    Joined:
    3 Nov 2015
    Posts:
    35
    Location:
    USA
    I can't find any evidence that okapi suffer from iron storage disease. This may have to do with the fact that okapi are ruminants and rhinos are not. Yes, they are both browsers, but they have differing digestive systems.

    Please do your research before you start posting alarmist threads. Yes, rhinos suffer from this. Good zoos are already or have already changed diets to address this.
     
  6. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2016
    Posts:
    1,299
    Location:
    Prilep, R. Macedonia
    Yes, allright, but it is better to alarm and prevent eventual chronic hemochromatosis in okapis, by completely cutting of grass/grass hay, alfalfa/hay from their diet, because I read in one research, that there have been also cases of hemochromtosis in browsing rumminants, like bongos, duikers and dik-diks, as well as in gorillas, orangutans and hyraxes.

    http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/pdf_files/117/1175862663.pdf