Nutrition in Exotic Animals
While many exotic animals have their own diet which includes eating other animals, there have been concerns about their diet and nutritional needs. Some animals may be on their way to extinction, while others have nutritional needs that require immediate attention. There have been improvements made to help understand the needs of such animals, but because of the way these animals in particular eat and use food for fuel, their needs are more important than ever and researchers continue to work on ways to help these animals get what they need to help them improve their stability and growth within their habitat.
There are exotic animals that live in their natural habitat and others that live at area zoos. Researchers study their eating habits to learn more about their nutritional intake. Their findings have been interesting when it comes to learning how animals eat, types of foods they eat, and understanding how their digestive systems work. Some animals eat with their beaks, others eat with their toes. There are animals that have unique needs in which their food has to be a certain size in order for them to eat it. Others have strict diets with certain tastes or they prefer to eat certain types of food whether it was fed to them by a human or something that grows in their natural habitat.
In order to understand their nutritional needs, various laboratories collected samples that include different elements such as food and saliva from the animals. Such samples help learn about how food is digested and what nutrients are used by exotic animals. Such information has provided more insight on how nutrients help such animals grow in different ways including organ development, reproductive cycle, and how their diet contributes to longevity of life for them. There are government agencies that help set standards as far as nutrients needed for the animals based on data collected through research.
Rodents, birds and insects are primary food sources for a number of exotic animals. Yet, having such regulations in place have made things somewhat complicated for livestock producers that raise animals that create produce consumed by humans such as milk, eggs and meat. Exotic animals may or may not have a useful purpose, bur researchers feel they are helpful in learning nutritional needs of mammals and birds in general. Metabolic rates and feeding frequencies are a few areas researchers will continue to monitor.