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Giraffe nutrition
Moderator(s): Thomas G. Curro
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12/22/2014 at 9:21:48 PM GMT
Posts: 12
Giraffe nutrition

We have a pair of giraffes, male 14 and female 15.  The female recently had her 5th calf and is in great body condition.  The male is larger framed and has a slightly lower body condition score than the female, but is in good shape and health.  


Recently the male has had clumpy fecals that sometimes lack a pelleted shape.  Many fecals have been run by centrifugation, Modified McMasters, and direct.  All have been negative.  The only change they have had is 2 years ago being held at another zoo while we were in flood recovery.  They returned in 2013.  Their diets have been reviewed by DAK nutritionist and they are currently on Mazuri Wild Herbivore Low Starch with high protein Alfalfa.  They also receive a low starch hoofstock pellet for shifting/training and some produce for training purposes. Fresh browse is available in summer, frozen in winter, with some fresh bamboo available in winter.  


We are in a northern climate so they are in a secured, heated barn with temperature sensors and alarms. They are housed in the barn usually from October through April depending on weather conditions.  The temperature in the barn is set at 70 degrees.  Overnight one of the furnaces quit but the barn stayed above 65 degrees until morning. Staff noted the male was shaking/shivering and the furnace on his side of the barn was the one that was not functioning.  


The furnace was repaired and heat turned up to increase temperature to 75 degrees.  He continued to eat browse, shifting pellets, and some produce, but refused WHLS and alfalfa.  He stopped shaking halfway though the day.  


My question is how quickly do we need to be concerned about Acute Mortality Syndrome?  He seems much more comfortable now but is still not acting quite normal.  Appetite is definitely decreased. 


Any ideas would be welcome! 




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