A critical analysis into the captive management variables surrounding the occurrences of regurgitation in hand reared Spix's Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) at Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation.

Heidi Groffen, Ryan Watson, Shane Raidal

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Abstract

The Spix's macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) is one of the most critically endangered bird species in the world and in 1990, the Brazilian Nature Conservation Authority established a permanent committee to oversee the captive breeding of about twenty individual Spix's macaws held in various locations throughout the world. Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP) successfully bred ten Spix's macaws in the 2005 and 2006 breeding seasons but intermittent episodes of post'feeding regurgitation in hand'raised chicks prompted the need to better understand and monitor the nutritional and physiological requirements of growing nestlings. We undertook a critical analysis of the feeding, growth and health data recorded for each individual hand'raised chick in order to ascertain and rank the possible causes of regurgitation in chicks. Parameters such as the total daily food intake, growth curves, nursery room climate (temperature and humidity) and nutritional requirements were investigated as well as any health issues. Chicks attained a maximum body weight of 375 ± 25 g at 45 days and then gradually lost weight until they reached a weaning BW of 300 ± 30 g. The maximum daily volume of food that each chick received was 101 ± 29 g and this occurred at 42 days of age. This was also the age that experienced a peak in post'feeding regurgitation episodes. The total daily feed intake as a percentage of BW peaked (83.1 ± 12.3%) at day 3 of age and dropped to 30.1 ± 2.3% by day 45 and then to 19.6 ± 1.1% at day 92. Detailed analyses of the 2005 and 2006 hand rearing records indicate that the regurgitation episodes may primarily be the result of overfeeding (meal volume overload) during the second trimester of hand rearing. It is predicted that smaller meals during the period where chicks are attaining their maximum body weights may contribute to a decrease in the occurrence of regurgitation episodes in hand reared Spix's macaws.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvancing and Promoting Avian Medicine and Stewardship
EditorsGarry Cross
Place of PublicationAdelaide
PublisherAAVAC
Pages165-178
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventAssociation of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee (AAVAC) Annual Conference - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 15 Oct 200917 Oct 2009

Conference

ConferenceAssociation of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee (AAVAC) Annual Conference
CountryAustralia
Period15/10/0917/10/09

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