This study was triggered by the increased incidence of obesity and metabolic diseases in caged parrots, and evaluated the effects of fiber and food processing on Blue-and-gold macaws.
Four food formulations (0%, 7%, 14% and 21% of sugarcane fiber) processed by pelleting or extrusion were studied, resulting in eight diets. To study digestibility, 48 macaws housed in pairs in cages were used in a block design. Diets containing 0% or 21% sugarcane fiber, pelleted or extrude was fed for four months to evaluate energy intake and blood metabolites. A 2 × 2 × 2 (two fiber levels, two food processing methods and two genders) factorial arrangement with subplots (beginning and end) was used.
Fiber addition reduced protein, fat and energy (p < 0.001) digestibility in both food processing. Pelleted foods presented higher dry matter digestibility and food metabolizable energy (ME) than the extruded ones (p < 0.05). Fiber addition or the type of processing did not change ME ingestion (p > 0.05). The macaws gained body weight (p < 0.05) regardless of the diet (p > 0.05), but females fed with the high-fiber diets did not gain weight (p > 0.05), suggesting a low food ME (12.5 kJ/g).The substitution of the original diet (sunflower seeds, fruits and cooked maize) by the experimental foods decreased the basal concentrations of glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides (p < 0.001). The consumption of pelleted diets reduced serum glucose and cholesterol (p < 0.05).
Results suggest that the pelleted diets were more beneficial and can be used to reduce blood metabolites related to metabolic disorders that are commonly observed in macaws.
Source: R.R. Veloso Jr. et al., 2013. Effects of food processing and fibre content on the digestibility, energy intake and biochemical parameters of Blue-and-gold macaws (Ara ararauna L. - Aves, Psittacidae). JAPAN online April 2013. doi: 10.1111/jpn.12075
Advances in extrusion, drying and cooling technology and products
Cost reduction can often be achieved through optimizing usage of gels and thickeners
Processors should carefully develop, validate and implement an effective kill step to support production of pathogen-free petfoods
The mid-year meeting addressed several regulatory matters affecting petfoods
The intent was to educate regulators and industry about the Model Pet Food Regulations
Public meetings invited comments and provided updates
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