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Growth curves and their implications in hand-fed Monk parrots (Myiopsitta monachus)

Authors Petzinger C, Heatley JJ, Bauer J

Received 5 September 2014

Accepted for publication 10 February 2015

Published 15 October 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 321—327

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VMRR.S73804

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Takashi Agui


Christina Petzinger,1,2 J Jill Heatley,3 John E Bauer1,2

1Comparative Animal Nutrition Research Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 2Intercollegiate Faculty of Nutrition, Texas A&M University, 3Zoological Medicine Service, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Abstract: Monk parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) were hand-fed over two chick seasons spanning of 2010 to 2011. Information from the growth curve of chicks hand-fed in 2010 was used to develop a feeding protocol for the 2011 season (Protocol-2011). This protocol addressed the problems of delayed followed by excessive growth experienced by parrots hand fed in 2010. Monk parrots that were hand-fed in 2011 following the new protocol experienced delayed growth after 20 days of age. However, some Monk parrots were fed in excess of Protocol-2011 and did not experience a major delay in growth. The energy requirement equations used to construct Protocol-2011 were low when compared to adult Monk parrot maintenance energy requirements. The data suggest that growing birds do not require approximately twice their adult maintenance energy requirements, as is the case for growing dogs. Additionally, there appear to be fluctuations in energy needs as Monk parrots grow. A major increase in energy needs occurred between days 18 and 23 posthatching, which corresponds to feather development and growth in Monk parrot chicks. Thus, multiple equations estimating energy requirements, rather than just one equation, are likely needed from hatching to fledging in order to ensure adequate energy is provided to chicks. More research on the energy requirements of growing Monk parrots, especially around the time of fledging and weaning, is needed to improve hand-fed methods and potentially the adult health of hand-fed birds.

Keywords: psittacine, energy requirement, Quaker parrot, hand feeding, chick, hand-fed

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