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L/O3 - Be able to monitor animals feeding and watering and maintain appropriate records - Records

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Heather Thorn

on 4 January 2015

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Transcript of L/O3 - Be able to monitor animals feeding and watering and maintain appropriate records - Records

Why do you think we monitor animal feeding?
L/O 3 - Planning and monitoring feeding
If an animal has stopped consuming food or water, we need to know why
For two reasons:
The welfare of the animal
The establishment where the animal lives
We also need to monitor the rate of consumption
If an animal is fed via a bowl at certain times of the day, it may consume this food all at once, and very quickly

This can lead to boredom and also obesity, as owners might be tempted to then feed the animal more

If an animal is eating too quickly, its daily feeding plan can be assessed and changed
Today we will be thinking about:
Why we monitor feeding
How we monitor feeding
To see how much the animal is eating!
Changes to feeding habits may reflect health issues, body changes, competition and problems with the food itself
The animal
The food may not be palatable
If something is not palatable, it is not pleasant to taste, and therefore if some food had gone 'bad', maybe because it has been opened for too long, or has gone past its use before date, an animal may not want to eat it because it tastes horrible

Furthermore, if you have started using a new brand of food, the animal may just not like it - they have preferences, and may find the new food not nice
The animal
The food may not be accessible to the animal/ presentation
If the animal is presented with something it cannot eat comfortably, it may decide not to try

For example if fruit has not been cut up small enough, or if you are using a bowl that is too high
The animal
A health problem or stress may mean the animal does not want to eat or can't eat
If the animal has developed a health problem, it may stop eating. Some health problems may be easily treatable, for example dental issues, whilst some may be life threatening for example abdominal tumors

Also, if an animal is experiencing some stress, they may not want to eat. For example dogs during fireworks, animals that have been re-homed, or animals that have just had an operation
The establishment
If an animal has stopped eating, the establishment needs to know why otherwise they might waste their money

If an animal does not like a type of food, but we don't monitor this and keep buying that type of food, money will be wasted on food that is thrown away and also potentially vet bills if the animal gets ill as a result of not eating
The establishment
The fixtures and fittings that allow the animal to get food and water may be broken
For example a drip bottle might be faulty, meaning the animal cannot get a drink even if it wanted to

Ladders might be broken meaning the animal cannot get to the part of the cage where the food and water is
The animal
Competition from animals sharing accommodation may result in one animal not eating as much
This is especially true if the animals have a natural social hierarchy - those lower down in the social ranking may have less opportunities to feed

This may result in the animals needing to be separated during feeding times to ensure each animal in the group is getting the nutrition and energy it needs
Equally, if the animal is increasing their food or water consumption,we need to know why
Increasing food consumption:
Additional energy requirements- pregnant?
health issue - parasites?
Increasing water consumption:
Too hot?
health issues - kidneys?
bowl of water being spilled?
If the animal is pregnant, changes may need to be made to the animals environment and diet

15-20% increase in energy intake will be required

nutrional composition of diet may also need to be changed but this is specific to each animal

May also need to incorporate probiotics into the diet
Communication is hugely important

Any changes that have been observed in an animals feeding habits must be relayed to others involved with that animal

some animals may have preferences and all those involved need to know

If a new diet plan is being trialled, it can be useful to keep a log book of feeding activity in order to look back and identify what the animal liked and what the animal did not like
Diet plans
Many establishments will not keep the animal on the same diet plan throughout its life

New information and food options may become available and therefore it is important to reassess diet plans

Also because the same diet forever may results in boredom for the animal - it is nice to give variation in the diet as long as the animals nutritional needs are met
How do we monitor feeding?
Log books
If we need to closely monitor an animals feeding habits, a log book can be kept

This means that every time the animal is offered food, all details are recorded for example:
Time of day
type of food offered
amount offered
amount eaten

However, animals may be shy to eat around humans, so the carer may fill in some of the results after leaving the animal for a while
Weight checks
Weight checks are useful as they measure growth which is related to intake

Weight checks are especially important in young animals as they should be growing and therefore putting on weight relatively quickly

But these are also important in adults in order to make sure they are not eating too much and gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, or that they are not loosing weight as this may indicate incorrect diet or health issues
Log book example
Weight checks - ZSL London Zoo/ ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
5 minute break before we move on to a different topic
Full transcript