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Individual study: Apparent total tract macronutrient and energy digestibility of 1‐to‐3‐day‐old whole chicks, adult ground chicken, and extruded and canned chicken‐based diets in African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica)

Published source details

Kerr K.R., Morris C.L., Burke S.L. & Swanson K.S. (2013) Apparent total tract macronutrient and energy digestibility of 1‐to‐3‐day‐old whole chicks, adult ground chicken, and extruded and canned chicken‐based diets in African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica). Zoo Biology, 32, 510-517


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Carnivores: Feed whole carcasses (with or without organs/gastrointestinal tract) Management of Captive Animals

A small, randomized study in 2013 of African wildcats Felis silvestris lybica in a zoo in the USA found that canned, dry extruded and whole one to three day old chicken diets had lower organic matter digestibility compared to a ground-chicken diet. Organic matter digestibility was lower when fed canned (87%), extruded (86%) or whole chicks (85%) compared to a ground chicken diet (94%). Canned and extruded diets met macronutrient and mineral recommendations for domestic cat foods and tested negative for all microbes whereas whole one to three day old chicken and ground chicken diets met macronutrient requirements for domestic cats but were below recommendations for some minerals and tested positive for potentially pathogenic microorganisms. If commercial diets are nutritionally similar to raw meat diets then they may be preferred to reduce the risk of pathogens. Four wildcats were each fed four chicken-based diets: whole one to three day old chickens, ground chicken, canned commercial diet and extruded commercial diet. Wildcats were fed daily on each diet for 16 days. Each diet was analysed and apparent total tract macronutrient digestibility was measured daily using food intake and faecal output.

Carnivores: Feed commercially prepared diets Management of Captive Animals

A small, randomized study in 2013 of African wildcats Felis silvestris lybica in a zoo in the USA found that canned, dry extruded and whole one to three day old chicken diets had lower organic matter digestibility compared to a ground-chicken diet. Organic matter digestibility was lower when fed canned (87%), extruded (86%) or whole chicks (85%) compared to a ground chicken diet (94%). Canned and extruded diets met macronutrient and mineral recommendations for domestic cat foods and tested negative for all microbes whereas whole one to three day old chicken and ground chicken diets met macronutrient requirements for domestic cats but were below recommendations for some minerals and tested positive for potentially pathogenic microorganisms. If commercial diets are nutritionally similar to raw meat diets then they may be preferred to reduce the risk of pathogens. Four wildcats were each fed four chicken-based diets: whole one to three day old chickens, ground chicken, canned commercial diet and extruded commercial diet. Wildcats were fed daily on each diet for 16 days. Each diet was analysed and apparent total tract macronutrient digestibility was measured daily using food intake and faecal output.