Nutrition of captive lowland anoa: a study on ingesta passage, intake, digestibility, and a diet survey

Source: Zoo Biology, vol 24, issue 2, 2005
Members of the Bovini genus are classified as grazers. Smaller species of ruminants are not expected to be able to digest particularly fibrous diets and are more often classified as intermediate feeders or browsers.
Anoas (Bubalus spp.) are interesting in this respect as they are the smallest representatives of the Bovini, being only 10-20% of the body weight of other species of the same genus. A feeding trial was carried out with four lowland anoas (Bubalus depressicornis) at London Zoo, investigating diet digestibility by total fecal collection and passage rates by the simultaneous administration of a fluid (Co-EDTA) and a particle (Cr-mordanted fibre <2 mm) marker. The diet consisted of legume hay, dairy cow pellets, browse, fruits, and vegetables. The achieved digestibility coefficients averaged 70±4% for dry matter and 57±7% for cell walls (NDF). Mean retention times for the total gastrointestinal tract were 25±4.1 hr for fluid and 39±6.7 hr for particles, respectively. The ratio of forestomach particle:fluid retention was 2.14±0.40. Additional information regarding anoa diets in captivity was collected through a survey targeting all institutions that have anoas in their collection currently. Suitability of the provided diet was evaluated using the ratio of unstructured:structured feeds (unstructured feeds pellets, grains, produce; structured feeds=roughage, browse) on a dry matter basis and an assumed complete consumption of offered unstructured diet items, with only the remaining intake capacity being met by structured items. The use of this ratio reliably predicted one facility that reported chronic diet-related problems. As other ruminants, anoas should receive a diet with restricted amounts of concentrates and fruits. The comparatively high fibre digestibility and the high selective particle retention in the forestomach suggest a classification of an intermediate/grazing ruminant.

Title: Nutrition of captive lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis): a study on ingesta passage, intake, digestibility, and a diet survey

Authors: Kaori Flores-Miyamoto, Marcus Clauss, Sylvia Ortmann, Anthony W. Sainsbury