Nutritional status of juvenile Komodo monitors
Comparison of growth and nutritional status of juvenile Komodo monitors (Varanus komodoensis) maintained on rodent or poultry-based diets
Nutrition and growth data were collected on six juvenile Komodo monitors (Varanus komodoensis) over 20 months. The animals were captive-bred from two separate clutches, laid 6 months apart. Three animals were fed a rodent diet, and the other three were fed a poultry-based diet.
The animals were all weighed and measured weekly. Blood samples were collected monthly. Blood samples were analyzed for sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), 25-OH-D, and cholesterol. Significant differences (P<0.05) were observed in dry matter intake (DMI) (1.12 vs. 0.90 %BW) and gross energy intake (GEI) (182.3 vs. 143.0 kcal GE/d), between rodent and poultry-based diets, respectively. However, there were no differences in growth (average daily gain=6.13 vs. 6.33 g BW/d) between the two dietary treatments. Blood Na, K, Ca, P, Mg, and 25-OH-D concentrations were similar across treatments, while cholesterol levels were higher in the animals maintained on the rodent-based diet.