Revue : Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition

Comparison of plasma vitamin A and E, copper and zinc levels in free-ranging and captive greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) and their relation to pododermatitis

Auteurs :

Wyss, F.*, Wolf, P., Wenker, C., Hoby, S., Schumacher, V., Béchet, A., Robert, N., Liesegang, A.

Résumé :

Pododermatitis is a worldwide problem in captive flamingos. Studies in domestic poultry showed that nutrition is a possible influencing factor for pododermatitis. Vitamin A and E, copper and zinc levels were analysed in two different diets (diet 1 = in-house mix and diet 2 = commercial diet) and in plasma of captive greater flamingos fed these diets and compared to those of free-ranging greater flamingos. Results were analysed with respect to type and severity of foot lesions of the individuals from the different groups. Juvenile and subadult/adult captive flamingos on diet 1 showed various types and severities of foot lesions, whereas no foot lesions were found at the time of blood sampling in juvenile captive flamingos on diet 2. Juvenile captive flamingos on diet 1 had significantly lower plasma zinc levels than juvenile captive flamingos on diet 2 and juvenile free-ranging flamingos; data were also lower than reference ranges for flamingos, poultry and cranes. There were no significant differences in plasma vitamin A, vitamin E, copper or zinc levels between animals with different types of foot lesions or with different severity scores. Shortly after the change to diet 2 (fed to juvenile captive flamingos that did not show any foot lesion), the flooring of the outdoor water pools was covered with fine granular sand. Because both factors (nutrition and flooring) were changed during the same evaluation period, it cannot be concluded which factor contributed in what extent to the reduction of foot lesions. While it is assumed that low plasma zinc levels identified in the group of juvenile captive flamingos on diet 1 were not directly responsible for foot lesions observed in these animals, they may have played a role in altering the skin integrity of the feet and predisposing them to pododermatitis.

Référence bibliographique complète :

F. WYSS, P. WOLF, P. WENKER, S. HOBY, V. SCHUMACHER, A. BÉCHET, N. ROBERT, A. LIESEGANG. Comparison of plasma vitamin A and E, copper and zinc levels in free-ranging and captive greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) and their relation to pododermatitis. Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition (2014, DOI: 10.1111/jpn.12184).

* Auteur correspondant : F. Wyss