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 Anteater Dietary Issues

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Join date : 2010-05-24

Anteater Dietary Issues Empty
PostSubject: Anteater Dietary Issues   Anteater Dietary Issues EmptyMon May 24, 2010 5:12 pm

I currently have a tamandua that goes on and off diet. He will consume roughly 1 cups of gruel in the AM and be active throughout the day and then not eat for over 24 hours, he'll become very lethargic and just want to sleep all day. I'm looking for any information on why he could be doing this. He is on mazuri insectivore mixed with water so it is a runny consistency.
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Posts : 39
Join date : 2009-08-14
Age : 43
Location : Oregon, USA

Anteater Dietary Issues Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anteater Dietary Issues   Anteater Dietary Issues EmptyTue May 25, 2010 8:26 pm

Got similar question via PM but from a different user just the other day so will copy paste my answer below, about going on and off food.

More specific to your situation Pua sleeps all day some of them just choose to do that. She eats a cup to a cup and a half a night plus some treats. She does not eat it all in one sitting and the food I feed is not mixed with water so she is getting much more nutrition in that one cup than watered down foods. She's very active at night and plays with me a lot. She will take naps and make several trips to her food. I change out the food as needed to keep it fresh and the vinegar and thyme in it help prevent spoilage. The kibbled diets spoil VERY fast.

Here's the other info, though if he's like this all the time it may be normal for him. What is his age and weight? Anyway the info below is still important.
It is very common and so far those that have tried the beef diet I worked out have had great results in resolving this issue. I formulated it to match what their diet consists of nutritionally in the wild. Typical diets are to high in retenol and calcium. This in just one month was shown in a study to cause spinal changes and has lead to animals in later years needing to be put down due to rear end paralysis from the spinal lesions and fusing together. Every kibble I've encountered is to high in retenol(vitamin A) for them.

It's not that intense though it took a lot of work to get right. the recipe is simple(use ground meats)

3 cups ground beef(75% lean)
3 cups feeder insects(optional but ups the protein)
1 cup beef heart
1/3 cup flax seed meal
1 cup wheat bran
1/3 cup spinach or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme(you would use less dried thyme. Thyme is higher in K and iron than spinach and drying concentrates it)
3tbls black strap molasses(for iron) 2 tbls nutritional yeast(for iron and B vitamins)(They have very high iron needs)
Always add vinegar, cider preferred. I just add what seems right for consistency and she drinks some with her meals too(they don't have stomach acid and rely on the acid in their food)

Oh and a couple spoon fulls of cheese as treats most nights for retinol. I mix her blue cheese with grape seed oil for vit E and it makes it easier for her to eat.

The rest of this is just my reasoning for using it.

The flax wheat bran ratio has changed a few times but 1 cup wheat bran and just 1/3 fax seed meal give her perfect poops

I buy ten pounds of beef and then mix up a batch once a month and freeze it. A few hours of work for one day once a month is hardly any work at all.

I not only worked out the nutrients in the food and compared to their wild stomach contents but did a blood test to compare her retinol, calcium and phos to wild animals and it showed the diet works right.

Adding and subtracting the insects did not effect the nutritional make up aside from adding more protein. I have bought silk worm pupae pellets then you need much less but I'd have to dig up how much again if you choose to buy those.

I don't mix with water I just put a lump out and they claws bits off to eat which also helps satisfy their need to claw at their food source.
ertebral Hyperostosis in Anteaters (Tamandua tetradactyla and Tamandua mexicana):
Probable Hypervitaminosis A and/or D
Author(s): Graham J. Crawshaw and Sergio E. Oyarzun
Source: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Jun., 1996), pp. 158-169
Published by: American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Stable URL:

The problem with any insectivore diet is it's markets for all insectivores. That's like one Carnivore food or one Herbivore food. One food is not going to be nutritionally complete for all. First off the protein is much to low compared to their wild diet though it is hard to get it up as high as wild you can do better. Fiber is to low. Calcium/Phos ratio is to high. Retinol(vit A) is way to high(causes spinal problems, even eventually fusing the spine over time).

I know a lot of people choose to feed that way but I do think that is the problem. Several people have had similar issues and found the beef diet helped.
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