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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Diet for Laboratory Animals

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Preparing diet for laboratory animals is a complex work and demands great skill and expertise.

There are various considerations in planning a balanced diet for these animals. There are vast genetic differences among species, breeds, strains, stocks, sexes, and individuals so far as balanced diet for these animals is concerned.Genetic differences in growth potential among species, strains, and sexes may influence the daily requirements for amino acids and other nutrients that are incorporated into tissues.




There is evidence that mouse strains may differ in requirements for riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and other nutrients. Hence, the preparation of balanced diet for laboratory animals must be planned carefully, and feed must be obtained from reliable source.
The Nutritional requirements for laboratory animals are usually studied under controlled conditions with minimal diurnal or seasonal variation in temperature, light cycle, or other environmental conditions. Marked modification in these conditions may alter nutrient requirements. For example, exposure to temperatures below the lower threshold of the thermo neutral zone increases energy requirements as animals are obliged to expend energy to maintain a constant body temperature. The consequent increase in food intake may permit the feeding of diets of lower nutrient density without decreasing nutrient intakes.

High temperature, disturbing stimuli, social conflict, or other environmental factors that reduce food intake may necessitate diets higher in nutrient concentrations to maintain adequate nutrient intakes.

Here is standard diet composition for laboratory animals-

S. N.
Test Parameters
Rat and Mice
Rabbit
Guinea Pig
1.
Moisture per cent maximum
10
10
10
2.
Crude Protein per cent
17-22
16-20
18-22
3.
Crude Fat per cent
3-6
2.5-4
3.5-5
4.
Crude Fibre per cent
3-7
12-18
10-16
5.
Calcium per cent Minimum
0.95
0.95
0.60
6.
Phosphorus per cent Minimum
0.66
0.50
0.38
7.
Total ash per cent Maximum
8.5
8.5
8.5
8.
Carbohydrate per cent
55-65
58-65
60-65
9.
Vitamin C/gm
-
-
0.5
10.
Metabolizable Energy(kcal/gm)
2.8-3.2
2.2-2.6
2.4-2.8

References
-                      National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad
-                      Nutrient Requirement of Laboratory Animals, IV revised Edition,      1995
-                     American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, II  Edition, 2006


Key Words: Laboratory Animals, Nutrient concentration

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