Nutrient Profiles From Mazuri Exotic Animal Nutrition

Nov 27, 2019

Nutrient Profiles  Mazuri Exotic Animal


Zinc is a mineral which must be provided on a regular basis. Most zinc is absorbed in the small intestine where it performs many functions. Zinc is key to healthy reproduction in males and females. It also supports growth rate and the development of long bones, the immune system, the central nervous system and regulation of Vitamin A in the blood. Many natural forms of zinc are not digested well by the animal and in tropical sources of forage, zinc is often difficult for animals to reach. For optimum health, ruminants typically require 10-20 ppm of zinc. Birds require 50-70 ppm. Mild cases of zinc deficiency are difficult to identify, however loss of appetite is one sign. To avoid these problems and support optimal reproduction, be sure you are aware of the varying zinc requirements for species and the benefit of providing the precise amount with Mazuri® diets.

Vitamin C

Just a reminder that vitamin C, a major attribute of our Mazuri® Primate Diets, is equally important for guinea pigs and fish. All products originally used ascorbic acid for vitamin C, but we now coat vitamin C to provide excellent stability for improved shelf life. Our extruded products use polyphosphate vitamin C to keep the vitamin C level in the product constant and to lengthen shelf life to 6-9 months.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble, cobalt-containing compound that is essential to normal function and growth in all animals. It is frequently listed in the ingredients on tags as cyanocobalamin. While all monogastric species require a daily amount of B12, it is not always required by ruminants. The bacteria in the rumen produce vitamin B12 directly using digested elements. All Mazuri® diets include B12, however, because ruminants in captivity may not have full functioning rumens.

Vitamin B6

This powerful vitamin is involved in over 100 reactions in the body, primarily in the area of metabolism. Not surprisingly, as protein levels go up, so does the requirement for B6 to process it. Sources of B6 include liver, whole grains and legumes. While ruminants manufacture B6 in the rumen, it is added to most Mazuri® diets to maintain optimal metabolism. While we do not run into a lot of deficiencies, it can be a problem if animals are fed high protein diets.


Selenium is a trace mineral with antioxidant and anticancer properties. Selenium activates an enzyme in the body — glutathione peroxidase — that protects against the formation of free radicals which can damage DNA. Selenium affect areas including the liver, spleen and tooth enamel. And it is one of the few trace minerals regulated by the FDA. Selenium deficiencies include growth reduction, poor heart development, cardiomyopathy and cataracts. But as with copper, the window between optimum dose levels and toxicity is very narrow. Studies prove that selenium and vitamin E facilitate each other's absorption, working in concert for maximum benefit, a fact taken into consideration in the development of all quality Mazuri® diets. Although commonly found in grains, fish, seafood and Brazil nuts, almost all diets have added selenium.


This essential vitamin B complex, also called vitamin B2, is important to growth and good health. Riboflavin is key in the utilization of energy from carbohydrates and fats and is absorbed in the upper half of the small intestine. Its low toxicity level makes B2 a relatively safe nutritional supplement. Mazuri® diets all feature added Riboflavin at the precise level required by species, even in diets for hoofstock since they do not always have a properly functioning rumen.

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic Acid, commonly known as B5, is a water-soluble vitamin found in all living cells. Key sources include yeast, unprocessed grain, legumes, egg yolk, liver and kidneys. The general requirement for humans is 4-7 mg each day. Vitamin B5 is relatively safe with few side effects, even in dosages of 10 grams a day. Deficiencies are rare but can occur as evidenced by fatigue and vomiting. We add it to Mazuri® diets because it is essential for synthesis of cholesterol and in growth hormones, and because it is not stored in the body. Fortunately all animals are covered when they feed on a diet of Mazuri® food, the balanced choice for optimum animal nutrition.


This important B vitamin is used in the energy metabolism of fatty acids. Requirements vary by activity level: The higher the energy level, the more niacin is required. Since it is not stored in the body, niacin needs to be added on a regular basis. Niacin deficiencies are classified by 3 Ds: dermatitis (skin problems), diarrhea and dementia. It’s not normally added to rumen diets because of the rumens' ability to produce it in bacteria, but is added to many Mazuri® monogastric diets.


Most people have trouble enunciating this tongue-twisting trace mineral, and have even more trouble defining the important role this nutrient plays in maintaining good health. Simply put, molybdenum has the ability to inhibit copper and iron absorption, which is why we hear about it in relation to sheep diets. In ruminants the presence of high levels of molybdenum can cause a copper deficiency. In humans and non-ruminants, molybdenum may be deficient, resulting in growth reduction and, in the case of chicks, even death. Sources of molybdenum include grain and legume. Although not all Mazuri® diets have molybdenum added, we watch levels, especially in animals that are sensitive to copper.


Although not often mentioned, this key nutrient is essential to growth and good health. Excesses of this mineral accumulate in bones and the kidneys and is removed from the body in the bile. Manganese assists in enzyme metabolism in the pituitary gland and helps in bone mineralization. It is also very important for growth and development, which is why it is present in Mazuri® gestation diets. Added manganese in our breeder diets helps egg development and is a major differentiator of Mazuri from other feeds.


Where does iodine come from? Natural sources of iodine include seafoods and vegetables. Iodine is present in T3 and T4 (thyroxine) hormones that are the active principle of the thyroid gland. It affects oxygen consumption, metabolic rates and fatty acids in the body. Deficiencies — most notably goiters— are well documented, but too much iodine also can cause severe problems. Feeding balanced Mazuri® diets helps support overall health.


Did you know animals need adequate amounts of fat to thrive and survive? Animal fat cells are a dense energy form containing 99 percent fat as volume. Fat cells contain glycerides of fatty acids that form phospholipids and cholesterol — two major components of cell membranes that maintain the integrity between blood cells and membranes, and in the case of phospholipids also aid in digestion. Fat is also key to the formation of steroid hormones including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, and affects brain function and skin condition.


Copper is an essential trace mineral in feed programs. In the body, copper is critical in the formation and metabolism of red blood cells and connective tissue formation. Tests on anti-inflammatory drugs have helped further our understanding of this important mineral which may even impact the immune system. Absorbed in the gut, copper combines with key proteins to enhance certain enzyme activity. Very little copper is stored in the body, mandating daily consumption. However copper levels must be accurately balanced since high levels of zinc or fiber can aggravate copper absorption in specific species. Copper deficiencies include anemia, degeneration of the vascular system and fading hair color. Toxicity is also a potential hazard for sheep and llamas. Extensive research has enabled Mazuri to provide copper in the an efficient way for every species.


Biotin is a key B vitamin, which helps in the utilization of energy from carbohydrates. It is also a key component in utilizing amino acids. While most exotic animals have a low level requirement for biotin, deficiencies are easy to spot — most notably on the skin; in mucous membranes; and in the nail, foot and hoof area. Some elephants and horses have responded to biotin supplementation. Commonly found in foods such as yeast, egg yolk, rice and bran, biotin is also produced by the bacteria in rumen. However other exotics — such as birds and primates — benefit from the precise amounts of biotin contained in specialized Mazuri® diets.

Amino Acids

Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein. Twenty amino acids make up all the protein in the body. Levels of amino acids within ingredients added to a diet vary. For example, grain is low in lysine, while legumes are low in methionine. In addition, monogastrics like monkeys, birds and elephants cannot synthesize nine of those amino acids, making them essential to the animal. This means those amino acids must be present in- or added to the diet in specific quantities based on specie and life stage to support optimal growth and health. Ruminant animals on the other hand depend on their rumens to produce amino acids, which explains why certain amino acids are essential for monogastrics and may not be essential to ruminants. Mazuri® diets carefully balance amino acid levels to achieve the optimum balance for each animal. Check out the values on each bag for precise information.

---- Mazuri Exotic Animal Nutrition

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