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Keywords:

  • growth;
  • hand rearing;
  • regurgitation;
  • restrictive feeding;
  • Spix's macaw;
  • weight gain

This investigation evaluates the feeding and growth of 14 Spix's macaw Cyanopsitta spixii at the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation from 2005 to 2007. The follow-up period lasted for up to c. 6 months. The average weight of the chicks, the mean brooder temperature, the number of feedings per day, the formula fed, the ratio of the total amount fed per body weight and the number of regurgitating chicks per day were analysed. Four different feeding strategies (differences in feeding formula and amount fed) are compared with regard to the weight gain. Group 2, Group 3 and Group 4 were fed more restrictively than Group 1 and, therefore, reached a lower peak weight, although all four groups finally reached the same weight level around day 100. An association between non-restrictive feeding and the number of regurgitations is suggested in the data set. All chicks survived and were weaned successfully. The investigation indicates the importance of a restrictive feeding strategy and individual control.