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The Environmental Husbandry Manual
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Individual Methods for Feeding Methods - Practices
Starve Days

The practices outlined in this section relate to methods of food presentation that do not require the use of special materials or devices. Scatter feeds, use of specific locations, and methods of ensuring that specific animals receive required medications and dietary supplements are dealt with.

Starve Days

Method On random days throughout a month, no food is provided for the animal.
Species Owls, Large Cats (Panthera).
Purpose Provide unpredictability in the environment.
Pro Allows more time to be spent on other tasks on days when the section is short-staffed.
Con Potentially stressful to the animals.
Improvements It is vital to do this on a random basis, as predictable starve days cause greater stress and exhibition of abnormal behaviours.
Comments Starve days should not be used during the breeding and rearing period, as animals must be confident that there will be sufficient food for young, or will fail to reproduce successfully. There is little to suggest that this method benefits long-term captive animals, though it may be a useful training aid for reintroducing animals to the wild, if they are allowed to retain cached food.
Frequency of Use 6-7 Days per Month.
Ratings Usefulness 10/10
Convenience 10/10
Value For Money 10/10
Range of Users 10/9
Contributed By Bird Section / Carnivore Section

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