Giraffe husbandry and feeding practices in Europe results of an EEP survey

Problems of the locomotory system (like overgrown hooves, laminitis or joint problems) have been reported from the EEP giraffe population. To evaluate relevant husbandry practices and frequency of the problem, a survey was done covering EEP institutions (response to the questionnaire from 70 institutions representing 74 individually managed groups). 40 of the 74 groups reported that cases of problems of the locomotory system had occurred in their animals. Animals older than 8 years seemed to have a higher probability to develop such problems. Giraffe were generally kept on concrete (69%) or asphalt (16%) floors. Being known as demanding animals to feed, giraffe were offered considerable amounts of nonforage feeds. An influence on the occurrence of laminitis is therefore possible. Based on studies on dairy cattle, indoor sections with softer floor surfaces should be considered as a viable option for facilities were problems have occurred repeatedly.

Last Updated
January 26, 2021
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