An Evaluation of Browse Silage Production as a Feed Component for Zoo Herbivores
Browse is an essential part of many zoo animals’ diet. Exotic zoo animals cannot always be provided with sufficient browse due to limitations caused by climate. This is where the use of browse silage comes in. The production of silage from browse is not well developed and though used worldwide, it is done predominantly by hand. The speed of the ensiling process had to be increased. This was done by the development of the browse press. Apple browse was as the browse species for this study. Leafy stems were placed in 30L drums and subsequently compressed with the browse press. A total of 62 drums, with an average weight of 16kg, were made. Apple browse silage averaged 41.6% DM as well as 7.6% CP, 44.9% NDF, 36.3% ADF, 14.0% lignin, 2.6% starch, 1.46% calcium, 0.13% phosphorus, 2.06% fat and 6.33% ash. The nutritional values obtained from the analysis are generally comparable to those found for browse silage in the literature.