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Growth of broad-nosed caiman, Caiman latirostris (Daudin, 1802) hatchlings, fed with diets of animal origin


Journal: Brazilian Journal of Biology
ISSN 1519-6984

Volume: 61;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 421;
Date: 2001;
Original page

Keywords: animal protein | body weight | caiman | diet | food consumption | growth rate | total lenght

The study was carried out to evaluate the growth rate of broad-nosed caiman, Caiman latirostris hatchlings, fed on four animal protein diets: (a) dead poultry from a poultry farm; (b) dead piglet from nursery and farrowing house in a swine farm; (c) whole tilapia (Tilapia rendalli e Oreochromis niloticus); and (d) a balanced mixture of a, b, and c sources. Sixteen seven-month old caimans, average weight of 208 g and, 38 cm of total lenght (TL) were distributed in four treatments. Four groups of four caimans each were placed in cement enclosures inside a greenhouse. Diets were supplied at the average rate of 97.8% ± 34.8% of the body weight per week (average and standard deviation; wet weight basis). Body mass and total length of caimans were measured every 30 days for six months (Nov. 1995-April. 1996). An analysis of variance with repeated measures was performed. Diets provided suitable growth for weight and TL (mean ± standard deviation, respectively): (a) 2,157 ± 743 g and 79.5 ± 6.9 cm; (b) 1,811 ± 222 g and 75.7 ± 1.9 cm; (c) 2,431 ± 780 g and 80.7 ± 5.8 cm; (d) 1,683.5 ± 736 g and 74.5 ± 7.2 cm. There was no significant effect of diet on weight, but diet effect on TL of hatchlings approached significance (p < 0.10). It is concluded that all diets have good potential, in growth sense, to be used in commercial farms or ranches and for captivity propagation programs of caimans.
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