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Nutrition in Alligators, Crocodiles, and Other Crocodilians

By

Joeke Nijboer

, PhD, Nijboer Consultancy

Last full review/revision Aug 2020 | Content last modified Sep 2020

Captive alligators and crocodiles are usually fed a combination of rodents, poultry, fish, and meat-based diets. A varied diet is recommended. Diets consisting primarily of fish should include three or more different species of fish and should be supplemented with 30–35 mg of thiamine and 100 IU vitamin E/kg of fish, as fed. Signs of vitamin E deficiency (eg, steatitis) have been reported in crocodilians fed fish inadequately supplemented with vitamin E. Although previously reported otherwise, alligators can digest some carbohydrate; however, the total carbohydrate in the diet should not exceed 20%. Commercial, dry alligator diets are being marketed, largely to reduce the cost and to improve nutrient intakes of farmed alligators; their use is still uncommon in zoos.

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