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Millennium Post

The picky eaters

Nature has its own self-sustainable mechanism which provides nourishment to each and every life – but, sometimes, your pet needs extra care and a proper diet to sustain.

What all should be included in my pet goat's diet?
Goats need a properly balanced diet of high-quality hay, grass, 'browsings', and additional supplements. Long, fibrous food is needed in order for the goat's rumen to work efficiently.
Goats do not cope well with sudden changes in diet.
Goats are browsing, not grazing, animals and prefer not to eat anything that has been on the floor.
Hayracks with a lid and positioned at a height that cannot be fouled could be used.
There must be enough space for all the goats to feed at the same time without having to compete for space.
Goats should have access to a suitable mineral salt lick.
For growing or milking goats, or when additional forage is in short supply, the diet of bulk foods can be supplemented with a ration of concentrates.
What do donkeys eat?
A donkey's dry matter intake is higher than other large herbivores, being up to 3.1 per cent of their live bodyweight, which means they need considerably more fiber and less protein than horses. Ideally, they will eat up to 5 per cent their live bodyweight daily in feeding straw (barley) or hay.
Donkeys out for grazing do not need good quality grass and should be carefully monitored for overfeeding in the presence of rich, lush, grass and clover. In the wild, they may travel up to 30km a day grazing and browsing for food which would include a large variety of shrubs, bark, berries and different types of plants.
Overfeeding leads to obesity and heart disease, as does the lack of exercise when confined to a limited area with nothing to do but eat; and both can quickly lead to laminitis, an incredibly painful condition which manifests in the hooves and causes permanent damage.
If it is necessary to supplement a donkey's feed, as with older donkeys, sick donkeys or donkeys with tooth problems, always choose a low protein mix (6-10 per cent) without oats (generally known as a cool feed mix) as oats are very warming and can also lead to laminitis.
Lightly molasses chaff or chaff with no molasses is good for filling if there is difficulty in chewing hay or straw and soak able fiber nuts are excellent for donkeys with mouth problems as they can be served as wet as is necessary to facilitate eating.
A salt lick or mineral lick is usually appreciated by donkeys which do not have a large area of natural terrain to browse as it will supplement any missing minerals.
What do butterflies eat?
Most adult butterflies drink nectar from flowers through their tongues, which function much like straws. A minority of butterflies almost never visit flowers, instead gaining sustenance from tree sap, rotting animal matter, and other organic material.
Almost all butterfly catterpillars eat plant matter. Most caterpillars eat leaves, but some species eat seeds and seed pods while others specialise in flowers. Most species will eat only a small group of related plant species, for example, Pearl Crescent caterpillars will eat species of asters. Some species, such as Gray Hairstreaks, will eat a wide variety of plants and some will eat only a single plant species.
What do lobsters eat?
Lobsters eat crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, plankton and small fish. They are not by nature cannibalistic, except when held in crowded conditions (traps, ponds with no food).
(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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