When it comes to using milk replacers for exotic animals, it is important to follow the recommended instructions to ensure the health and well-being of the newborns. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to mix Exotic Nutrition milk replacers:
1. Clean and Disinfect Feeding Equipment
Before starting the mixing process, it is crucial to clean and disinfect all feeding equipment that will be used. This helps prevent the introduction and spread of infections, bacteria, and viruses that can be harmful to newborns. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and consider using hand sanitizer as an additional precaution.
2. Boil Water and Allow it to Cool
Boiling water is an important step in killing any microorganisms that may be present. While tap water and bottled water sources are generally safe, using boiled water is a safety measure, especially for newborns with susceptible immune systems. Allow the boiled water to cool to approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit before blending it with the powdered milk.
3. Measure Out Two Parts Hot Water
When reconstituting milk replacer, it is essential to use the right temperature. Measure out two parts of hot water, approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Using water that is too cold may prevent the powder from dissolving and the fat sources from melting, causing clumping. On the other hand, using water that is too hot may cause the milk ingredients to curdle or clump, which can block the nipple and strain the newborn while suckling.
4. Measure Out One Part Powder
Measure out one part (1/4 cup) of powdered milk replacer. This ratio of 1:2 (one part powder to two parts water) is recommended. For example, 1/4 cup of powder and 1/2 cup of water will result in approximately 70 mL of formula. You can use smaller measuring devices to reconstitute less milk as long as you maintain the 1:2 ratio.
5. Add Powder to Water and Blend
Slowly add the powdered milk replacer to the hot water and blend for approximately 30 seconds or until well incorporated. It is recommended to blend the powder into the water slowly to create a smooth texture. Avoid shaking or using a blender, as they can incorporate air into the formula and create bubbles that may cause gas when swallowed by the newborns. Allowing the formula to sit and cool to body temperature (approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit) helps any remaining bubbles dissipate before feeding.
6. Transfer Formula into Syringes
Transfer the mixed formula into clean O-Ring syringes intended for feeding. It is suggested to use Exotic Nutrition's O-Ring Syringes with Wonder Nipples, preferably the 1 ml size. Straining the liquid first can help separate any clumps that may have formed, which can then be broken up and reincorporated into the formula. Ingesting clumps without breaking them up may slow digestion or block the nipple.
7. Allow Formula to Cool Before Feeding
After mixing, the reconstituted milk replacer may still be quite hot. It is crucial to allow the formula to cool to body temperature (approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit) before feeding. You can cool the syringe by running it under cold water or partially immersing it in ice water. If a thermometer is not available, test the milk's temperature on sensitive skin, such as the inner wrist, before offering it to the newborn. Feeding formula that is too hot can scald or severely burn the newborn's mouth and esophagus.
Different animals have specific feeding guidelines and schedules. See our feeding instructions for common exotic animals here.
It is recommended to prepare fresh milk replacer for each feeding whenever possible. Prepared milk replacer can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Store the unmixed powder in a cool, dark place up to the best by date.
Mixing milk replacers for exotic animals requires careful attention to detail and adherence to recommended instructions. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure the health and well-being of newborns. Remember to always prioritize the safety and comfort of the animals during the feeding process.
It is important to note that these guidelines are provided as general information. It is always recommended to consult with a veterinarian or an experienced professional for specific advice and guidance tailored to the needs of the individual animal.
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Notice: Exotic Nutrition cannot provide specific care guidelines on an individual basis. Please consult a veterinarian or experienced breeder.
Exotic Nutrition is proud to serve hundreds of universities, zoological parks, veterinarians, research centers and other institutions seeking to advance the health and well-being of exotics worldwide. See a full list of institutions using our products here.
Exotic Nutrition has a heart for animals in need. Through regular donations to rescues, rehabilitators, and special fundraiser events, Exotic Nutrition is making a significant impact in the lives of animals. See a full list of our charitable donations here.