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"SHREW TALK" - Vol. 1, No. 13- 13August 1997

SHREW TALK - 13 August 1997 - Vol. 1, No. 13
Number of Recipients: >227
Contents of this Issue
o Editorial
o Research
1. Re: Raising insectivore infants
1a. Feeding schedule, avoiding bloating, and 'clean food'
1b. Pre-chewed food ?
1c. From milk replacers to a natural diet
1d. Mole milk composition and replacement formula
1e. Raising and breeding shrews: References
o What's New on the Shrew (ist's) Site
o Shrew Leisure
1. Thanks, Cher Rita!
o Shrew Talk Instructions
Dear Shrew-Fessionals and Shrew-Mateurs,
Last issue's query on hand-feeding insectivore infants brought up some interesting info, thanks to Donald E. Moore and Mary D. Smith (thank you both for permission to post this as an open letter). It looks like this may not be the final word. Please keep this discussion going.
Your's shrewly, Werner Haberl
P.S.: Isn't it about time for some parasitological topics, after all this trapping in contaminated sites and the poisonous bites? I know that some mites and helminths are out there lurking in the dark...
1. Re: Raising insectivore infants
An open correspondence and some info regarding the query on raising insectivores in
SHREW TALK Vol. 1, No. 12
1a) Feeding schedule, avoiding bloating, and 'clean food'
Subject: Shrew rearing
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 1997 11:15:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Donald E. Moore" <demoorei@mailbox.syr.edu>
To: "Mary D. Smith" <v8350@bealenet.com>
Hi. I'm a member of the shrewists site, and I have some extensive experience with hand-rearing as a former mammal curator (meadow voles, weasels, and other really little things, but never shrews). I have two possible suggestions. First, get ahold of the department of mammalogy at the National Zoo (Smithsonian); they have had lots of experience raising tree shrews and elephant shrews (I know, not the same, but who knows? They may have used shrews as a model); there were two older guys, now very retired, Eugene Maliniak and Bill Xanten who took an enormous amount of knowledge with them. The department may be willing to put them in touch with you if they don't have records. Another guy is an old friend of mine, Frank Kohn, but he is more of an academic, and I don't know how much experience he has had with hand-rearing. Along the same lines, Fred Koontz, a curator at the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo) in NYC, got his PhD on elephant shrews, and may know how to access information on hand-rearing for you. OK, the second mode is my personal experience (may or may not be useful to you). I experienced bloating in small mammals for two reasons: I saw bloating in voles when I was trying to change the diet from milk to more solid stuff. It seems to me that this was discussed in the literature on hand-rearing many years ago, but I cannot remember the general cause (seems like it was diet-change, but I never really bought that for small carnivorous beasties). I was feeding the voles every 45-60 minutes, and after bloating I backed off on the next litter to once every 60-90 minutes around the clock, and avoided bloating. It seems to me the adult moles and shrews chew food for the infants, and give them these little chunks back in the next. I did this for weasels (now I'm pretending these shrews are just smaller weasels, hence similar diet needs BUT higher metabolism), but this got very messy and labor-intensive (but they survived very well). Again, one bloated (I think due to simple over-eating, not diet change per se), but I saved it. Due to the high metabolic rates, you have to be really certain that the solid foods you're acquiring are "clean" (I killed a half a litter of voles once by using lawn clippings that had been washed briefly; only later did I find out that the lawn had recently been "treated" with a biocide of some sort; made me sick). OK, enough rambling. Hope that helps. I don't have the Phone Numbers for the departments of mammalogy at either zoo above, but the general switchboard operators will get you there. Good luck!
--Don Moore, Vertebrate Behavior Lab, SUNY/ESF, Syracuse, NY
1b) Pre-chewed food ?
Date: Sat, 09 Aug 1997 22:39:54 -0700
From: "Mary D. Smith" <v8350@bealenet.com>
To: "Donald E. Moore" <demoorei@mailbox.syr.edu>
Actually, it's eastern moles I'm trying to find out about, and the shrew site was the closest I could find. With the baby moles I had, which were unfurred, I was quite nervous about the high metabolism I'd heard they have, and was judging their feeding intervals by looking at the "milk line" that showed on their abdomens. The day they started getting in trouble was actually the day they had furred enough that it was hard to see the line any more. Didn't think of it till now, but in fact, I didn't back off the frequency. Certainly, comparable sized mice would be at a two or three hour schedule then. I was super fretted about them being known to starve quickly as adults, so may have overdone it from being focused on that. Have learned with mice once they have a little size, to pace their feedings to when they start getting restless and searching. Was afraid to trust that sort of signal with the moles. Offhand, at what stage of development would mole mums be adding pre-chewed side dishes to meals, or would that be present from the beginning?? Would beef baby food be a reasonable thing to try, or minced earthworms? Is saliva a necessary ingredient? (If yes, hope you're kidding!) Here you so kindly answer a couple of questions, and get a bucketful slung back again! Thank you so much! This is rather like solving a mystery, and you're a wonderful "break" in the case!!! Best wishes, Mary
1c) From milk replacers to a natural diet
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 1997 14:33:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Donald E. Moore" <demoorei@mailbox.syr.edu>
To: "Mary D. Smith" <v8350@bealenet.com>
I had experience with adult star-nosed moles. Each mole is, of course, different, and has specific diet needs; I assume the mum comes back with her normal diet, ready to be given to the kids. But backing up... I have used Evaporated milk and water cut to an "appropriate" strength (Yes, I guess the strength based on metabolic rate and published milk analyses) to successfully raise mammal babies to weaning age. The new Multimilk milk replacer has been a real boon, since you can call their technical center for advice on ratios and all that. So, I have used that in the last five years for everything from the small stuff to reindeer and elk calves. Works really nicely, but you still have to figure out feeding schedules... So, at weaning. Yup, I used Gerber baby beef stuff for the little weasels I had. It seems highly digestible, and I start slowly, mixing it in with the milk a little at a time at first. I also watch the milk line or degree of fullness in the stomach to figure amounts and timing. I get really nervous when the little guys' guts don't go down "quickly" (relatively, between feedings), and have either backed off on the next feeding or increased anal stimulation (like with baby bats, which however would have a lower metabolic rate at the same body size). Following the baby beef junk, I have mixed in the natural diet a little at a time until it becomes 100% natural diet. When we rehabbed the adult moles, we used a shotgun approach on diet after checking the literature on stomach contents (I used Hamilton's "Mammals of the Eastern United States" for a quick and dirty reference): if it was July, and July stomach contents were worms, grubs and crayfish, we would feed live worms and injured crayfish in a shallow dish that the beastie could easily find while working its way through the enclosure litter (fresh grass). Seemed to work, and we just had to keep up with the feeding rate for these adult animals (about their body weight in worms daily). Well, that's all I have off the top. Feel free to ask more questions if I've confused the issue. Good luck, Don Moore/Vertebrate Behavior Lab/SUNY-ESF, Syracuse
1d) Mole milk composition and replacement formula
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 18:36:38 -0700
From: "Mary D. Smith" <v8350@bealenet.com>
To: The Shrew Site <shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at>
Subject: Re: Mole care reply
At D. Moore's suggestion, I spoke with Pet-Ag who make milk replacers and they were very ready to give specific ratios of of fat, protein etc. for various mole species' milk. (I did not ask who milked the moles to obtain samples!)
Their recommendation is, to me, rather startling:
Eastern mole milk: 51.2% protein 30.2% fat 14.9% lactose 21.5% solids
Pet-Ag replacement formula: 13.4 Parts 30-55 Multi-Milk 4 parts 42-25 Esbilac (canned form) Above combination to be mixed 1 part to 1 1/2 parts water. No wonder they don't live on a rodent-style formula! They are doing further checking and will be sending more info., so this may not be the final word. Also, the other sources Don suggested may have approaches also. (Have some baby squirrels just now who are FULL of ideas about everything!)
Thank you for posting my questions. It's been two months I've been searching for the information you brought me in two days! Am still following up the leads furnished and will make a summary for other rehabilitators and your file. Need moles to help now and verify!!!
Mary _______________________________________________________________________
1e) Raising and breeding shrews: References
From: Werner Haberl
Some references selected from 'The Shrew Bibliography'
339 Baxter, R.M. 1993 Fostering in southern African Soricidae. Acta Theriologica 38(4): 451-452.
The successful raising one young of one female Crocidura f. flavescens by another is reported. Attempts at using C. h. hirta and Myosorex varius as foster parents, and as well as at hand rearing of C. f. flavescens were unsuccessful. An attempt is made to explain the significance of this occurrence.
442 Blus, L.J. 1971 Reproduction and survival of short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) in captivity. Lab. Anim. Sci. 21(6): 884-891. 443 Blus, L.J., D.A. Johnson 1969 Adoption of a nestling house mouse by a female short-tailed shrew. The American Midland Naturalist 81: 583-584. Two mice killed, one survived for six days before dying.
662 Buttler, G. 1953 Ein Beitrag zur Sexualbiologie der Insectivoren unter besonderer Beruecksichtigung der Accessorischen Druesen der Soriciden Crocidura leucodon Herm. und Crocidura russula Herm. Unpublished Thesis, Technische Hochschule Carolo-Wilhelmina, Braunschweig (27. Oct. 1953), Germany, 94 pp. 1034 Dehnel, A. 1952 The biology of breeding of the common shrew S. araneus L. in laboratory conditions. Ann. Univ. M. Curie Sklod. Sect. C 6: 359-376 (Manuskript: German). 1178 Dryden, G.L. 1980 Observations of Mus musculus raised by Suncus murinus. Z. Säugetierk. 45: 249-250. 1187 Dryden, G.L., R.R. Anderson 1978 Milk composition and its relation to growth rate in the musk shrew, Suncus murinus. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 60A: 213-216. 1643 Genoud, M. 1989 Energy and water transfer through milk in shrews. Fifth International Theriological Congress, Rome, 22.8-29.8.1989. Abstract of Papers and Posters, Vol. II.: 659. 1839 Gruenwald, A., F.P. Moehres 1974 Beobachtungen zur Jugendentwicklung und Karawanenbildung bei Weisszahnspitzmaeusen (Soricidae-Crocidurinae). Z. Säugetierk. 39: 321-337. 2159 Hellwing, S. 1973 The postnatal development of the white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula monacha in captivity. Z. Säugetierk. 38: 257-270.
3560 Michalak, I. 1982 Reproduction and behaviour of the Mediterranean water shrew under laboratory conditions. Säugetierk. Mitt. 30(4): 307-310. 3562 Michalak, I. 1983 Reproduction, maternal and social behaviour of the European water shrew under laboratory conditions. Acta Theriol. 28(1): 3-24. 3566 Michalak, I. 1987 Keeping and breeding the Eurasian water shrew Neomys fodiens under laboratory conditions. Int. Zoo. Yb. 26: 223-228 (1987). 3584 Miller Ben Shaul, D. 1962 Notes on hand-rearing various species of mammals. Int. Zool. Yb. 4: 300-. 3586 Miller Ben Shaul, D. 1962 The composition of the milk of wild animals. Int. Zool. Yb. 4: 333-342.
3585 Miller Ben Shaul, D. 1962 Short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) in captivity. Int. Zool. Yb. 4: 121-122.
3709 Mover, H., A. Ar, S. Hellwing 1989 Energetic costs of lactation with and without simultaneous pregnancy in the white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula monacha. Physiological Zoology 62(4): 919-936.
Milk composition, gas exchange, and energy intake in food were measured in Crocidura russula monacha, in lacating females (LF) and in simultaneously lactating and pregnant females (LPF). Milk contained 51.2% +- 11.3 SD solids and 9.4% +- 1.0 SD proteins. Milk fat increased from 28.5% +- 0.46 SD on day 2 of lactation to 42.6% +- 3.5 SD on day 20. Lactose decreased from 3%-8% during the first week of lactation to 2%-4% at the end. Energy content of milk paralleled fat concentration, increasing from 14.86 kJ cntdot g-1 +- 0.4 SD to 17.92 kJ cntdot g-1 +- 1.04 SD. Mass-specific oxygen consumption rate (ovrhdot MspO-2) of the LF reached a peak value of 3.68 mL cntdot (g cntdot h)-1 +- 0.58 SD on days 6-8 of lactation, then declined to the nonreproductive value on day 16(2.48 mL cntdot (g cntdot h)-1). The ovrhdot MspO-2 of the LPF remained unchanged throughout lactation at 2.75 mL cntdot (g cntdot h)-1 +- 0.47 SD. Energy intake in food in both LF and LPF increased daily depending on litter size. In a one-pup litter it increased from 31.4 kJ cntdot d-1 +- 4.4 SD to 62.3 kJ cntdot d-1 +- 11.2 SD on day 10, whereas in a four-pup litter it increased from 53.0 kJ cntdot d+1 +- 7.5 SD to 119.3 kJ cntdot d-1 +- 19.2 SD on day 10. The milk with moderate protein and high fat content suits the fast growth rate and heat loss of the pups. Although lactation imposes a severe energy load on the LF, this burden is mainly expressed by the up to fivefold increase in energy intake in food where ovrhdot MspO-2 increases only up to 1.5 times the normal value. The energy requirements of simultaneous lactation and pregnancy are not simple additives. They seem to overlap partially and thus are energetically less demanding.
3853 Niethammer, G. 1950 Zur Jungenpflege und Orientierung der Hausspitzmaus (Crocidura russula Herm.). Bonn. Zool. Beitr. 1(2-4): 117-125. 5780 Wahlstroem, A. 1928 Beitraege zur Biologie von Sorex vulgaris L. Z. Säugetierk. 3: 284-295.
Haberl, W. (1996): Fostering in European common shrews Sorex araneus (Soricidae, Insectivora). Acta Theriologica 41(4): 433-438.
The successful rearing of young Sorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758 by conspecific foster mothers is reported. Nursing shrews showed no aversion towards the presence of strange young in the nest, irrespective of age and size differences, as well as non-familiar odours of these young.
WH - The Shrew Bibliography - shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at _______________________________________________________________________
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Date: Sun, 10 Aug 1997 19:37:06 -0700
From: "Eileen M. O'Brien" <ObrienEM@mda.state.md.us>
Organization: Maryland Department of Agriculture
Subject: Thanks, Cher Rita!
I loved Cher Rita Jones' Shrew Art! Upon seeing it, I laughed aloud with glee. It's lovely!
This refers to a picture at: http://members.vienna.at/shrew/leisure3.html
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