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Group Title: Department of Animal Science research report - University of Florida Department of Animal Science ; AL-1976-1
Title: Nutritional experiments for science projects and demonstrations
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073080/00001
 Material Information
Title: Nutritional experiments for science projects and demonstrations
Series Title: Department of Animal Science research report
Physical Description: 5 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Arrington, Lewis Robert, b. 1919
University of Florida -- Dept. of Animal Science
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1976
 Subjects
Subject: Nutrition -- Research -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Diseases -- Animal models   ( lcsh )
Animal experimentation   ( lcsh )
Rats as laboratory animals   ( lcsh )
Rats -- Feeding and feeds   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: L.R. Arrington.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "April, 1976."
General Note: Typescript.
Funding: Animal science research report (University of Florida. Dept. of Animal Science) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073080
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 50681871

Table of Contents
    Nutritional experiments for science projects and demonstrations
        Page 1
        Experimental animals
            Page 1
        Feeding
            Page 2
        General procedures
            Page 2
        Dietary ingredients and sources
            Page 3
        Experimental or demonstration diets
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
            Page 6
Full Text



Animal Science Florida Agricultural
Research Report No. AL 1976-1 Experiment Station
Gp!iesville, FL 32611


NUTRITIONAL EXPERIMENTS FOR SCIENCE PROJE
AND DEMONSTRATIONS /

L. R. ArringtonI- /

Many different types of nutritional expe aya be carried ou using
animals to evaluate or demonstrate the effect of eeJf foods or a utrient
deficiency. Some experiments require extensive train a d time
but simple short-term projects may be conducted with limited q. and in
a reasonable time using small animals. In such studies a number o different
measurements or procedures may be used to measure the effect of different diets,
but growth (weight change) which is easily determined is an important measure
and is the principle evaluation procedure recommended for demonstration pro-
jects. In addition to poor growth, a malnourished animal will generally appear.
unthrifty, have a rough, soiled hair coat and may have a rough scaly skin.
These signs of malnutrition are readily observed by comparing a deficient animal
with a healthy one.

The purpose of this report is to outline several nutrition feeding experi-
ments which may be used to demonstrate the effect of adequate and inadequate
diets upon rats.

Experimental animals

Several species of small laboratory animals are used in nutrition research
but rats are more widely used and are recommended for the experiments suggested
here. Mice, hamsters or gerbils could be used for these experiments but rab-
bits or guinea pigs would require different diets.

For growth experiments, rats should be about three to four weeks old and
be as near the same size as possible. If they are older and approaching mature
size, obviously the affect of the diet upon growth is more difficult to demon-
strate. For any particular project it is highly desirable that animals be of
the same sex since male rats are larger than females and growth comparison
would therefore be more difficult.

Sources of Experimental Animals:

1. Local breeders
2. Research Laboratories occasionally have surplus and have information
on sources.
3. Laboratory animal farms which produce and ship research animals
h. Biological supply houses
5. Pet stores may supply these animals or may have information on sources

Equipment and Housing

Wire (hardware cloth) cages with a raised wire floor are best. The raised
floor permits the excreta and waste feed and water to pass through and thus
keeps the cages cleaner. Animal cages may be purchased from cage manufactures,
scientific supply houses or they may be constructed with hardware cloth or


- Animal Nutritionist







Animal Science Florida Agricultural
Research Report No. AL 1976-1 Experiment Station
Gp!iesville, FL 32611


NUTRITIONAL EXPERIMENTS FOR SCIENCE PROJE
AND DEMONSTRATIONS /

L. R. ArringtonI- /

Many different types of nutritional expe aya be carried ou using
animals to evaluate or demonstrate the effect of eeJf foods or a utrient
deficiency. Some experiments require extensive train a d time
but simple short-term projects may be conducted with limited q. and in
a reasonable time using small animals. In such studies a number o different
measurements or procedures may be used to measure the effect of different diets,
but growth (weight change) which is easily determined is an important measure
and is the principle evaluation procedure recommended for demonstration pro-
jects. In addition to poor growth, a malnourished animal will generally appear.
unthrifty, have a rough, soiled hair coat and may have a rough scaly skin.
These signs of malnutrition are readily observed by comparing a deficient animal
with a healthy one.

The purpose of this report is to outline several nutrition feeding experi-
ments which may be used to demonstrate the effect of adequate and inadequate
diets upon rats.

Experimental animals

Several species of small laboratory animals are used in nutrition research
but rats are more widely used and are recommended for the experiments suggested
here. Mice, hamsters or gerbils could be used for these experiments but rab-
bits or guinea pigs would require different diets.

For growth experiments, rats should be about three to four weeks old and
be as near the same size as possible. If they are older and approaching mature
size, obviously the affect of the diet upon growth is more difficult to demon-
strate. For any particular project it is highly desirable that animals be of
the same sex since male rats are larger than females and growth comparison
would therefore be more difficult.

Sources of Experimental Animals:

1. Local breeders
2. Research Laboratories occasionally have surplus and have information
on sources.
3. Laboratory animal farms which produce and ship research animals
h. Biological supply houses
5. Pet stores may supply these animals or may have information on sources

Equipment and Housing

Wire (hardware cloth) cages with a raised wire floor are best. The raised
floor permits the excreta and waste feed and water to pass through and thus
keeps the cages cleaner. Animal cages may be purchased from cage manufactures,
scientific supply houses or they may be constructed with hardware cloth or


- Animal Nutritionist







-2-


welded wire from a hardware store. Wire which is 1/2 inch mesh (1/2 inch.
openings) is suitable for rats but 1/3 inch mesh should be used for mice or
gerbils. Homemade cages are generally constructed in cylindrical form about
9 to 10 inches in diameter and about the same height. The floor should be
about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. A pie pan or similar container with some
absorbant bedding (sawdust, shavings or shredded paper)'is useful in the base
or collecting pan. Cages with solid floors containing the bedding in the cage
could be used but cleaning is more difficult and the feed and water may become
contaminated with bedding materials.

Rats should be housed in a room which is about 70 to 760 F and changes in
temperature should be minimized. Two or more rats may be housed together
when the cage is ample size, the rats are near the same size; the same sex and
when fed the same diet.

An accurate laboratory scale is needed for weighing rats and dietary in-
gredients in preparation of the experimental diet. Feed and water containers,
feed storage containers, cleaning facilities and record books should be avail-
able.

Feeding

When rats are on an experiment they may be fed ad libitum (free choice)
or the amount of the separate diets fed to each animal may be equalized. The
latter method provides a more accurate evaluation of the diet fed, but re-
quires more time and care in feeding. Rats will consume about 12 grams daily
of dry feed. In preparing test diets, the ingredients should be carefully
weighed, throughly mixed and stored in closed containers in a cool dry place.
Rats are likely to waste certain amounts of dry mash or meal type diets and
the use of deep feeders partially filled will help prevent waste. When not
on an experiment they be may fed a laboratory rodent diet which is also suit-
able for mice, hamsters and gerbils. If these are not available rats may be
fed a dry dog food for reasonable periods.

General Procedures -

Animals on experiment need to be handled frequently and proper methods of
lifting and holding should be observed. Rats respond to frequent and proper
handling and there should be no problems although occasionally they will bite,
especially when not handled properly. An,individual handling animals should
be sure his tetanus shots are up to date. Any bite should be reported to a
doctor or other appropriate health official. Small rats may be lifted by the
loose skin over the shoulder using the thumb and fore finger. The tail may
be held to aid support, but rats normally should not be lifted entirely by
the tail. Medium size and adult rats are held with the whole hand palm over
the back and fingers around the body with the fore finger and thumb around the
neck forward of the fore legs. In each method the rat should be held so that
it is not injured and cannot easily turn and bite.

Rats housed in groups require some method of identification and this may
be accomplished by notches in the ear, cutting off the tips of the toes
(young rats only) or the application of a stain or dye to the hair coat.







-2-


welded wire from a hardware store. Wire which is 1/2 inch mesh (1/2 inch.
openings) is suitable for rats but 1/3 inch mesh should be used for mice or
gerbils. Homemade cages are generally constructed in cylindrical form about
9 to 10 inches in diameter and about the same height. The floor should be
about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. A pie pan or similar container with some
absorbant bedding (sawdust, shavings or shredded paper)'is useful in the base
or collecting pan. Cages with solid floors containing the bedding in the cage
could be used but cleaning is more difficult and the feed and water may become
contaminated with bedding materials.

Rats should be housed in a room which is about 70 to 760 F and changes in
temperature should be minimized. Two or more rats may be housed together
when the cage is ample size, the rats are near the same size; the same sex and
when fed the same diet.

An accurate laboratory scale is needed for weighing rats and dietary in-
gredients in preparation of the experimental diet. Feed and water containers,
feed storage containers, cleaning facilities and record books should be avail-
able.

Feeding

When rats are on an experiment they may be fed ad libitum (free choice)
or the amount of the separate diets fed to each animal may be equalized. The
latter method provides a more accurate evaluation of the diet fed, but re-
quires more time and care in feeding. Rats will consume about 12 grams daily
of dry feed. In preparing test diets, the ingredients should be carefully
weighed, throughly mixed and stored in closed containers in a cool dry place.
Rats are likely to waste certain amounts of dry mash or meal type diets and
the use of deep feeders partially filled will help prevent waste. When not
on an experiment they be may fed a laboratory rodent diet which is also suit-
able for mice, hamsters and gerbils. If these are not available rats may be
fed a dry dog food for reasonable periods.

General Procedures -

Animals on experiment need to be handled frequently and proper methods of
lifting and holding should be observed. Rats respond to frequent and proper
handling and there should be no problems although occasionally they will bite,
especially when not handled properly. An,individual handling animals should
be sure his tetanus shots are up to date. Any bite should be reported to a
doctor or other appropriate health official. Small rats may be lifted by the
loose skin over the shoulder using the thumb and fore finger. The tail may
be held to aid support, but rats normally should not be lifted entirely by
the tail. Medium size and adult rats are held with the whole hand palm over
the back and fingers around the body with the fore finger and thumb around the
neck forward of the fore legs. In each method the rat should be held so that
it is not injured and cannot easily turn and bite.

Rats housed in groups require some method of identification and this may
be accomplished by notches in the ear, cutting off the tips of the toes
(young rats only) or the application of a stain or dye to the hair coat.






-3-


Experimental rats should be weighed at the beginning of the study and
at weekly or other periodic intervals. Records of periodic weights may be
used to plot growth curves or charts. For most rat experiments, the total
feeding period should not be less than four weeks and general need hot be
more than 6 to 7 weeks. If definite signs of the deficiency such as poor
growth develop early, it may be desirable to change one or more of the rats
from the deficient diet to the normal diet and observe the recovery or
change in weight. At the termination of the experiment, rats may be killed
and dissected for examination of the internal organs and evidence of a
dietary deficiency. With the diets recommended below, no internal differ-
ences are likely to be noted except some variation in the amount of body
fat. Small animals may be easily and painlessly killed by placing them in
a small closed container to which cotton or other absorbent saturated with
about 20 ml of ether or chloroform has been added and leaving the container
closed for 5 to 10 minutes. Caution should be exercised in handling ether
since it is highly flammable.

Dietary Ingredients and Sources

Some of the diets may be made with food items in the home, others will
require ingredients purchased from a feed or grocery store and more complex
diets will require purified or other special ingredients procured from a
biochemical or biological supply house. Following are suggested sources of
ingredients:

Sugar and starch grocery stores
Soybean meal feed stores
Vegtable oil (example, corn oil) grocery stores
Corn meal feed stores
Limestone feed stores or calcium carbonate from pharmacy
Salt-trace mineral mixture feed stores
Purified ingredients (casein, zein, albumin, vitamins), dried brewers
yeast and mineral mixtures biological or biochemical supply
companies.

Experimental or Demonstration Diets

Several diets are listed to allow for selection depending upon materials
available and level of student. Some modification in the formula may be made
depending upon ingredients available, and changes could be made for expanded
application in science projects.

1. Inadequate vs. adequate diet

Diet A White bread, crackers, cake, etc. plus water. No meat, milk or
protein feed.

Diet B Normal diet such as small portions of a complete meal from the
cafeteria, including milk and meat.

This experiment is useful for young students. Differences in growth
should be evident in 2 to 3 weeks even without body weight measurement.






-3-


Experimental rats should be weighed at the beginning of the study and
at weekly or other periodic intervals. Records of periodic weights may be
used to plot growth curves or charts. For most rat experiments, the total
feeding period should not be less than four weeks and general need hot be
more than 6 to 7 weeks. If definite signs of the deficiency such as poor
growth develop early, it may be desirable to change one or more of the rats
from the deficient diet to the normal diet and observe the recovery or
change in weight. At the termination of the experiment, rats may be killed
and dissected for examination of the internal organs and evidence of a
dietary deficiency. With the diets recommended below, no internal differ-
ences are likely to be noted except some variation in the amount of body
fat. Small animals may be easily and painlessly killed by placing them in
a small closed container to which cotton or other absorbent saturated with
about 20 ml of ether or chloroform has been added and leaving the container
closed for 5 to 10 minutes. Caution should be exercised in handling ether
since it is highly flammable.

Dietary Ingredients and Sources

Some of the diets may be made with food items in the home, others will
require ingredients purchased from a feed or grocery store and more complex
diets will require purified or other special ingredients procured from a
biochemical or biological supply house. Following are suggested sources of
ingredients:

Sugar and starch grocery stores
Soybean meal feed stores
Vegtable oil (example, corn oil) grocery stores
Corn meal feed stores
Limestone feed stores or calcium carbonate from pharmacy
Salt-trace mineral mixture feed stores
Purified ingredients (casein, zein, albumin, vitamins), dried brewers
yeast and mineral mixtures biological or biochemical supply
companies.

Experimental or Demonstration Diets

Several diets are listed to allow for selection depending upon materials
available and level of student. Some modification in the formula may be made
depending upon ingredients available, and changes could be made for expanded
application in science projects.

1. Inadequate vs. adequate diet

Diet A White bread, crackers, cake, etc. plus water. No meat, milk or
protein feed.

Diet B Normal diet such as small portions of a complete meal from the
cafeteria, including milk and meat.

This experiment is useful for young students. Differences in growth
should be evident in 2 to 3 weeks even without body weight measurement.






-4-


2. Single vs. combination of foods

Diet A Enriched white bread and water only

Diet B Fresh whole milk only

Diet C Enriched bread and whole milk and water

Diet A should produce poorest growth. Diet B intermediate and Diet C
best growth. If rats are started early on this experiment and continued
for several weeks or more, those on diet B may become anemic. A hemo-
globin determination could be made on blood obtained by clipping the tip
of the tail.

3. Effect of protein intake


Ingredient


Corn meal


Starch
Sugar
Soybean meal


Vegetable or corn oil
Salt
Bone meal or mineral mixture*
Vitamin mixture*


Diet A


20


* 30
10


0.5
3.5


1
100.0


Protein is supplied primarily by
intake should be clearly seen by
two.

4. Amino acid deficiency

Ingredient


Corn meal
Zein (purified corn protein)
Casein (milk protein)
Sugar
Salt
Bone meal or mineral mixture*
Vitamin mixture*


soybean meal. The difference in protein
differences in growth within a week or


Diet A


40
20
0
35
0.5
3.5
1
100.0


Diet B


40
10
10
35
0.5
3.5
1
100.0


Diet B


20
23
24
25
3
0.5
3.5
1
100.0.


Diet C
%


3
0.5
3.5
1
100.0






-5-


Diet A is deficient in the amino acids lysine and tryptophane and should
severely restrict the growth of rats. These animo acids are present in
casein included in diet B.

5. Vitamin B complex deficiency
Ingredient Diet A Diet B
*% %
Starch 36 36
Sugar 35 34
Vitamin free casein 20 20
Vegetable or corn oil 5 5
Salt 0.5 0.'5
Complete mineral mix*(preferred)
or Bone meal 3.5 3.5
Dried brewers yeast or Vitamin
mixture* 0 1
100.0 100.0

Rats on diet A should be given 2 or 3 drops of cod liver oil and wheat
germ oil or other sources of vitamin A, D and E about once per week.
These are usually in oil and may be dropped into the rat's mouth or added
to feed. Rats on Diet B should be given the fat soluble vitamins also
if brewers yeast is used in diet B. These fat soluble vitamins may not
be needed, however, if the experiment lasts only 2 or 3 weeks. This diet
should produce a deficiency of the several B complex vitamins. Individual
vitamins of the group could be added or omitted for study if the vitamins
and equipment for weighing are available. Since some vitamins are syn-
thesized in the intestinal tract, a clear deficiency is sometimes diffi-
cult to produce.

6. Phosphorus-deficiency
Ingredient Diet A Diet B

Corn starch 40 40
Sugar 36 36
Egg albumin 10 10
Blood fibrin 4 4
Vegetable or corn oil 5 5
CaCO3 or ground limestone 3 0
Bone meal or mineral mixture* 0 3
Salt-trace mineral mixture 1 1
Vitamin mixture* 1 1
100 100

Many proteins contain phosphorus. Egg albumin and blood fibrin are used
because they are low in phosphorus. Diet A is deficient in phosphorus
and evidence of retarded growth should be apparent within several weeks.
A longer period would be required for signs of rickets but the deceased
bone mineralization which could be determined by analyzing for bone ash
should be apparent in 4 to 5 weeks.

*Complete mineral and vitamin mixtures may be used to supply the needed minerals
and vitamins. Normally 1.0 to 1.5% of a vitamin mixture and 3.0 to 4.0% of a
mineral mixture are adequate, but concentrations may vary and amounts needed
may need to be determined from the supplier.







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