A population of black-necked swans (Cygnus melanocoryphus) residing in a perturbed habitat revealed a low body mass, malnutrition, and hyperferremia during 2005; the swans main dietary item, Egeria densa, was lost during an environmental crisis which occurred in 2004. The objective of this study was to monitor the diet and nutritional status of this population during 2006, as well as to verify how the consumption of sediment, as part of their new diet, may explain the mineral disorders observed in these birds. Results revealed that swans increased their body mass and had an adequate protein, lipid, and iron metabolism, in spite of the fact that they maintained the same new diet (sediment and roots) during 2005–2006. In addition, transferrine saturation was indicative of the high endogenous iron load in birds which agrees with the high iron load of their environment. On the other hand, the consumption of the Cayumapu River sediment in the diet (25%) did not affect the body mass nor the nutritional and hepatic function in domestic geese over a 45-day period.
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Vol. 40 • No. 4