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The effect of dietary energy concentrations on production variables of ostrich chicks (Struthio camelus var. domesticus)

Brand, T. S., Carstens, P. D., Hoffman, L. C.
British poultry science 2014 v.55 no.5 pp. 610-618
Struthio camelus, body weight, carcass weight, chicks, diet, energy, feathers, feed conversion, feed intake, feeds, gender, growth performance, ostriches, slaughterhouses
The effects of different dietary energy concentrations on ostrich production variables were examined in two separate trials. The first trial tracked changes in production variables from the pre-starter phase through the starter phase and grower phase. The second trial was based on the finisher phase per se . In both trials, the influence of dietary energy on feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and growth variables was investigated. Additionally, basic abattoir weights were recorded, and measurements of the feathers and skin were performed. In both trials, three diets with different concentrations of dietary energy were given during each phase where the low-, medium- and high-energy concentrations for each phase were as follows: 13.5, 14.5 and 15.5 MJ ME/kg feed pre-starter; 12.5, 13.5 and 14.5 MJ ME/kg feed starter; 10.5, 11.5 and 12.5 MJ ME/kg feed grower and 9.5, 10.5 and 11.5 MJ ME/kg feed finisher. Feed and water were available ad libitum in both trials. Overall, it was found that the best performance for growth, FCR, skin size and grade, live weight, carcass weight and thigh weight were obtained on the medium-energy diet during the pre-starter, starter and grower phases. During the finisher phase, improved growth rate and tanned skin size was found in birds given the diet with the highest energy concentration (11.5 MJ ME/kg feed). Carcass weight, growth rate and certain feather variables were also significantly influenced by gender.