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Growth in the ostrich (Struthio camelus var. domesticus)

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ABSTRACT

The use of the ostrich as a livestock animal necessitates an understanding of its ability to utilize specific nutrient requirements if efficient growth is to be realized. Male ostriches may have to be raised separately as they grow faster; they require higher protein diets and are more efficient feed converters for longer periods than female ostriches. Male ostriches exhibit slightly faster maturation rates than female ostriches. The corresponding age at which maximum growth is attained is 181 days for male ostriches and 199 days for female ostriches. The growth curve of ostriches is sigmoid and asymptotic. Body mass reached in 1 year is approximately 104 kg. The metabolic age of ostriches at hatching is approximately 13.7 days. Feed conversion has an impact on growth. The ostrich chick (aged <2 months) has a high feed conversion to body mass ratio of 2:1, which requires very accurate and careful management of chick nutrition.
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Keywords: feed conversion ratio; growth; ostrich; rearing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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