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A note on growth curves for the ostrich (Struthio camelus)

  • J. J. du Preez (a1), M. J. F. Jarvis (a2), D. Capatos (a3) and J. de Kock (a3)

The Gompertz equation was used to compute growth curves for three groups of ostriches (Struthio camelus), from Oudtshoorn in South Africa, the Namib desert in Namibia and from Zimbabwe. All were reared under typical intensive farm conditions with ad libitum feeding. There were no significant differences in mature mass between regions but the maximum daily weight gain for males occurred later (day 163) for Oudtshoorn birds, compared with day 121 for Namibian and day 92 for Zimbabwean. Oudtshoorn females reached maximum rate of gain on day 175 compared with day 115 for Namibian and day 114 for Zimbabwean. Comparisons might prove important when planning programmes for the genetic improvement of commercial flocks, but possible influences of food composition and environment should be investigated.

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Degen, A. A., Kam, M., Rosenstrauch, A. and Plavnik, I. 1991. Growth rate, total body water volume, dry-matter intake and water consumption of domesticated ostriches (Struthio camelus). Animal Production 52: 225232.
Emmans, G. C. 1989. The growth of turkeys. In Recent advances in turkey science (ed. Nixey, D. and Grey, T. C.), Poultry science symposium 21, pp. 141145. Butterworths, London.
Emmans, G. C. and Fisher, C. 1986. Problems in nutritional theory. 19th British poultry science symposium, pp. 939.
Gandini, G. C. M. and Keffen, R. H. 1985. Sex determination of the South African ostrich (Struthio camelus). Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, December, pp. 209210.
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Animal Science
  • ISSN: 1357-7298
  • EISSN: 1748-748X
  • URL: /core/journals/animal-science
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