Article Text

Observations on the commercial production of ostrich (Struthio camelus) in the United Kingdom: rearing of chicks
  1. DC Deeming,
  2. L Ayres and
  3. FJ Ayres

Abstract

Two sets of ostrich eggs (60 and 120 eggs) were imported into the United Kingdom under class 1 quarantine restrictions. The eggs were incubated and observations were made on the growth, survival and sex ratio of the chicks hatched. The chicks decreased in weight for five days after hatching before they began a sustained period of exponential growth. They reached a liveweight of 4 kg five weeks after hatching. Female chicks grew significantly faster than male chicks. The survival rates of the chicks to three months of age were 66.7 per cent and 78.3 per cent, respectively, for the two sets of eggs, and mortality restricted mainly to the first four weeks of rearing. All the birds which died showed poor rates of growth before they died. The sex ratio of both groups was skewed 2:1 towards males.

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