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International Journal of Poultry Science
  Year: 2003 | Volume: 2 | Issue: 5 | Page No.: 293-299
DOI: 10.3923/ijps.2003.293.299
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On Farm Assessment of High Fibre Dietary Sources for Grower and Finisher Ostriches

P.C. Glatz , Y.J. Ru , M.Y. Hastings , D. Black and B. Rayner

Feed comprises over 60% of the cost of growing ostriches to slaughter weight. Any saving in feed costs would contribute greatly to the overall profitability of the ostrich industry. Very cheap sources of fibre are available to feed ostriches in Australia. The purpose of these experiments was to examine; i) the role of fibre digesting enzymes in improving the utilization of lucerne silage and ii) to provide information on the role of lucerne silage, lucerne and pea straw in supplementary diets. The first trial compared the growth of ostriches from 32-36 weeks-of-age fed a commercial finisher diet (with and without a glycanase enzyme) with a lucerne silage diet (also with or without enzyme supplementation). The birds on the silage diet (with enzyme) had a significantly (P<0.05) lower body weight (79.7 kg) than the birds on the commercial finisher diet (85.9 kg) after 4 weeks of feeding, but there were no significant differences between the other diets. The silage wasted by the ostriches was considerable and estimated to be about 60% of the total offered. In practical situations birds would need to be given a greater opportunity to adapt to the diet and for the silage to be chopped to 5 cm in length to ensure enough feed was consumed to achieve the same growth as the birds on the commercial finisher diet. For grower birds fed a 24 and 40% pea straw diet and a 20% lucerne diet from 24-30 weeks-of-age, body weight of birds on the commercial grower (57.7 kg) and lucerne diet (54.3 kg) were significantly higher (P<0.05) than the 24% pea straw diet (50.1 kg) and 40% pea straw diet (48.9 kg) at 27 weeks. The poor performance of birds on pea straw diets might result from birds consuming twice the fibre intake and 30% lower energy than those birds on the commercial diet. This experiment was only conducted over 6 weeks. Giving the birds greater time on the diets might have allowed the birds to adapt to consuming higher levels of forage.
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How to cite this article:

P.C. Glatz , Y.J. Ru , M.Y. Hastings , D. Black and B. Rayner , 2003. On Farm Assessment of High Fibre Dietary Sources for Grower and Finisher Ostriches. International Journal of Poultry Science, 2: 293-299.

DOI: 10.3923/ijps.2003.293.299






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