Growth performance and certain body measurements of ostrich chicks as affected by dietary protein levels during 2–9 weeks of age
The present work was conducted to examine the effects of dietary crude protein (CP) levels (18, 21 and 24%) on growth performance (Initial and final body weight, daily body weight gain, feed consumption, feed conversion and protein efficiency ratio) during 2-9 weeks of age and certain body measurements (body height, tibiotarsus length and tibiotarsus girth) at 9 weeks of age. A total of 30 African Black unsexed ostrich chicks were used in the present study in simple randomized design. The results of the present work indicated that initial and final live body weight, body weight gain, feed consumption, feed conversion of ostrich chicks were insignificantly affected by dietary protein level used. Protein efficiency ratio was high in the group of chicks fed diet contained 18% CP. Results obtained indicated that tibiotarsus girth was decreased (P≤0.01) with the increasing dietary protein level, where the highest value of tibiotarsus girth (18.38 cm) was observed in chicks fed 18% dietary protein level. Body height and tibiotarsus length were not significantly different. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that ostrich chicks (during 2-9 weeks of age) could grow on diets contain lower levels of CP (18%).
Keywords: Body measurements, Growth performance, Ostrich, Protein level.