Production and slaughter performance of ostriches fed full-fat canola seed
Full-fat canola seed (FFCS) is a locally produced alternative protein source that has potential for inclusion in the diet of ostriches. Chicks aged 84 days and weighing 24.7 ± 0.36 kg were fed five iso-nutritional diets with varying levels of FFCS. Birds were fed until slaughter at 309 days old (93.2 ± 1.82 kg). In each feeding phase, FFCS replaced soybean oilcake meal incrementally (0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of protein source). Dry matter intake (DMI) during the grower phase was lowest (1.52 kg/bird/day) for the 100%FFCS diet. Birds on the 100%FFCS also showed a 34% slower growth rate (average daily gain of 152.0 g/bird/day) compared to the other four diets (average growth rate of 230 g/bird/day) during the grower phase. The 0%FFCS (236.2 g/bird/day) and 50%FFCS (267.8 g/bird/day) diets resulted in a higher ADG. End weights during the grower phase for 0%FFCS, 25%FFCS, 50%FFCS and 75%FFCS (74.8, 72.2, 76.8, and 72.5 kg, respectively) did not differ significantly. The 100%FFCS resulted in a lower end weight (67.4 kg) for the growth phase, when compared to the 0%FFCS and 50%FFCS diets. For the overall trial period, the only differences were in ADG, with the 0%, 50% and 75%FFCS replacement diets showing the fastest growth. Fat pad weight was the only slaughter trait that revealed differences between diets, with 50%FFCS resulting in the heaviest fat pad weight. A maximum of 20.6% inclusion of FFCS should be used in diets in the grower phase, although in the other phases, FFCS could be included up to the maximum level evaluated (100% replacement of soybean oilcake meal) without detrimental effects on production parameters.
Keywords: Average daily gain, Brassica napus, dressing percentage, dry matter intake, feed conversion ratio, glucosinolates, Struthio camelus