Preliminary results on the effect of the inclusion of cottonseed oilcake meal on the feed intake and growth of slaughter ostriches (Struthio camelus var. domesticus)
The ostrich (Struthio camelus var. domesticus) is an important animal in the livestock industry in South Africa. Ostrich production is an intensive production system and feed cost contributes approximately 75% of the total cost of production. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of the replacement of soybean oilcake meal (SOCM) with cottonseed oilcake meal (CSOCM) on the production performance of slaughter ostriches. A total of 105 birds of both sexes were divided into five groups of 21 birds each. All birds were fed five iso-nutritional diets in which SOCM was gradually replaced by CSOCM (0% up to 12% of the total diet). Ostriches in each treatment were subdivided into three replicate pens containing seven birds each. Body weights of birds were recorded at the start of the experiment and thereafter on a monthly basis throughout the study. Inclusion level of CSOCM had no effect on the feed intake and feed conversion rate of slaughter ostriches. Birds consuming the diet with 0% CSOCM had a significantly lower growth rate than the birds consuming the diets containing respectively 9% and 12% CSOCM. In a complementary palatability study, no significant differences in feed intake were observed between the diets with and without CSOCM.
Keywords: Cottonseed oilcake meal, feed intake, growth, ostriches