Canola meal (CM) is a locally produced protein source that may be less expensive than soybean meal (SBM). This study evaluated the effects of replacing 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% SBM with CM in diets for slaughter ostriches. The CM was added at the expense of SBM and other concentrates, with minor changes in other ingredients. Birds (n = 15 per treatment) were reared from 77 to 337 days old on the trial diets, which were supplied ad libitum for starter, grower, and finisher phases. Bodyweights and feed intake were measured during these phases. No differences (P >0.05) were found between treatments for live weight at the end of each phase, dry matter intake (DMI), average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) over all the growth phases. Although no differences were observed in live weight at the end of each phase, the birds reared on the diet with 50% CM were heaviest at slaughter, and birds reared with 100% CM were lightest (P <0.05). Differences (P <0.05) between diets were observed for the weight at slaughter, weights of the liver and thyroid glands and the pH of the cold carcass. However, no differences (P >0.05) were observed between diets for fat pad weight, dressing percentage, and weights of thighs and Muscularis gastrocnemius. The results indicate that CM could replace SBM in the diets of slaughter ostriches without affecting production traits and slaughter yields.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher