The main consumer products derived from ostriches are feathers, leather and meat. Despite progress in optimizing production practices, additional information is still necessary about the value of various raw materials as feed to ensure cost-efficient production. This study aimed to determine the effects of the gradual replacement of soybean oilcake meal with sweet lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) seed in the diet of feedlot ostriches on the feather, leather and meat production characteristics. The chicks received a standard commercial pre-starter ostrich diet, with the trial utilizing 141 ostrich chicks (± 10 chicks per group), beginning with the starter phase (83 days posthatching) and reared until 11 months of age. Five iso-nutritional diets were formulated for each feeding phase (starter, grower and finisher) according to specifications for each phase. In each phase, a control diet (Diet 1, 0% lupin diet (LD)) was formulated using soybean oilcake meal as the sole protein source and Diet 5 (100LD) was formulated to include the maximum amount of sweet lupin according to the specifications for the species and feeding phase. The maximum amount of sweet lupin included in 100LD therefore differs among the three feeding phases. The remaining three diets were formulated by gradually replacing soybean oilcake meal with lupins in the following increments: 100 : 0 (0LD); 75 : 25 (25LD); 50 : 50 (50LD); 25 : 75 (75LD), and 0 : 100 (100LD). There were three replications per treatment, resulting in 15 groups of birds. Feed and water were supplied ad libitum. No differences were found for moisture, crude protein and ash contents of the meat. However, the intra-muscular fat content was significantly influenced by the sweet lupin content of the diet. No differences were found for any of the feather classes that were measured. Regarding leather traits, the treatment diets had no effect on the crust sizes, leather grades, nodule diameters, and nodule densities. Differences were observed for leather thickness and pinhole number. It can be concluded that the sweet lupin inclusion levels evaluated in this study had little influence on leather traits, meat composition and feather classes.
Effects of varying sweet lupin dietary inclusion levels on feather classes, leather traits and meat composition of feedlot ostriches
Author: T.S. Brand, J.A. Engelbrecht, J. van der Merwe & L.C. Hoffman
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