Variability of Ostrich Egg Production on a Farm in Northern Italy

R. Rizzi, M. Erba, M. G. Giuliani, S. Cerolini, F. Cerutti
2002 Journal of Applied Poultry Research  
In Italy, ostrich breeding is a growing business, due to consumer demands for alternative meat, but little information is available on egg production. The purpose of this study was to describe productive and reproductive performance on an ostrich farm in northern Italy and to identify factors influencing egg and chick weight. Eggs were collected from five trios (one male per two females), incubated, and candled at 13, 26, and 38 d. Egg weight was recorded at collection, at set, and at each
more » ... t, and at each candling. Chicks were weighed at hatch. Fertility was 69.7%, whereas hatchability of egg set and of fertile eggs were 51.5 and 73.9%, respectively. Egg weight was 1,558 and 1,530 g at collection and at set, respectively, and the mean egg weight loss (14.2%) from set to 38 d was in the normal range for ostriches. There was a positive association between egg weight at collection and both egg weight during incubation and chick weight. Egg weight at set and at first candling decreased as storage time increased (−3.5 and −2.9 g/d, respectively). Eggs laid in March were heavier and had the greatest weight losses. Results show that the main source of variability for egg weight as well as fertility and hatchability was the trio rather than environmental conditions.
doi:10.1093/japr/11.3.332 fatcat:4uu7xtlnd5aylndu66a6iczu7a