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Title: Intestinal development and nutrient utilization in the ostrich: a brief review
Contributor(s): Iji, Paul  (author)
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1071/EA08140
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Abstract: The ostrich industry is plagued by a high level of neonatal mortality among chicks that are under 3 months of age. Although ostrich chicks hatch with a gastrointestinal tract that is more than 10% of their liveweight, there appear to be deficiencies in structural and functional development of the intestinal mucosa (and possibly pancreatic function) that do not support adequate digestive function. There is also insufficient knowledge of the nutritional requirements of the ostrich, which results in the provision of diets that may not be suitable, particularly for the hatchlings. Recent evidence suggests that ostrich chicks under the age of 10 weeks have poor ability to digest fibre. Further evaluations have revealed generally low activities of amylase, trypsin and lipase in ostrich chicks within the first 10 weeks of life. It is not certain if digestive function can be improved by supplementation with microbial enzymes, which are routinely used by the poultry industry. There is still a paucity of data on the digestive physiology of the ostrich and areas of intervention through applied nutrition are still vague. This paper reviews existing knowledge of the digestive physiology of the ostrich and examines the potential of interventions that could reduce neonatal mortality in the species.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 48(10), p. 1280-1283
Publisher: CSIRO
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 0816-1089
Field of Research (FOR): 070204 Animal Nutrition
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 830307 Minor Livestock (e.g. Alpacas, Ostriches, Crocodiles, Farmed Rabbits)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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