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  • Evaluation of egg quality parameters of two Hungarian ostrich populations

    The aim of our study was to evaluate the quality parameters, porosity and weight loss of eggs deriving from the two most significant ostrich farms in Hungary. Quality parameters included weight, length, width, shape index, egg volume, surface area, circumference and shell volume.  The effect of storage conditions in both farms and the incubation technology on egg weight loss in farm “A” were also examined.  The research objective was to impart a comprehensive knowledge on egg quality parameters of the main ostrich populations in Hungary and to compare the trios and the farms with each other and the international literature. We could reveal significant differences between trios in all egg quality traits. In conclusion, the shorter and the narrower the eggs were, the more spherical shape they had.  Narrower eggs showed smaller surface area, volume, circumference and shell volume and vice versa. Eggs from farm “B” indicated significantly greater width, shape index, surface area, circumference and shell volume than farm “A”. A significant difference was observed in weight loss during storage between the farms.  Weight loss in farm “A” was a multiple of farm “B”. In farm “B” there was a weak, positive correlation between storage period and weight loss (r=0.22, P≤0.05), in farm “A” it was not significant (P=0.52). There was no relationship between the initial egg weight and weight loss either in farm “A” or farm “B” (P=0,21, P=0,69). A slight positive correlation could be noted between egg porosity and weight loss (r=0.24, P≤0.05). Pores count presented here was less than the international results. Poultry eggs contain the most pores at the blunt end, less via the equator and the least at the pointed end. In ostrich egg we found more pores via the equator against the blunt end. To draw more precise conclusions, further investigation should be carried out on porosity. Considering the fact that the length of storage period and the weight loss during incubation are in strict correlation with hatchability, we intend to extend our research aims to these traits.

  • Studies on Ostrich (Struthio Camelus) - Review

    Ostrich has been reared in Hungary for decades, but we have limited information on this species. The aim of this review was to provide a concise description of the ostrich (Struthio camelus) based on international studies. We were to investigate some of the most relevant parameters, such as egg, meat and skin production. In this critical review we managed to sum up the most significant features and productivity parameters of ostrich and effecting factors. So as to make an accurate description of the species we have to know its morphological, behavioural and physiological characteristics. Ostrich is a very special bird with special nutritional and environmental requirements. Ostrich products, regarding egg, meat and skin are considered luxury products not only in Hungary but also abroad. Though egg has a significant nutritional value, it is mainly used for hatching chicks. In Europe we can expect roughly 40–50 eggs from a hen yearly. Ostrich has a lean meat with high protein and low fat and sodium content, moreover it is rich in minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Having these advantageous qualities, ostrich meat should be part of our healthy diet. Skin production is not important in our country, but there is a special demand for high quality ostrich leather globally. In the future our aim is to conduct a research on some of the parameters. As low production rate and embryo mortality is a great deal of problem in ostrich industry, we need to investigate the incubation environment. There is an apparent disagreement among researchers on optimal slaughter age. This is also an area for further investigation. The value of skin and effecting factors on our climate as well as adaptability of the species are also worth for further investigation together with the nutrition what differs from other ostrich breeding countries. Nowadays, there is a great emphasis placed on animal welfare too.


  • The analysis of ostrich chick vitality

    Examinations on ostrich chick vitality can help to improve the effectiveness of Hungarian ostrich husbandry and hatching technology. The investigations were carried out on an ostrich breeder farm in Eastern Hungary. For the analyses, the Tona et al. (2003) scoring system was applied presenting eight main criteria (activity, feather, condition, eyesight, the condition of navel and leg, the amount of the remaining shell membrane and egg content, and the size and tenderness of the abdomen). Most chicks (98.08%) were vigilant and had clean and dry feathers. There was no difference between the average hatching weights between May and August but a decreasing tendency was shown during the laying season. The vitality total score was above 90 in each evaluated month and was not affected by the hatching month. Our results revealed that the vitality of chicks was not affected by either the hatching month (P=0.51) or the weight category (P=0.11). Neither the hatching weight of chicks and leg condition were correlated (P=0.79). Results showed that the Tona scoring system with small modifications can be well applied to ostrich chicks. Practical on-farm usage of the system can be suggested as an aid in day-old chick evaluation. After individual marking of chicks, the investigation of growth and culling rate could be carried out for more precise conclusions, involving more farms and laying seasons.