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 re...view 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.
Our College has been dealing with the crossbreeding of two Hungarian speckled hen breeds, the bare-neck and the featheredneck, to maintain the breeds since 1977. Apart from the gene preservation, we endeavour to find the best way for the production-purpose utilisation of the speckled hen stock. On the basis of our experiments the laying hens ca...n be used in small-scale egg production. As for meat production, these pure-breds cannot compete with the various types of the colour-feathered hybrid constructions available in Hungary. On the basis of the results of the cross-breeding with cock-lines of various hybrid types for direct production purposes we can conclude that the Hungarian speckled hen is suitable as a mother line to produce meat-type chickens in alternative breeding systems.
Our Faculty has been dealing with the cross-breeding of Hungarian speckled hen to maintain the breed since 1977. We keep two breeds of the Hungarian speckled hen, the bare-neck variant and the feathered-neck type on the pilot farm. Because of the spread of intensive poultry keeping the population of these breeds has become endangered. Beside th...e gene preservation, we endeavour to find the best way for the production-purpose
utilisation of the speckled hen stock. We examined the egg production of these breeds.