Newsletter No. 62 Item 3a
Improving production performance offers the greatest opportunities for optimising resources. Some examples:
Breeders consume approximately 2,300 kilograms of feed per trio per annum. Genetically ostrich can produce 100 and more eggs, but only when the kilos of feed have the nutrients to support the genetic production potential. To provide feed that cannot achieve the genetic potential is a significant waste of resources and it is often found that they consume more feed when the nutrients are falling short. The objective is to maximise egg production and ensure that as high a percentage as possible convert to slaughter birds or future breeders. As table 1 illustrates, the greater the production per breeder, the less feed is required to produce each chick.
Clearly production output per trio affects not only the amount of feed required to produce a single chick, it also impacts on water, land and infrastructure costs.
The same principles apply to Slaughter birds – the faster slaughter birds are finished, the lower the feed requirements, water, land and infrastructure. This example includes feed intake to 420 days (14 months) as this remains the preferred slaughter age in South Africa.
Figure 1 illustrates this graphically to again emphasise the importance of achieving slaughter weights at younger ages in order to not only improve commercial performance but also to optimise the use of resources.
Even when grazing ostrich, the grazed feed must always be factored in to the overall costs of production and optimal use of resources.