The Kenya Veterinarian Vol 28: 6-10.[2005] Some Causes of Poor performance and chick mortality in farmed ostriches in Alabama[USA] and Kenya. P.W.N Kanyari1, T.A. Ngatia1, P.M. Mathiu1, A. Oyejide2, K.K. Srivastava2. 1Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Unive

Citation:
N PROFKANYARIPAULW. "The Kenya Veterinarian Vol 28: 6-10.[2005] Some Causes of Poor performance and chick mortality in farmed ostriches in Alabama[USA] and Kenya. P.W.N Kanyari1, T.A. Ngatia1, P.M. Mathiu1, A. Oyejide2, K.K. Srivastava2. 1Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Unive.". In: East Africa regional conference, The Nile Hotel Kampala, Uganda. Korean Society of Crop Science and Springer; 2005.

Abstract:

Commercial ratite farming is rapidly becoming a desirable alternative source of profitable meat production among small holder farmers. However, ratite ranching particularly ostrich production is severely constrained by a very high chick mortality rate(up to 40%). To help rural farmers including those in the developed countries such as United States gain a successful foothold in this potentially lucrative farming enterprise, the causes of chick mortality must be identified and controlled. The present collaborative study was designed to characterize and compare disease causes of mortality in chicks in small holder ratite farms in Macon and adjoining Counties of Alabama and some selected localities in Kenya between 1997 and 2000, a four-year period. The study established that, in both Alabama[USA] and Kenya, ostrich farmers incur losses of considerable magnitude from a wide range of causes, some of which could not be established. Losses are experienced right from the embryonic stages whereby embryos may develop poorly causing death before hatching. In USA, hatchability was 72% while in Kenya, hatchability was 56% on average. In Kenya, a high mortality rate in the early weeks of life (<3 weeks) [27-40%] was noted. Pathogens isolated at post-mortem from inflamed tissues and septic yolk sacs were mainly common bacteria such as Enterobacter sp; Escherichia coli, Staphyloccocus sp, Streptococcus sp, Pseudomonas sp, Corynebacterium sp. and Clostridium sp. Other causes of death were impaction, dehydration, generalized oedema, joint infection and non-specific peritonitis. Limb deformities constituted the main cause of culling among chicks. Histopathological lesions were observed in virtually all organs examined including abdominal, thoracic and even the brain tissue. Lesions associated with circulatory disturbances were common. Bacteriological analysis of feeds in Kenya showed that bacterial contamination of feed was quite possibly a cause of infections and especially fish meals.

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