Carcass and muscle yields of ostriches as influenced by genotype
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ABSTRACT: Live, carcass, leg and muscle weight (kg) as well as dressing percentage were compared between South African Black (Struthio camelus var. domesticus) ostriches, purebred Zimbabwean Blue Neck (Struthio camelus australis) ostriches and the progeny of Zimbabwean Blue Neck males crossed with South African Black females, commercially slaughtered at 14 months of age. South African Black ostriches had the lowest live (84.9 kg) and carcass (43.3 kg) weights, compared to Zimbabwean Blue Necks (100.9 and 51.2 kg, respectively). In general, crossbred birds resembled Zimbabwean Blue Necks more closely for the quantitative meat traits. However, dressing percentage (51.1%) and yields of different carcass components (bone, leg) did not differ between genotypes. Six of the major muscles present in the ostrich leg (M. gastrocnemius, M. femorotibialis accessorius, M. iliotibialis cranialis, M. iliotibialis lateralis, M. iliofibularis and M. iliofemoralis) showed significant weight differences between genotypes, with South African Black ostriches yielding the lowest values.