Factors affecting hatchability during commercial incubation of ostrich (Struthio camelus) eggs

Br Poult Sci. 1995 Mar;36(1):51-65. doi: 10.1080/00071669508417752.


1. A batch of 320 ostrich eggs from 9 different farms in Zimbabwe were incubated in a single stage operation and the fate of each was recorded. 2. Hatchability was only 37.2% and the result of high rates of infertility and contamination (22.2% and 22.8% respectively); it varied between eggs from different farms. 3. Embryonic mortality was high at the start and end of incubation, a pattern similar to that of other domestic birds. 4. Mortality of late stage embryos was related to percentage water loss and mass specific water vapour conductance of the shell, with extremes of the ranges causing the highest mortality. 5. Microbial contamination of the eggs was a significant problem and varied in eggs from different farms indicating that more attention is needed in both breeder bird and nest management.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / microbiology
  • Embryonic Development*
  • Incubators / standards
  • Incubators / veterinary*
  • Infertility / veterinary
  • Ovum / growth & development
  • Ovum / microbiology
  • Poultry / embryology*