Ostrich (Struthio camelus) embryonic development from 7 to 42 days of incubation

Z. Brand, S. W P Cloete, I. A. Malecki, C. R. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


1. Hatching success of ostrich eggs is poor (50–60% of fertile eggs). The current study was designed to identify the timing of key stages in the development of the ostrich embryo. 2. Growth of both embryo and wing length during 42 d of incubation was comparable and approximately linear, with a more or less weekly doubling in size up to 35 d of incubation. 3. The embryo eye size increased more rapidly than beak length and reached a maximum of ~16.2 mm by 28 d of incubation, whereas beak length increased continuously until hatching at 42 d. 4. Linear regression equations were derived from morphometric measurements of embryos between 7 and 42 d. 5. Information stemming from these results can be used to estimate the age of dead-in-shell embryos in an attempt to identify timing of incubation problems that potentially result in low hatchability of fertile eggs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-143
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2017


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