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Title: Development of digestive function in the ostrich ('Struthio camelus')
Contributor(s): Iji, Paul (author); Van der Walt, JG (author); Brand, TS (author); Boomker, EA (author); Booyse, D (author)
Publication Date: 2003
DOI: 10.1080/0003942031000136648
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Abstract: A study was conducted to investigate changes in the development of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) in relation to body growth of growing ostriches. There was an 11-fold increase (P < 0.001) in body weight between 3 and 72 days of age. The relative (to body weight) weight of the proventriculus/gizzard, caeca and colon also increased (P < 0.001) with age. The relative weight of the small intestine peaked at 41 days of age and then tended to decline (P < 0.05) subsequently. The activities of chymotrypsin and lipase declined (P < 0.001) with age between 3 and 72 days. At 3 days of age, the protein content of the duodenal mucosal homogenate was higher (P < 0.001) than that of the jejunum or ileum, but at all subsequent periods the jejunal protein content was the highest. The protein content of the intestinal brush-border membrane was higher (P<0.001) at the jejunum than at the duodenum or ileum. The specific activity of maltase declined (P < 0.001) with age in all three regions, most especially between 3 and 27 days of age. The activity of alkaline phosphatase (AP) at 41 and 55 days of age was higher (P < 0.001) in the duodenum than in the jejunum or ileum. The activity of AP fluctuated with age in the duodenum but there was a more defined decline (P < 0.001) with age in the jejunum and ileum. The relative protein content of the liver increased (P < 0.001) with age, with two peaks at 27 and 55 days of age. Arginase activity was not detected in the liver of 3-day old chicks and was not significantly affected by age between 27 and 72 days of age. The pattern of development observed is similar to that in growing poultry. There is, however, a need for evaluation at closer intervals in early life as well as an in-depth assessment of the morphometry of the intestinal mucosa.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Archives of Animal Nutrition, 57(3), p. 217-228
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Place of Publication: Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
ISSN: 1745-039X
Field of Research (FOR): 070202 Animal Growth and Development
060601 Animal Physiology - Biophysics
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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