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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.79 n.3 Pretoria  2008




Sex-based comparison of limb segmentation in ostriches aged 14 months with and without tibiotarsal rotation



R G CooperI; H NaranowiczII; E MaliszewskaII; A TennettIII; J O HorbañczukIV

IDivision of Physiology, City North Campus, Birmingham City University, 704 Baker Building, Franchise Street, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2SU, UK
IIFerma Strusi Stypulów, 67-120 Kozuchów, Poland
IIIMechatronics Department, Faculty of Engineering, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
IVInstitute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Polish Academy of Sciences, Jastrzébiec, Postépu 1, 05-552 Wólka, Kosowska, Poland




The aim of this study was to propose equations to predict changes that occur over time in the angular position of the bones during motion and the angular velocity of the bones in forward motion as a consequence of tibiotarsal rotation (TTR) in ostriches aged 14 months. Twenty-four normal 14-month-old ostriches (12 cocks and 12 hens) and 20 birds with TTR (9 cocks and 11 hens) were used in the study. Daily readings of temperature, relative humidity and rainfall, the lengths of the different segments of the legs and wings, the perpendicular height from the top of the torso to ground level and the length of the erect neck were recorded. Measurements of the degree of valgus deformity in the left foot were made where applicable. TTR hens and cocks were smaller in stature than normal birds. Comparing TTR hens and cocks, the toe, claw, humerus, perpendicular height and angle of rotation were larger in cocks, indicating a larger body in cocks. Hens were more severely affected by TTR. We suggest that the equations used in this study will assist in measuring movement of ostriches and how movement is compromised by overcrowding and TTR. Birds suffering from TTR may experience an increased degree of stress due to movement restrictions in confinement.

Key words: extension, equation, gait, ostrich, stress, tibiotarsal rotation



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Received: December 2007
Accepted: July 2008



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