Decorative feathers, delicious and nutritious meat and strong, attractive leather are just some of the reasons to consider the lucrative business of ostrich farming. It can also be an aid for healthier eating habits.
Ostrich farming is currently conducted in over 100 countries across the world. From cold climates such as Alaska and Sweden to equatorial countries like Brazil and Indonesia, ostriches are being raised as livestock with high yields. Because of its hardy nature, virtually any area is adaptable for the ostrich. Its feathers provide great protection with their insulating abilities; keeping the bird cool in hot climates and warm in colder areas. Humidity does present a problem, not with the adults but with the chicks which are highly susceptible to diseases that can be present in those conditions.
There are several reasons why ostrich farming can be a good investment. One breeding pair of ostriches is capable of producing up to 40 chicks per year. One healthy male can breed with up to three females during the same season. The incubation time of the ostrich eggs is only 42 days, so it is conceivable that your flock of birds can multiply exponentially in the best of conditions.
Another reason many people consider the business of ostrich farming is that the meat and hide of ostriches are in great demand. The cost of raising ostriches is much less than that of many livestock, because the ostrich is a free range animal that requires virtually no care after the age of 4 to 5 months. Feeding the birds is a much lower investment than feeding livestock, as the weight gain is greater with less feed for the ostriches.
Yet another benefit of ostrich farming is that you don’t need a great deal of land to get started. For a pair of ostriches, only 1/3 of an acre is needed for them to roam; ½ acre for a trio of birds. They do not require shade, so open land is perfect for them. A free water source is vital, however; ostriches require 1.5 gallons of water per day. These birds spend about 75% of daylight hours feeding. Green grasses and pelleted feed make up the diets of the birds, with most of their minerals and nutrients found in a good palletized food.
In ostrich farming, there is very little waste when the birds are slaughtered. This means more bang for the buck. The meat goes to distributors, the hide to leather producers, the feet to the Asian markets as an aphrodisiac, the feathers to automobile distributors as paint aids and the eyes are purchased by research clinics that study human cataracts.
There are many positive reasons to begin ostrich farming, including the profits from selling the meat, hide and other parts of the bird. It can be a rewarding venture as well; knowing that supplying a healthier product can result in healthier eating habits.