Ostrich farming is another unique type of farming which stands out of the box from the usual cow and goat farming. You can easily earn high scale of profits if you are ready to invest more in this business. One thing to remember is checking if the country accepts this business. Some countries oppose the use of ostrich meat and hide. Thus, if you raise ostriches in such countries, you cannot have business in more areas.
You can start your own ostrich farm by following below information on how to construct ostrich farm, how much profits you can make, feeding habits, breeding, etc.
- Ostriches have an advantage of providing more meat from a single hen or cock. Meat from ostriches are considered the healthiest of all.
- The eggs produced by them are extremely rich in nutrition since the yolk of this egg is the largest in the world.
- Ostrich hide is used by many industries who manufacture shoes and bags. They not only use the hide, but also the feathers on it which is known for its smooth texture.
Why this business runs only in large farms?
These are huge sized birds and considering this, you cannot initiate this business in small farms or places which are closed all around. Investment will be slightly higher than other farming businesses, since the livestock grown here is a rare one. The size of these ostriches plays a major role in deciding the expenses incurred, heavy birds require large quantities of food.
The natural pattern of their habitat forces you to provide them with a large area to live in. And also, the maintenance needs for ostrich farm are more which is kind of a drawback for people who do not have enough money to carry out this business. Animals and birds grow due to food habits and on more important factor, exercise. Thus, for these birds to reach complete growth naturally, a suitable area for them to run and relax is important.
Requirements to start an ostrich farm – Business Plan
The formal setup – You will need acres and acres of land to accommodate the ostriches you raise. Approximately 4 ostriches would require an area of half an acre. So, it is very important to have a vast area for the farm. Within the farm, places should be planned for breeding and incubation. These basic components makeup your setup partially complete.
Ostrich chicks – After the selection of land, the very next step is to purchase ostrich chicks for further production. You can either select ostrich chocks or matured ostriches. It completely depends on your financial background. Ostrich chicks are priced around $10 and the matured ones at $25. This is just an approximation and the prices change to each country and demand.
Nutritive food – To ensure stable growth of the ostriches in your farm, they should be provided with nutritive food. Ostriches are omnivorous creatures eating a wide range of food items. Here, choosing food for them is not an issue but investment on food is undoubtedly an issue.
Gallons of water – Just another related item to food. Water is a must in your farm 24*7 to have healthy ostriches and chicks.
Containers – The food which is being fed should be put in clean and comfortable containers after knowing the eating habits of the ostrich. Containers should be large in size for storing water since, the consumption is high. Water containers should be at a height where it reaches the ostrich’s chest.
Workers – The size of the business is huge and this creates a condition for employing workers for your farm. Managing them is really not an easy task and it needs more manpower. You will need labourers to maintain the farm, clean the birds, feed the birds, and also for administration purposes.
Incubator– Incubator is a place where the eggs are taken for hatching. They hatch naturally, but when it is a farm you are supposed to carry out every stage of the process in a very technical and planned way.
Fencing or a tall compound – These huge birds are not capable of flying and that does not mean they don’t require roof. Roofs are important to protect them from rain. But, to prevent escaping of these birds from the farm, a compound around is a must.
Legal documents – As already mentioned, this business is feasible only if the country legally permits. Having this, it is safe to obtain the necessary legal documents from the respective governments of each country before the start. Produce them along with the business plan if you are a person seeking for funds from financial institutions.
Financial needs -To be in safer side, it is better to have excess funds with you even after the start of the business. Every day expense of farming will bring in the necessity for a particular account for savings for this purpose from the initial investment.
Water heaters – Ostriches are birds which survive in dry places. Though they can thrive under any climatic condition, you will find certain difference in their behavioural aspect if not grown in right conditions. If your farm is located in a colder region, install heaters having water at 20 degrees centigrade. This will be the ideal temperature of water during winter.
Planning and layout of an ostrich farm
- Under the layout decision you have two choices. Choose to setup a layout where all the activities of raising the ostriches are carried out at the same place or design the layout so as to have three major divisions for breeding, incubating and raising the chicks. If the layout is the former one, keen supervision is need.
- Fresh water supply throughout the day is important. Considering this, make the water supply area available to all parts of the farm. Centred location of water supply area will be a very good idea.
- Layout also includes services done in the farm. Services insists on the installation of electric setup, gas and oil etc.
- Electric supply is to provide lights and electric energy to the incubator.
- Gas and oil can supplement the use of heaters to some extent.
- Above all this irrespective of the layout designed, breeding will require a separate fenced area.
Ostriches should be fed at proper timing. Delay in feeding might end up in unfavourable diseases and also a loss for you. Adult ostriches should be fed twice a day and chicks should be fed at least 5 times a day. Adults are fed in the morning once and mid-evening once. Ostriches drink 9 litres of water a day.
Keep changing the water when it becomes dirty or is filled with food items. Healthy and clean water can alone assure proper growth. Commercially speaking, food items can be chosen to enrich the quality of meat. Foods like maize and soya are highly recommended. And apart from these, you can also concentrate on feeding nutrition separately. Amino acids and yeast will greatly help in rapid growth.
Some of the foods ostriches eat are:-
- Little rodents
- Other packed food supplements for ostriches sold at shops
- In the process of production, breeding is the most important phase which involves high supervision. Mating at the right time is important for producing healthy chicks. A male ostrich attains maturity between 2 to 4 years and in case of female it is at an earlier stage.They attain the state of maturity at the age of 6 months.
- Ostriches are seasonal breeders and thus they are allowed for breeding only at a specific period of time. The most appropriate time is from the month of March to September. Mating should happen only in specific area allotted within the farm. This is to avoid any sort of unfavourable happening due to disturbances caused by other ostriches in the farm.
- Male ostriches can mate with 4 to 7 females at a time. So, egg production will be an on-going activity in this business.
- Female ostriches lay eggs in holes and the weight of these eggs are uncertain. It purely depends on the health condition of the mated ostriches.
- The eggs can either be allowed to hatch naturally or taken care of using incubator. Since the count of ostriches in a farm is high, it is advisable to undergo the incubation process in an incubator. This will prevent infertile eggs and death while hatching.
- After hatching, the chicks are under close monitoring conditions. The first three weeks of the chicks are spent in separate place in the layout. As already mentioned, during this period the chicks are fed 5 times a day.
- The chicks then learn to eat on their own from the male ostriches.
Profits in an Ostrich Farming Business
- Ostrich farming, though a very expensive business generates excess income and profits after the business has reached the market success. The more you invest, the more is the profit. This business is only for patient entrepreneurs who wait for profits without giving up. This whole process takes time and the profits are realised only after 3 to 4 years after the establishment of the business.
- It is easy to sell the ostriches and realise profits even while they grow. But this will empty the farm and you will be left with only the setup in the end.
- Breeding will increase the number of ostriches and this will ultimately change the size of the business.
- Wait for the right time to start selling the ostriches. Meanwhile, you can earn revenue from the eggs. Ostrich eggs are sold for high rates in the market. And from this, it is easy to get money for the everyday operation of your business.
- Find appropriate markets for selling these eggs and promise them regular supply.
- To be a successful business person, avoid the habit of compromising on the quality. Make sure you grow healthy and pure breed ostriches and sell clean eggs.
- Diseased ostriches will completely put down the whole company. If there is a diseased ostrich in your farm, treat it at the right time or just dispose it from the farm. By saving the medical expenses you will end up in a huge loss.
- Now, going on to the profits from a well-developed ostrich farm. Here, revenue comes from the entire body of the ostrich. Like listed in the ostrich products, people are ready to buy ostriches for their feather to meat.
- The demand for ostriches is obviously more since most of the people wishing to start a business will end up in chickens, goat, cows or any other small birds.
- Demand decides the price. Pricing should be done considering the costs incurred during the developmental stages.
- Feathers are bought for decorative purposes, and here you have a chance to earn income by saving their fallen feathers too.
- When you sell eggs, pack them properly to avoid cracks while it is transported from your place to the market. To reduce higher transportation costs due to outside transport services, you can invest money and have your own vehicle for delivery purposes.
The end is that, Ostrich farming requires high level of investment but it can assure unimaginable profits if handled properly. All this lies in your hands by proper planning and scheduling. Use your contacts for purchasing your resources at a lower cost. Adopt new techniques and methods which can help in smooth farming. If your farming is a success, you will witness increase in the number of ostriches in your farm along with the increase in income. In such cases, redesign your farm in order to avoid accommodation of large number of ostriches in a small area.
If you think these high-level processes are too difficult for your financial background, then choose to specialise in any one or two. It is just like how you sell one particular product in other businesses. Instead of carrying out the whole business by yourself, indulge in one or two activities. For example, invest less money and do the incubation process alone for farms which do not have incubators. Similarly, decide on small business types involved in ostrich farming. This idea will definitely work even if your land is small. Scope for this farming is increasing at a higher rate nowadays. So, start it as fast as you can to save yourself from the competitors in the future.
The costs associated with starting an ostrich farm can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the operation. Start-up costs may include the purchase of ostrich chicks, feed, housing, and equipment. Operating costs can include feed, veterinary care, and labor.
It really depends on the scale of your farming operation. A small ostrich farm could get away with only a couple acres, but a commercial ostrich farm could require a few hundred acres.
The housing requirements for ostrich farming differ depending on the climate. In warm climates, ostriches can be kept outdoors year-round with just a shelter for protection from the sun and rain. In cooler climates, they need a barn with access to an outdoor paddock.
The feed requirements for ostrich farming are:
1. A high-quality diet that is rich in protein and energy.
2. A diet that is low in fiber and high in digestible carbohydrates.
3. A diet that is free of harmful toxins and contaminants.
The water requirements for ostrich farming vary depending on the climate and the type of production system. In hot, dry climates, ostriches may require up to 10 litres of water per day. In cooler climates, they may require much less.
The climate requirements for ostrich farming depend on the type of ostrich being raised. For example, the Blue-eyed black ostrich does best in warm climates, while the Somali ostrich does best in cooler climates.
The labor requirements for ostrich farming vary depending on the size of the farm and the number of birds being raised. Large farms may require full-time employees to care for the birds, while smaller operations may only need part-time help. Ostrich farming typically requires workers to feed and water the birds, clean their pens, and collect eggs.
Some of the marketing requirements for ostrich farming include providing a quality product, having a good reputation, and being able to marketing effectively to potential customers.
The start-up costs for ostrich farming can be quite high. In addition to the cost of the land, you will need to purchase or build a suitable shelter, buy equipment and supplies, and purchase chicks. Once your farm is up and running, you will need to pay for feed, vaccinations, and other ongoing costs.
There are a number of risk management requirements for ostrich farming, including:
1. Ensuring that feed and water is of a high quality and free from contamination
2. Providing appropriate housing and enrichment to encourage natural behaviours and reduce stress
3. Handling birds in a way that minimises stress and injury
4. Monitoring birds regularly for signs of illness or injury
5. Quarantining new birds before introduction to the main flock
6. Having a robust biosecurity plan in place to minimise the risk of disease spread