Showing posts with label Ostrich. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ostrich. Show all posts

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Ostriches (Struthio camelus) on a farm in New ...
Ostriches (Struthio camelus) on a farm in New Zealand's Waikato region.
(Photo credit: 

Have you ever seen an ostrich? Do you know that ostriches are the largest birds in the world? Yes, ostriches are birds but they have lost their ability to fly. Ostriches are long necked, long legged, giant birds. I'll bet you didn't know that ostriches can run up to 40 miles per hour and live for over 50 years.

For many different reasons, ostrich farming is spread all over the world. The first reason and the most prominent is that ostriches have very healthy meat. Ostrich meat is low fat, low cholesterol, and even low calorie. Ostrich meat is a healthier choice than beef or chicken. That is why many people choose ostrich meat for their diets.

The ostrich feathers are very beautiful. That is why they are desired from many of us. The ostrich's leather is even more desirable. Only the ostrich farming produces this leather. Ostrich's leather is soft but strong and it very famous with its distinctive quill patterns. The greater parts of ostrich farming profits come from ostrich's leather sales.

Ostrich farming is very lucrative because ostrich feathers and ostrich oil are much-desired products. In order to produce them, however, many ostriches are needed. That is why often ostrich farming does not focus on production of ostrich feather and oil. Too many livestock is necessary for the ostriches to complete even one order.

Ostrich farming is probably more moneymaking business than farming cattle. Ostriches are very fertile. They can produce more than 40 young animals per year. Bird's gestation period is about 42 days. Ostriches can be bred for over 30 years. You can calculate how many young ostriches ostrich farming can produce per year.

Ostriches are usually bred in pairs, in trios or in colonies. The male ostrich is able to serve to two or three females. The female ostriches lay the eggs but they often take breaks before they continue lying.

Nowadays it is very popular to talk about environmentally friendly ostrich farming. This type of ostrich farming gains more and more speed lately. Environmentally friendly ostrich farming means that farmers use a method of breeding that is environmentally friendly. Ostriches are given no steroids, antibiotics, or hormones. Animals are not forced to eat against their will. They are left to roam freely and to eat natural food.

However, birds in ostrich farming are still slaughtered and sold for profit.

Ostrich farming encounters some problems. The first one is that birds are often fed poorly and improperly. Ostrich farming does not take enough care of the birds. Many farmers experience problems with selling their products, as marketing is a problem for them.

Ostrich farming is a really wonderful alternative to cattle farming. Ostriches are beautiful birds if you enjoy watching them. Ostrich farming is an enchanting and profitable industry.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Interesting Information About OSTRICHES

Male and Female ostriches Cape Point
Male and Female ostriches Cape Point (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The ostrich is the largest of living birds. Adult males stand 8 feet tall and weigh more than 300 pounds; the hens are slightly smaller. Six geographical rates differ from one another slightly in size, in skin color of the bare thighs, head, and neck, and in the size and texture of their eggs. These are all members of a single species, the only representative of their order. Until recently Ostriches ranged from the Arabian and Sahara deserts southward throughout Africa.

Ostriches live in open, arid country and usually travel in bands of 10 to 50 birds. They congregate with gnus, zebras, antelopes, and other large grazing mammals in a sort of mutual alliance. The browsing animals stir up insects, small reptiles, and rodents for the ostriches. The ostriches, in turn, with their advantageous height, spot approaching danger. Ostriches also eat fruit, plants, and seeds.

Ostriches have managed to survive on a continent teeming with large predators partly by being alert and shy, partly by their fighting skill, but mainly by their speed. Tales of their running at 60 miles per hour are exaggerated. Pacing with cars shows about half that speed to be their maximum. Though they prefer to run from danger, ostriches will fight when cornered and can be formidable antagonists. They fight with their feet, kicking out and down with vicious slashes of their heavy claws that can easily rip a lion or a man wide open.

The ostrich is the only bird that has lost two of the four toes which most modern birds have. One of these two remaining toes is much smaller than the other, and it too may be disappearing in the evolutionary process of developing a single-toed hoof, as the horse did not so long ago.

As befits the largest of birds, ostrich lays the largest egg of any living bird. Oddly enough, the ostrich egg is one of the smallest in relation to the size of the bird laying it. From 6 to 8 inches long and weighing up to 3 pounds, it is only one percent of the female's weight. The eggs vary from white to yellowish, and their hard shiny surface is pitted with superficial pores of different sizes and shapes.

For a nest, the female ostrich scrapes out a large depression in the sand in which she lays 10 to 12 eggs. Nests with 25 to 30 eggs result from several females laying in them. The frequency of such nests has given rise to the common belief that the ostrich is polygamous, which has yet to be proved. As in most ratites the cock does most of the incubating and sits on the eggs faithfully each night. The ostrich hen also incubates, always by day when her duller color has a protective advantage. Often the eggs are left partly covered with sand in the daytime for the sun to keep warm.

The incubation is 40 to 42 days. The sturdy, dappled chicks, after a short rest from their labors of pecking into the world, are soon able to travel with their parents. About a foot tall, when hatched, they grow about a foot a month until they reach 5 to 6 feet when the growth rate slows down. It takes an ostrich 3 to 4 years to mature fully.

Though able to run vigorously soon after hatching, the chicks usually stretch out flat, when danger threatens, necks extended, and "play possum." The chicks' well-known habit of feigning death probably was the origin of the oft-repeated canard that ostriches bury their heads in the sand at the approach of danger. This, of course, just isn't so.

Ostriches were large and conspicuous residents of the land that cradled our civilization, south, and east of the Mediterranean. Here they have left their record since the dawn of history. Ostrich-egg cups have been found in Assyrian graves dated 3,000 B.C. Ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Greeks also found the strong shells made handy utensils.

In the Roman Empire, the roast ostrich was considered a fitting main course for the Emperor's feasts. Roman physicians used ostrich fat as a drug and prescribed the gizzard stones as a remedy for eye diseases. One ancient and enduring folktale, recorded in the medieval herbals and even mentioned by Shakespeare, is the belief that ostriches can digest metal. This, like the head-burying legend, has some basis in fact. Captive ostriches are attracted by shinning objects and will swallow watches, brooches, bottle tops, and small pieces of metal or glass left within reach. Unless these have sharp points, such items in their diet probably do the birds little harm. They remain in the gizzard to be slowly ground down with the stones the birds swallow to aid their digestion.

Ostriches domesticate readily and do well in captivity, where they have been found to live about 50 years. They have been trained for riding and to pull carts but do not make good draft animals because they tire easily and send squat down and quit. Inclined to be bad-tempered, they make untrustworthy as well as ungainly pets. The voice of the ostrich is a loud hiss and a booming roar.
Ostrich plumes have found a ready market since the days of the Crusades when knights used them to decorate their helmets (this was probably the origin of their use as a heraldic symbol). The plumes reached their height of fashion in the late 19th century when they bought from 50 to 100 per pound. As the supply of wild plumes dwindled, it became profitable to raise ostriches in captivity, for a full-grown male bird produces about a pound of plumes annually.

The plumes of commerce grow only on the wings and tail. The 16 wings on each wing are purely decorative and dangle and flap crazily in the wind, as the bird runs. The 50 to 60 tail plumes grow in layers above the 14 or so true tail feathers. When mature, the feathers are harvested without harm to the bird, which grows a new set each year.

Ostrich farms were first established in Africa in the 1860s. Ostriches were first taken to America in the 1880s, where they were raised first in California, then in Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Florida. The market is no longer as lucrative for plumes as it was 70 years ago, and today the birds are kept mainly in zoos. Their skin makes a fine, soft leather in some demand for some gloves and purses.

    By Waleed Khalid Shaikh
    Hi, This is Waleed and I'm one of the wildlife enthusiasts and I'm striving to disseminate love for animals which is also reflected in my blogs. How about reading some of the most interesting Bald Eagle Facts For Kids.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

Friday, September 15, 2017

An Introduction to the History of OSTRICH Farming

Ostrich farming in the Eastern Cape of South Africa started in the early years of the 19th century. This was as a result of the high demand for ostrich feathers for use in the fashion industry.

Ostriches near Swartberg Pass, Oudtshoorn, Wes...
Ostriches near Swartberg Pass, Oudtshoorn, Western Cape (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enormous tracts of land in the Klein Karoo, outside Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, were fenced off and planted under Lucerne. Now the ostriches were within easy reach instead of having to hunt for them in the wild to harvest the ostrich feathers. Now the ostrich feathers were gathered yearly instead of shooting the birds.

Ostrich feathers were first exported in 1838, and slowly the industry became more organized until it truly organized in 1863. Eventually, by 1913, ostrich feathers were South Africa's 4th largest export, the top three being gold, diamonds, and wool. Ostrich feathers were selling at an incredible £12 per lb. (454g). This was an enormous sum, considering that a teacher was earning a mere £ 100 a year. Ostrich farming was definitely a lucrative venture, making the owners incredibly wealthy. They built large homes for themselves, which became known as "Feather Palaces".

At this stage, many other nations wanted a share in this lucrative business, and ostriches were exported to Australia and the United States. But the boom was not to last. With the outbreak of WW1, nearly all available ships were commandeered by the war effort. The advent of the motor vehicle also diminished the demand for feathers. With the collapse of the market for ostrich feathers, most of the ostriches in Australia were released into the wild.

It was only after the end of WW2 that ostrich farming in South Africa gained momentum again. Now ostrich skins were marketed as a high-value commodity. Ostrich skins were sold in low quantities but at a high value. Ostrich meat was also marketed as biltong, and as a healthy alternative to red meat. By 1959 a single channel co-operative was established, under which only the cooperative could market ostrich products. Farmers were forced to sell all their birds to the cooperative, who then marketed the different lines of ostrich products. In 1964 the first ostrich abattoir was built. All ostrich skins were shipped to England for tanning until 1970 until the first tannery was opened.

Farmers were very frustrated at the cF320ontrol that was being exercised on the market by the single channel co-operative. Production was forced to a minimum to keep prices of the ostrich skins at a maximum. Many farmers were unable to join because of this control, and they began the development of ostrich farming in Zimbabwe and Namibia. Finally, in 1993, single channel marketing was abolished, leaving farmers free to sell their products wherever they desired, for whatever price they could get.

Ostrich farming in the rest of the world has been stocked out of the free trade areas of Zimbabwe and Namibia, and by ostrich eggs and live birds that were smuggled out of South Africa.

Alan B. Stables is a freelance writer on alternative agriculture, has organized the World Ostrich Congress in Madrid, Spain in 2005 and has also been a guest speaker in Brazil, China, Egypt, Italy, Latvia, and Spain, on how to market ostrich produce for maximum returns. His leaflet "The Information Guide on How To Remove, Store, Transport and Grade Your Ostrich Skins" has become an Ostrich Industry Standard that has been translated and used in many countries today. Alan is also a founding member of the World Ostrich Association.