ostrich farming

How to Start Commercial Ostrich Farming

livestock farming

Ostrich farming provides a huge business opportunity for investors. The birds have low calorie meat, eggs and leather. To start the business you need ample space for the birds to move about. This is because the 9 feet birds can run 70 km easy

The land should have good perimeter fencing to prevent escape. Other requirements are credible source of food, permit, labor costs and equipment. The breed should be specific to your demography, disease resistant and rugged.

Types of Ostriches

The ostrich is closely related to flightless birds like the kiwi, cassowaries and emu. They are the largest living birds and lay the biggest eggs.

The birds are widely distributed in the Middle East, East Africa, West Africa and Asia. Popular breeds are the red neck, Somali ostrich and North African ostrich. Other are the southern, Masai.

  • Red neck
  • Somali ostrich
  • North African ostrich
  • Southern ostrich
  • Masai Ostrich

Things you need to start an Ostrich Farm

You need adequate capital to run the business. Approach a commercial bank for long term, short interest loans. You need collateral, 1/3 of fund requested, an account in the bank and business plan.

Make sure you have the required legal documents to run the business. Incorporate the farm as a limited liability company, employer identification number and insurance. If you live in an area with dry climatic condition you would do fine.

The birds are well adapted to desert life and open plains. If you are in a cold region you need to provide heaters. Restrict the bird’s movement by building a tall perimeter fence or wall around the property.

If you go into hatchery business you need a good incubator for the eggs. Make sure you have the technical proficiency or hire technicians to handle the hatching process. Provide food containers, water though and nutritious food to thrive.

Luckily the birds are omnivores and can eat a verity of food. The type of breed you purchase depends on your business template. Purchase the chicks, mature birds to start the business.


Ostrich Farm Startup

  • adequate capital
  • business plan
  • obtain legal documents
  • employer identification number
  • insurance
  • use climatic
  • building a tall perimeter fence
  • purchase the birds
  • buy an good incubator
  • provide food containers
  • select the breed
  • purchase chicks, mature birds

Type of Ostrich Farm

You have lots of options when farming the birds. You need to determine the type of farming that fits your business template. You could sell their eggs, provide meat, breed them or sell the feathers. It is profitable to focus on the niche that is popular in your area.

  • Start a breeding program
  • Sell their eggs
  • Provide meat
  • Sell the feathers

Ostrich Products

The economic values of the bird are the products they produce.  The main product is the low fat, low calorie meat.

The eggs are also popular including cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Others are feathers for handmade items, high quality ostrich leather. The leather is used to make bags, shoes, belts and sandals.

How to Start Ostrich Farm

Purchase the Bird

There are three ways to start the farm. You can purchase mature ostriches and breed, chicks or juveniles. Chicks will take about two years to mature while juveniles reduce the growth period.

The cost of chicks is infinitely cheaper than juveniles. However the juveniles are a better option to reduce growth period. Purchasing mature birds is costly however they would produce eggs regularly. Make sure the breed is resistant to diseases and has good genetic heritage.

Domesticate the Birds

The birds are naturally wild and aggressive. You need to domesticate them for proper handling and farming.

A good strategy is to handle the chicks frequently to make them used to humans. This will calm the birds and make them manageable as they grow. Create a regular feeding program and make them amiable.


Restrict the Birds

The birds are large and require lots of space to move around. They love running and foraging so make sure they have space.

They need proper feeding and maintenance to grow. Make sure you erect a perimeter fence that is at least 6 feet high. Make sure you have basic utilities like electric supply, clean drinking water.

start a commercial duck farm

Feeding the Bird

The birds are omnivores so they eat a variety of food. Common food are grains, grass, mice, rats, insects. They can also eat poultry mash, carrots and broccoli. Other food sources are lizards, ostrich supplements and greens. Make sure you feed the adults in the morning and evening. The chicks are usually feed at least 4 to 5 times a day. Make sure you provide portions they can eat without wasting food.

What to Feed Ostrich

  • grains
  • grass
  • mice
  • rats
  • insects
  • poultry mash
  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • lizards
  • ostrich supplements
  • greens
  • Formulated Feed

Ostrich Feeding

To effectively increase bird productivity use good feed management, correct genetic selection and farm management techniques. It is important for the farmer to provide adequate clean drinking water for the birds. This is because water stimulates good feed utilization, proper conversion, digestion.

Weigh the formulated feed to reduce waste or over/under feeding. Feed them twice daily, morning/afternoon and record daily feed frequency.

Formulated Feed Type Birds Age
Starter Feed Day old -45 days As required
Grower Feed 45 days – one year 2.1 kg daily
Grower-lite 6 months –one year 2.1 kg daily
Maintenance Feed, Breeder Feed for mature Birds (Breeding season) 12 months to 24 months off breeding season 2.1kg daily

Average Feed Consumption

The average feed consumption differs based on the age of the bird. 0-45 day’s old bird requires 25kg, 250 days 250kg. Others are 350 days 400kg while monthly requirements for mature breeders 300kg -500kg.

Feed Consumption

Age of Bird Feed Quantity Bird Weight
0-45 days 25kg
250 days 250kg 90kg
350 days 400kg 100kg
Matured birds 330-500kg

Breeding Ostrich

A male ostrich is fully mature in two years while the female mature within eight months. They are seasonal breeders around March to September and mating pair to designated area for better chances of fertility.

A single male ostrich is ideal for several female partners. You can use one male and eight female ostriches in your breeding program. Ostriches lay huge eggs in holes to provide heat.

The farmer could allow the natural process or transfer the eggs to a hatchery. The fertilized eggs are then placed in an incubator to hatch. The hatched chicks are kept separate from the adults and provided adequate warmth, nutritious food and later introduced to the adults.

Ostrich Diseases

Ostrich disease are Salmonella Typhimurium, Campylobacter jejuni and Chlamydia psittaci. Others are Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Pasteurella multocida, Mycoplasma spp, Newcastle disease virus (NDV). More include avian influenza, Borna disease and coronavirus infections.

  • Salmonella Typhimurium
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Chlamydia psittaci
  • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
  • Pasteurella multocida
  • Mycoplasma spp
  • Newcastle disease virus (NDV)
  • avian influenza
  • Borna disease
  • coronavirus infections

How to Market Ostrich


The business requires lots of patience and time. The birds attract premium price in the open market. You can sell the eggs to supplement your income. The large adults are sold for meat and their plumage. To increase earning the farmer can add poultry farming, pig or goat farming to the business.

More on Ostrich Farming


Although a bit unusual ostrich farming is highly profitable. You need adequate land, good stock veterinary care. Make sure the breed is adaptable to your environment, fast breeder and good meat ratio.

The birds are farmed for their meat or eggs therefore focus on one aspect of the business. Other derivatives are feather production, breeding pairs, skin, eggs, meat or sports.

Ostrich production

Egg production requires purchase of young female birds. Stocking include purchase of fertilized eggs, juveniles, young adults or fully grown birds. Picking the right age to stock is of paramount importance to the whole project.


The birds love to roam around therefore provide adequate space. Provide a perimeter fence 6 feet tall to keep them in the farm land. Creating the right facility is essential to the success of the farm 24 acres with easily accommodate 200 birds?

Tame the Bird

They are naturally aggressive birds therefore domesticate them. Regular handling of chicks or young birds including hand feeding will domesticate them.

7 thoughts on “How to Start Commercial Ostrich Farming

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