What you need to start Ostrich farming in Kenya are, the capital to run the business, about 3 acres of land to keep your birds, selecting the right specie and Ostrich product you want to produce, then starting your business fully.
Ostrich being of the largest birds in the world, it has been domesticated and being reared for its eggs, meat, skins, and other derivatives which we will be writing about extensively shortly.
How To Start Ostrich Farming In Kenya Step By Step Guide
Following are what you need to put in place to start ostrich farming in Kenya;
Step 1: Get a Capital
First thing first, you will need money to run your poultry farming which includes feeding, raising shelters, treating your birds, and so on.
So, before you start Ostrich farming, you need to get capital first, there are various ways you can get funds to start this business either from family, personal savings, loans from banks, and others.
Step 2: Get the right Training
Ostrich is an exceptional bird to keep owing to its physique, structure, and other features that made them different from the usual birds.
You will need the right training to rear them without having problems of mortality and also the danger of Ostrich harming your farmworkers.
Common diseases and other information you need to know about this will be discussed shortly.
Step 3: Procure a farmland
You will need at least 3 acres of land to start your ostrich farming business owing to the fact that ostrich are large birds and they require adequate space to grow and live effectively in the environment you may want to keep them.
Step 4: Raise Your Ostrich Shelter
You do not need a cage for these birds, all you need is a fence or a barricade to prevent and restrict their movement outside your jurisdiction.
Also, you need to raise a secure shelter where they can sleep and also hide in case of rain and other weather that is not favorable.
These are what you need to keep in mind before venturing to start raising a shelter for your ostrich.
In order to protect the birds from harm, it is best not to use barbed wire as a fence. Increase the level of privacy during courtship displays by constructing a pen divided by hedges.
In addition, provide the birds with a clean sandbox to play in.
Step 5: Buying the right specie
After you are done constructing your ostrich pen, you may look for a nearby Ostrich farm in your area to procure quality breed.
To know the quality breed or breed of your choice, we will be writing in the subsequent paragraphs various species and breeds of Ostrich you need to know.
Where Do You Buy Better Ostrich Specie?
Following are the areas you can get your Ostrich supply in Kenya.
- Kenya Wildlife services
- Maasai Ostrich Resort Farm in
- Ostri Farm in Naivasha.
Step 6: Feeding Your Birds
To get the best results and also give your birds quality looks, you will need to feed them properly and give them adequate water.
To keep up with the birds’ needs, you’ll need a lot of water. When compared to other types of livestock, ostriches consume significantly less food than their larger counterparts.
Facts About Ostrich Birds In Kenya
To meet the rising global demand for ostrich meat and other things, Kenyans began establishing ostrich farms in 1989.
Nearly all of the Kenyan ostrich farms are located within a 200-mile radius of Nairobi.
Maasai Ostrich Farm (MOF) is the largest Ostrich farm In Kenya.
Around 62 ostrich farms in Kenya were registered in 1993, with ostrich populations ranging from 4 to 1200 birds, however, by the year 2000, there were only roughly 17 of these farms left.
Nairobi, Kenya is home to one of the largest poultry farms in the world
Although the ostrich cannot fly, its long, muscular legs allow it to sprint at 70 kilometers per hour in a matter of seconds. For up to 30 minutes, it can keep at this pace.
The huge toe of its foot contains a sharp claw that it uses for defense. The small head and long bare neck serve as additional defenses for the creature.
While the female ostrich has grayish plumage, the male has black plumage with white plumes on his wings and tail.
The ostrich can withstand harsh weather conditions and thrive in ASALs just as well as any other species.
Open forests and range grasses are the most common habitats for these birds. It’s not uncommon for them to avoid dense foliage and plants.
There are up to 45 eggs in an ostrich and each one weighs between 1.5 and 2 kg.
At maturity, male ostriches grow to a height of 6-9 feet, while females reach a height of 5.5-6.5 feet.
Typically, male and female ostriches are differentiated by their colors. Ostrich males are black, whereas ostrich females are tan. Maasai and Somali Ostrich specie predominate in Kenya, and they can be identified by the pink or blue hues on their skin.
Common Ostrich Diseases
Several types of avipoxvirus cause this, and mosquitoes are usually the ones who spread it. The virus can be found in chicken eggs that have started to develop, and histopathology can show typical cytoplasmic inclusions.
On the bird, it causes small blisters that turn into 5–10 mm brown, crusty spots on the eyelids, the corner of the beak, and other parts of the head.
This is caused by a virus called a paramyxovirus, and it is very common in chickens. Different strains vary in how dangerous they are, so they are put into three groups: lentogenic (mild), mesogenic (moderately dangerous), and velogenic (very dangerous).
The number of birds that die can range from a few to more than 30%, and all age groups are at risk. But most of the time, only one flock or camp is affected.
Ostrich chicks have been reported to have died as a result of exposure to this infection. Many enterocytes’ apical cytoplasms included eosinophilic inclusions, and necrotic cells were observed throughout the distal small intestine’s crypts and villi.
Crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever:
This is a human disease, not one that affects ostriches, despite the fact that ostriches have tested positive for the virus. Ticks bites are the only way to spread this disease, which is endemic to the area. Hemorrhagic fever can be lethal in men, causing severe hemorrhaging.
Common Ostrich Breeds In Kenya
Somali Ostrich (S. Camelus molybdophanes):
It’s a Blue Necked, but with fewer and more spaced-out quills. Laid roughly 30 fewer eggs in two seasons, March and August. They have a more compact body.
Maasai Ostrich (S.camelus massaicus):
It’s a Pink Necked, however, this one has more quills. One laying season might yield up to 40 eggs from this breed.
Southern Ostrich (S. Camelus australus):
Black-necked ostrich, as the name suggests. South Africa is the primary habitat for this species.
Black necked Ostrich (S. camelus camelus.):
They are smaller and more common in Europe and South Africa.
Arabian Ostrich (S.camelus syriacus)
Guide To Raise Ostrich Properly In Kenya
Two to three years old is when ostriches become sexually mature, with hens maturing six months before the cocks. The number of eggs produced increases year after year. Ostriches can only reproduce during specific times of the year, depending on the breed.
Unlike the Somali ostrich, the Maasai ostrich has only one breeding season per year. The birds have their own ways of getting together to mate. Cocks usually fight for hens by hissing and making other noises.
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to attract female chickens, this is your answer. When a hen is ready to be mated, she spreads her wings, moves her neck in circular motions, and kneels down. The male mounts the hen from behind while she slouches on the ground.
Mating occurs on a daily basis, with the most common times being early in the morning and late at night.
The cock sets up a nest for the hens to lay their eggs in on the ground. It takes up to 90 days for eggs to be deposited on alternating days. There should be one male (cock) to three female (hen) mating pairs for optimal results. The hens’ egg production is halted when the males are removed from the brooding area to ensure proper timing.
How TO Handle the Ostrich Eggs
Ostriches lay their eggs in the nest. In a nest, the hens will deposit their fertilized eggs. The dominating female will be the first to give birth and the first to begin producing eggs. Depending on the species, a hen can lay anywhere from 15 to 45 eggs in a season.
When it comes to eggs, the yolk of an ostrich egg is the largest single cell of an egg, even though it is smaller than any other egg. which have an average length and width of 15 cm (5.9 in) and a weight of 1.4-2 kg. The shells are glossy and cream in color, with little pits, etched into the surface of the thick shells.
Driving the birds to a safe distance while they are being harvested is a good precautionary step. This is done in order to avoid retaliation from the bird’s female counterpart. One person should distract the birds while the other retrieves the eggs, preferably with two people participating.
Hand gloves should be used by egg collectors to avoid contamination of the eggs, which could result in embryo death. Eggs that have been soiled should be cleaned using a moist, warm towel.
Formalin and potassium permanganate should be sprayed on the eggs for 30 minutes.
You can keep eggs at 15 degrees Celsius in a refrigerator for up to ten days.
The top of the egg should be marked with a pencil, and then the eggs should be flipped twice a day so that the yolk remains in the center. Place the eggs at room temperature before starting the incubation process.
Incubation Guide For Ostrich Farmers
Incubation equipment is only as good as the facility it is housed in, and this is often the case. When it comes to successful incubation, there are no hard and fast rules that must be followed. These include:
Facilities should be able to maintain a temperature range of 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.
At least 20% of the time, fresh air should be exchanged outside.
The optimum level of humidity is 45 percent.
There should be as few persons entering the facility as feasible to keep traffic and employees to a minimum.
Cleaning and washing floors and walls on a regular basis is essential.
Portable fans or similar devices should be used to help circulate the air in the room.
How Do You Sell Ostrich From Your Farming in Kenya
The rising demand for ostrich meat has resulted in a rise in prices. Among the countries where the birds have been sold are the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, South Africa, and China.
Ostrich eggs sell for roughly Sh3,500 each because of their scarcity and size; each one weighs 1.3 kg. A one-month-old chick can be purchased for between Sh30,000 and Sh40,000. It costs between Sh70,000 and Sh90,000 to buy an ostrich that is a year old. At Sh 3,000 a kilogram, ostrich meat is a lucrative business.
Advantages of Ostrich Farming in Kenya
The global demand for ostrich meat and its products has grown, resulting in a steady source of income for producers.
There are less fat and calorie and cholesterol calories in ostrich meat.
You can use Ostrich oil to cure asthma and other chest diseases because it is created from the fat of ostrich.
Using the feathers of a bird, you may produce apparel, home decor, and even cushions, duvets, and chairs.
Investing in ostriches pays well for farmers in the form of a better and quicker return.
A way to bring in money is through the tourism industry.
Disadvantages of Ostrich Farming In Kenya
When harvesting Ostrich eggs, Ostrich can cause great harm if not properly distracted. Not only that, if the fence to your ostrich farm is not properly taken care of, it may break loose and cause havoc to residents close to your farm.
How much does an ostrich cost in Kenya?
An ostrich costs an average of sh120,000 to sh150,000 in Kenya.
Starting an ostrich farming business is a lucrative business anyone with the capital and information can start. We have discussed all you need to go about starting your own ostrich farm here in Kenya.