Ostrich meat, feathers, and hide have recently seen a resurgence in the avian industry, which could open up new markets for this delightful bird’s products.
Zambia is an ideal location for large-scale ostrich farms with significant production potential because of its abundance of cheap labor and cheap feed.
Small-scale ostrich farming is becoming increasingly popular in Zambia, and as a result, the country’s ostrich population is expanding. Increasing demand for meat, fat/oil, hide, eggs, feathers, and other products is a daily occurrence in Zambia. Despite this, ostrich growers are only able to supply 10% of the market’s demand.
There are several things you need to get started in ostrich farming in Zambia, including a significant amount of acreage, a large amount of money, proper training, and a decent species of ostrich.
How To Start Ostrich Farming In Zambia Step By Step Guide
In order to begin ostrich farming in Zambia, the steps listed below must be taken;
Step 1: Raise Money For The Business
The first step in beginning an ostrich farm in Zambia is to secure financing. To care for your Ostriches, you’ll need money to buy food, coops, and medicine.
Establishing a financial foundation is the first stage in establishing an ostrich farm. Personal savings, family members, or a bank loan can all be used to raise money for this endeavor.
Step 2: Get Information About The Bird
Ostriches are a unique breed of bird because of their unique appearance, structure, and other characteristics.
If you’ve acquired the proper training, you can rear Ostriches without fear of their mortality or the risk of Ostriches injuring your farmworkers. Educate yourself on the most common diseases and other relevant topics.
If you want to understand everything there is to know about starting a farm business, talk to other farmers who have gone through the process before you, or read this book.
Step 3: Locate a farmland
Because ostriches are huge birds that require a lot of space to develop and thrive, you will need at least three acres of property to start an ostrich farming business.
Step 4: Raise Your Ostrich Pen
Just a simple barrier or barricade will keep these birds from escaping.
Provide them with a safe haven where they may sleep and hide from the elements if the weather turns bad. Prior to building an ostrich a house, keep these things in mind.
Barbed wire is unnecessary as a bird-safety barrier. Make courtship more private by putting hedges along the perimeter of a pen. Keep the sandbox tidy for the birds’ sake.
Step 5: Procure the Best Ostrich specie
To buy ostriches after building your pen, you might contact an Ostrich farm in your area. We’ll go over a selection of ostrich kinds and breeds to assist you narrow down your choices in the following paragraphs.
Where Do You Buy Better Ostrich Specie?
Following are the areas you can get your Ostrich supply in Zambia.
- National Ostrich Company
- Ostrich Farm Vehari
- Global Ostrich Company Rawalpindi, Zambia
Step 6: Feeding Your Birds
Your birds’ health and appearance will be greatly improved if they are fed and watered properly.
To keep up with the avian water usage, a lot more water will be needed. Ostriches, for example, are a good example of a smaller animal with a lower feeding requirement.
What Does Ostrich Eat? ( Ostrich Food)
For the majority of their lives, ostriches eat plants and graze on the ground. Animals like ostriches get the majority of their sustenance from plant sources. Foraging in the wild includes 60% plants, 15% fruits, and legumes, and 5% insects or small animals. Ostriches also eat a significant amount of grains, salts, and stones.
Using this food formulation, you can make ostrich food right here in Zambia.
Guide To Raise Ostrich Properly In Zambia
Ostriches reach sexual maturity at two to three years of age, with hens growing six months ahead of cocks. Every year, the number of eggs produced grows. Depending on the breed, ostriches can only reproduce at various periods of the year.
With only one mating season annually, the Maasai ostrich differs from the Somali ostrich. When it comes to mating, birds have a variety of methods at their disposal. When crows compete over hens, they often hiss and make other noises.
When it comes to attracting female hens, this is the guide you’ve been looking for. Spreading her wings, moving her neck around, and kneeling down are all signs that she’s ready for mating. The male lays his head on the hen’s back while she slouches down.
The most typical times for mating are in the early morning and late at night.
In order to facilitate the nesting of hens, the cock constructs an earthen nest. Eggs can be laid on alternate days for up to 90 days before they are ready to hatch. To get the best outcomes, just one male (cock) and three females (hens) should mate at a time. When the males are removed from the brooding chamber, the hens’ egg production stops.
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.
Facts About Ostrich Birds In Zambia
- To meet the rising global demand for ostrich meat and other things, Zambians began establishing ostrich farms in 1989.
- 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 are predominate in Zambia, 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 Zambia
Somali Ostrich (S. Camelus molybdophanes):
It’s a Blue Necked, but with fewer and more spaced-out quills. Laid roughly 30 less 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. Zambia is the primary habitat for this species.
Black necked Ostrich (S. camelus camelus.):
They are smaller and more common in Europe and Zambia.
Arabian Ostrich (S.camelus syriacus)
How Do You Sell Ostrich From Your Farming in Zambia
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, Zambia, Zambia, 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 #40,000 and #60,000.
Advantages of Ostrich Farming in Zambia
- The global demand for ostrich meat and its products has grown, resulting in a steady source of income for producers.
- There are fewer 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 Zambia
When harvesting Ostrich eggs, Ostrich can cause great harm is 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.
Is ostrich farming profitable in Zambia?
Yes, Ostrich farming is one of the most profitable farming ones can start in Zambia.
How much is an ostrich in Zambia?
In Zambia today, a month-old ostrich costs around $3,000.
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 Zambia.