ostrich farming in the UK
ostrich farming in the UK first took hold in 1989. The reasoning was that since it was illegal to take an ostrich or its eggs from the wild (and it still is illegal), farmers could breed domestic stock imported from Africa and then turn around and export British-bred ostriches for a profit.
For those interested in ostrich farming in the UK,
the focus should be on providing the consumer a healthy option to the other meats available on the British market. This is not an endeavor for anyone who is interested in making a quick profit. It will probably be about four years from the time you begin to the time you'll see a profit from your efforts.
You'll need wide open land and a lot of it to successfully and legally raise ostriches. The standard for an ostrich paddock is ¼-acre, which is room enough for an adult male and two females. Also, a shelter must be provided to protect them from the natural elements.
Ostrich farming in the UK is considered to be dangerous, as they are wild and can be aggressive and somewhat temperamental. The first step is to obtain a license under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 from your local council. Then, you'll be permitted to begin stocking and trading.
If you have the desire, the land and the license to begin ostrich farming in the UK. Is it best to begin with an adult ostrich or a chick? Contact the British Domesticated Ostrich Association or a fellow ostrich farmer to help you get some stock for your farm. The general thinking is that it is best to begin with ostrich chicks rather than a full-grown adult. As the chick grows and matures, you'll learn and understand its behavioral traits.
Once your chicks are on your farm, contact your local authority. An inspection by a veterinarian will determine if your accommodations meet legal standards. Once your premises have been approved, you are permitted to trade. It's important to note: employ a farm veterinarian and a ratite (ostrich) veterinarian before you actually are in need of one. These professionals will help you keep your birds healthy.
The first set of adult ostriches will be your breeders. Once they begin to reproduce and you've made it through the early years of raising ostrich chicks, the adult ostriches will finally provide several commercial opportunities for profit.
Each adult bird will yield about 30 kilos of meat which can be made into everything from steaks, pate, sausages, burgers, snack sticks, and jerky.
Each adult ostrich has about three to four pounds of feathers which can be sold in the millinery or fashion trades.
The female ostrich will produce about fifty eggs a year which can be sold as ornamental decorations or food.
An ostrich hide can be as large as 12 to 14 square feet in size and tanned into leather for items such as shoes, bags, or clothing.
Ostrich oil is found in several natural products such as foot creams and lip balms.
Market your ostrich meat to the consumer with better health in mind. Let them know that the meat is hormone free, antibiotic-free and free-range. Overall, it is 99% fat free and high in protein to boot!
If you are properly prepared to work hard and persevere, ostrich farming can be quite rewarding once you begin to see a profit resulting from your hard work.
more about ostrich farming