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Ostrich farming may sound like an unusual career, but it can make the right person a nice profit. It also serves as a great conversation starter at parties. All you need to run a successful ostrich farm is a good product for your region, research on the right breed and age and time to make sure your ostriches are raised right.
Decide the Focus of Your Farm
Ostriches present a number of farming options. You can sell meat, which is low in cholesterol and calories, eggs or even ostrich hide or leather. You can also raise ostriches and sell breeding pairs. Research the state where you're going to raise your ostriches and figure out which product does the best in that state. For example, in North Carolina you'll have a better market for selling breeding pairs than you would for selling eggs or meat.
Pick the Right Age and Breed
To run a successful ostrich farm, research the age and breed of ostrich that's best for your business. For example, eggs and chicks are the cheapest to purchase. However, they take two years to fully mature and can be very fragile. Juveniles or yearlings, on the other hand, cost a little more to purchase, but you can ensure that they're healthy and higher quality. Your last option is to buy fully mature breeding pairs. This is the most expensive option, but they can start producing eggs immediately. While picking the age, make sure you also choose the right breed. For example, the Blue Neck is a large ostrich, but Hybrid Blues lay better eggs. Red Necks are a smaller ostriches and thus a little easier to handle.
Creating the Right Facility
Having the right facility is essential to a successful ostrich farm. Adult ostriches are hardy, and as long as they have enough space, 6-foot-high fences and sturdy protection against extreme weather, they can do fine in almost any climate. A farm of 100 ostriches, for example, might need 12 acres of land. Chicks and eggs are a completely different story. You need to protect them from predators and make sure they never get wet. The temperature should be kept steady at recommended levels for the chicks' ages.
Domesticating Your Ostriches
One secret to a successful farm is domesticating your ostriches. Spend a lot of time handling your chicks in order to make sure they're tame and calm around people. Wild ostriches will be very hard to handle as adults and will make your farm operation much more difficult. Tame ostriches are also less likely to be injured. This means that when the ostriches are chicks you should hand feed them every day. Train them to follow you by trailing pellets or lettuce.
With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.