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Management & Feeding

Management Systems

  1. Free Range or extensive. The birds are enclosed and allowed to fend for themselves without any supplementation. This system of production is preferred for aesthetic reasons/values. It requires large area of land over 500 acres of land.  
  2. Semi intensive. Chicks are housed from day old to 4 months before being released in to the open paddocks. The birds are provided with supplemtation at all stages of their life period. The system requires on average 50 to 150 acres of land. In this system pastures are established for the birds. In a brooder 60 chick per 25sq m is recommended .Provide adequate walking area for the chicks. The stocking density can be 40 birds per acre.
  3. Intensive system. The birds are in full diet of concentrates with minimal grazing. The numbers of birds kept are few in a small area of land approximately 2 acre. In a brooder 60 chick per 25sq m is recommended .Provide adequate walking area for the chicks. 

Feeding

   A crop of Lucerne

A crop of Lucerne

Ostrich is an omnivorous bird and feeds almost on all types of feeds.

  • Feeds types depend on the age birds. 
  • Day old chicks are fed on chick mash adlib for the first 4 months. Each chick consumes up to a minimum of 0.5kgs of chick mash.
  • Four to 10 months olds birds are allowed to graze and receive supplementary feeds. Supplementation with growers mash is at the rate of 2kg /bird/day. 
  • Birds in lay are given feeds rich in calcium which enhances hard shell formation.
  • Green feed (Lucerne) is used to control pecking and cannibalism. It is also used as a protein supplement.

Water

  • Provide water adlib to the birds. For the chicks vitamins may be added to boost the appetite. 
  • Green color is preferred for the feed and water equipment.

Record Keeping

Farming as a business dictates that the farmer diligently keeps records of all farming activities. The records will assist in finding out whether the business is viable or not. They mainly consist of:

Breeding records. 

 A chip can be planted below the skin to keep information that can be used to track parental lineage. This information is used to controls inbreeding amongst closely related birds.

Health records.

  • Vaccination records 
  • Number of deformed birds.
  • Spraying records. 
  • Diseases treatment and deworming records.
  • Chick mortality rate at four months.

Laying Records

  • Includes number of eggs laid per bird per season.
  • Eggs collected per day.

Production records

  • Chicks’ production records, 
  • Weekly slaughter figures in tonnes.
  • Parts condemned and reasons why. 

Marketing records

  •    Skins sold and value
  •     Number and value of live birds sold.
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