The world's largest birds today are increasingly attracting the attention of farmers. They learned how to breed and maintain for feathers, eggs and meat. Of course, in our country, the breeding of ostriches at home is partially mastered, this bird still remains exotic for us.
Keeping ostriches at home is no more difficult than poultry familiar to us. It is enough to know the biological characteristics of these birds. It is known that most of the time in natural conditions, birds spend in search of food on pastures. Therefore, the presence of sufficient meadows or fields with perennial grasses is perhaps the main condition for the cultivation of exotic birds.
It should also take into account the climatic conditions of the region. Remember, the ostrich is an African inhabitant, so it is extremely sensitive to weather changes. In the harsh corners of our country they are bred in insulated stationary poultry houses, as well as in a special pen.
For the successful breeding and cultivation of Africans should also take into account the peculiarities of their marriage period. So, it is important to know that there are about three females per male in nature. It is the male after the selection of girlfriends begins to dig a nest in the ground, where later the females will lay eggs. If the pasture is large, experts advise ostrich breeders to place birds in the mating games in pens to avoid losing eggs. Females often choose the most remote and unsuitable areas for the nest. But nothing can be done about it.
The egg-laying period in female ostriches begins at 2–3 years, while males enter into mating games only at 4–5 years old. The eggs of these birds are large, sometimes reaching a weight of 2 kilograms. They have a lot of amino acids and nutrients. It is important for the farmer to remember that during this period the males become extremely aggressive and dangerous, they violently guard the egg-laying and do not allow strangers to the pen.
Features of growing on farms
The basis of breeding birds is the parent flock, it is usually a few pairs of males and a little more females. At the rate of two or three females per male, birds are kept in a chicken house or in a pen, depending on the season and climate. Growing ostriches includes a natural, artificial and mixed method of breeding chicks. When artificially laid eggs are collected immediately after egg-laying. In one season, the female can produce about 40-50 eggs. Then the desired fruits are incubated and grown without the participation of parents.
During natural breeding, this opportunity is provided to the birds themselves. With this method, the female takes only 15-20 eggs. As practice shows, the natural method of growing ostriches is simpler and more profitable, as it allows saving on an incubator. Mixed method involves the removal of chicks in the incubator, and naturally. It is used in large farms.
In the household
In winter, ostriches are kept on a deep bedding in a warmed poultry house, in summer on natural pastures and in pens. The room, as well as for the cultivation of other poultry, should be dry, well ventilated, bright, clean and always warm in cold regions.
Before you get exotic inhabitants, each poultry farmer must take care not only of a suitable room for keeping birds, but also of a place for his walking. It is better to do the corral for poultry in the warm season on sandy ground, as it is more hygienic. On its territory should not be located trees and bushes that create shade. A place of rest and walking for ostriches should always be well lit by the sun.
Nearby it is desirable to have another fenced plot, but with vegetation. If there is a grassy meadow nearby, the birds will gladly graze on it. If not, green ostriches will need to mow yourself.
Premises for content
The poultry houses for these exotic birds can be divided into basic and auxiliary ones. If the farmer does not have the ability to build outbuildings, you can get by with the main one, where the bird will live directly. Also in this group includes pen and hatchery. Auxiliary facilities include storage rooms for feed, eggs, and equipment.
As for the stationary house, it should be a fully insulated barn on a solid foundation. You can build a barn of brick and other suitable materials. The obligatory presence of windows that in the warm season will open for additional ventilation of the room. In winter, ventilation should be carried out using special exhaust holes in the ceiling or the upper part of the walls with a grid.
The walls of the house is best coated with clay or upholstered with smooth boards, followed by painting. The floor is also made of wood or clay. A thick layer of sawdust or straw is poured as bedding. It is important to remember that all materials selected for construction must be environmentally friendly and convenient for disinfection and cleaning.
It is very important to build a shed of the desired height. From the head of the ostrich to the ceiling must be at least one meter. Windows should be placed at a height of one meter from the ground. Next to the house you need to attach a special walking paddock with a net. An example can be seen on the video.
Feeding trough and drinking bowl
Ostriches are very greedy birds, this should be considered when placing the feeders, as in the crush the young can often hurt each other. If there are dozens of birds, you need to place several feeders, taking into account 50 centimeters per one chick and 1.5 meters per one adult. Capacity for feed should be stable and convenient for the bird, it is important to consider the height of its placement. Fill preferably 2/3 of the total.
For grass, hay, and twigs it is good to additionally have lattice creches. They are fixed in the house at a height of 70 centimeters. As a drinker, you can choose a convenient container of glass, clay, plastic and other materials. But, as practice shows, the usual trough copes with this role best of all.
It includes a number of activities and work that ensure the successful withdrawal and development of chicks, healthy and productive breeding, maintaining the necessary sanitary and hygienic standards. General care depends on the season, as well as on the age of the bird. For example, in winter, you need to clean the room every day, clean the litter, monitor the temperature and humidity levels. In the warm season, when ostriches are kept on paddocks, care is simplified.
Successful maintenance of ostriches depends largely on the cleanliness of the pen and the stationary premises themselves. Birds are extremely sensitive to sudden temperature changes, although they withstand cold weather and do not tolerate air pollution. All measurements on temperature and humidity are carried out in the morning. If the room is wet and stuffy, increase ventilation. If, on the contrary, it is cold, but normal humidity decreases. It is important to regularly disinfect the premises, and to keep sick birds in a separate room in quarantine.
Light and temperature
It is important to remember that the ostrich is, first of all, a bird living in Africa and Australia. In these countries, the length of the day is much longer and there are no such drastic changes as in our country. Therefore, to the duration of the day, these exotic birds are very sensitive. Especially in winter, they do not have time to eat all the daily feed rate in a short day, so the artificial light prolongs artificially up to 16 hours. Also, the ostriches need the sun, so the house itself, a freeboard area and windows need to be placed on the south side.
Air temperature is another important factor, which, by the way, affects the internal processes in the bird's body. In particular, feed temperature, egg production, quality of eggs laid, health and well-being depend on temperature. So, for ostriches, the optimal temperature range varies from +16 to +23 degrees.
Under such conditions, females retain high egg production and consume some feed. But what should the diet of an African flightless bird consist of? Find out from our previous publication //zoohoz.ru/drugie-pticy/ratsion-strausa-3171/.
Video "Ostrich house farm in Lebedyan"
In this story you will learn all the details of the correct content of ostriches, and also see how they live and what they eat.