Buying The Bird
Prices for ostrich have slowly been decreasing and becoming more of a buyer's market. Prior to this the prices for ostrich of all ages have been relatively high, particularly for a farm animal. You are encouraged to research ostrich prices across the state, once you determine what age bird you want to purchase. There are different ages of birds that one should evaluate as the entry level that they want to begin their farming.
New farmers to the industry are strongly urged not to try starting a farm by purchasing fertile eggs, unless you can secure the hatching service of a reputable, experienced farm. Successful hatching requires knowledge and an additional financial outlay for incubation and hatching quipment.
Chicks of 3 to 6 months are a common age that many farmers choose to purchase when they enter the industry. This is the most inexpensive age of birds and will provide an education for the farmer as the birds develop. If this age is purchased, the farmer must be aware that it may be 2-3 years before they have chicks on the ground.
Purchasing one-year-old birds is another option. This provides that egg production will probably occur within 16-24 months. Purchasers should be aware that the male generally matures later than the female. Therefore, one may choose to purchase a male several months older than the female.
The final and most expensive entry level to ostrich farming is to purchase breeding birds. There are several questions the purchaser should ask:
- How many eggs has the female laid?
- Were the eggs fertile?
- Have there been live birds hatched from the eggs?
- Ask to see records on the birds before the purchase.
This bird is relatively hardy upon reaching adulthood and requires only the most basic protection from the elements.