British Domesticated Ostrich Association

So why do we farm ostrich?


It is widely predicted that the world demand for protein from meat will be 50% greater by 2025 than today. This demand is driven, not only by increased population, but also by the increasing wealth of developing countries resulting in greater meat consumption.

The graphic illustrates the increased market share since 1961 of pig and poultry meat compared to beef and other meats. The main reason for this is the tremendous improvements in the production efficiency of these two industries and their ability now to produce meat protein at low cost especially when compared to ruminant species.

meat production

Concerns are raised about the environmental impact such increased production will have, especially to provide sufficient crops to feed the animals required.

The work that we have carried out proves the excellent feed efficiency of ostrich when raised under the right conditions, with tremendous improvements achievable as the industry develops the genetic base through natural selection. Our work has proven Ostrich have the potential to be as feed efficient or better than Pigs and Poultry. Ostrich produce a red meat, thus providing the consumer with greater choice. Ostrich meat is low in fat and proven to be very acceptable by the consumer.

Another environmental benefit that volume Ostrich production will bring is that in excess of 40% of a productive ostrich grower/fattening ration is dehydrated Alfalfa. Alfalfa, when produced correctly, is a nutrient dense forage that fixes nitrogen in the soil. Alfalfa can therefore play an important role as a rotational crop in the production of cereal crops and helps to reduce chemical inputs into the soil.

An additional bonus with ostrich is the fact that ostrich produce a unique skin, excellent oil and beautiful feathers adding additional strong sources of revenue.