I can't see any forum these fit into. Wish there were at least a misc. option in the critters.
Regardless, I stumbled across a random comment in a story that reminded me of the Ostrich fad. As I remember, the meat was a little on the dry side, but certainly perfectly edible. I was wondering if anyone could answer a couple of questions about what happened there? Why did they disappear from the market?
And relative to other meat animals, what kind of impact did ostriches have on their environment? Were they manageable in ways that supported their environment and improved soil or destructive like overcrowded chickens?
Sorry, just wondering now that I've been reminded about them.
I still think we need a misc animal section for these and other unusual animals. I know both iguanas and guinea pigs are valuable meat animals in South America and I don't see either of those options either. Those are just things that I pulled from the top of my head. How many other local opportunities are we ignoring across the planet?
When the high prices fell on breeder stock for Ostrich, people got out. I don't think anyone really developed a good meat market for Ostrich or Emu.
We were lucky and got an Ostrich when the market bottomed out. We bought the several month old chick for $100. I put $100 in feed in the Ostrich.
We butchered the Ostrich ourselves at home and it yielded about 100 lbs of meat. The meat was delicious red meat. You do need to use plenty of oil
as there is no fat in the meat which is why it is easy to get the meat too dry.
Fencing is one limitng problem for Ostrich. Mine could walk over 5 foot tall woven wire fence. Our Ostrich could look over the top of a nine foot stall wall
I have spent about $7000 on fencing in the past two years to fence in my goats. That was just for materials. I can't imagine having to put up 8 foot tall fencing
or taller fencing to kep in ostrich flocks let alone buildings and incubators. The cost would be probhibitive. I fenced in about 18 acres with cross fencing to form
8 rotational pastures. A mixture of goat fence and high tensile 6 wires.
I don't know if an Ostrich would be good for my pastures as I couldn't let ours out to graze except in a very small corral. I know my goats, chickens, rabbits, horses
and steers grazed in rotation seem to improve the pasture as long as they are not over grazed on a particular pasture. Obviously Ostrich work well in a plains type envirionment.
I don't know if I have heard of anyone trying to use Ostrich to improve the land.
I'm a suburbanite here. Small animals are the most I can aspire to, and we're not even there yet. I just stumbled across mention of a Osturdunken in a story and it made me realize that it was something I'd never seen discussed here. Considering how diverse the discussions can get, I was very surprised.
I keep a diversified roster of livestock on my homestead (donkey, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, feral turkeys) but never considered an ostrich at all. Come to think about it now, ostriches would not be for me. Fencing and the danger of being fatally kicked definitively put them on my "no have" list. But having said that, I'd be willing to barter for ostrich meat if anyone in my area would be raising them.
Thinking of it from a permaculture angle, what sort of environment and diet do ostriches need?
As for marketing the meat, I think someone could set up a small home business marketing the meat for pet food. There are thousands of cats and dogs out there on "allergy" diets, and owners are looking for novel protein sources. In fact, right now I'm supplying a pet owner with rabbit meat for his dog. I'm getting retail prices for the meat and he picks it up right from my farm. Easy sale for me!
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
TO: Su Ba
FROM: Eric Koperek = firstname.lastname@example.org SUBJECT: Rabbit versus Ostrich
DATE: PM 6:14 Tuesday 21 June 2016
(1) I have seen ostrich "ranched" in South Africa. My considered advice is that the birds are not worth the effort to raise. The market in South Africa is for the eggs which are served as novelties in tourist hotels. There is little commercial interest in ostrich meat. My guess is that ostrich would have an equally poor market in the United States as both Americans and South Africans eat a large amount of meat in their diets.
(2) Ostrich are perhaps the most dangerous animals (other than crocodiles) grown for meat or hides. Even "tame" ostriches are unpredictable. You could not pay me enough to work with these birds. I have personally seen the damage they do to people.
(3) Your best bet is to grow rabbits. There is a huge market for rabbit meat. Rabbit meat does not contain any fat or cholesterol so it is ideal for heart patients. (Rabbits only deposit fat around their intestines and internal organs). My family supplies thousands of rabbits yearly to hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and spas in Austria. We also raise beagles for hunting. We feed them live rabbits; every other day toss 1 rabbit per dog into its kennel run. The animal rights people would probably object but rabbit-fed beagles are good hunters = we get up to $5,000 for a dog that will hunt. The United States is the largest hunting market on this planet.
For more information about old-fashioned biological agriculture please visit: www.agriculturesolutions.wordpress.com -or- www.worldagriculturesolutions.com -or- send your questions to: Agriculture Solutions, 413 Cedar Drive, Moon Township, Pennsylvania, 15108 USA -- or -- send an e-mail to: Eric Koperek = email@example.com
It will give me the powers of the gods. Not bad for a tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard