Ostrich farms are mostly profitable enterprises. Many entrepreneurs would like to organize such a profitable business in Russia today. And, of course, novice farmers who decide to have ostriches have many questions regarding the rules for keeping and breeding a fastidious exotic bird.
For example, how often do ostriches lay eggs? How to properly collect, store and incubate them? For these and other questions, look for the answer in our article.
How farms make money
Specializing in the cultivation of ostrich farms organize several sources of income at once. In addition to farm tours, entrepreneurs organize sales:
- ostrich skin;
Ostrich meat, like chicken, is considered a dietary product. It contains little cholesterol and is very popular with consumers. Now ostrich meat has bypassed beef and pork in popularity -its great taste and ease of preparation conquered many housewives. Ostrich leather, which has a unique texture, is sold by farmers to factories for sewing clothes and shoes. Products from it are soft, pleasant to the touch, comfortable to wear.
Fat is sold to pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies. Ostrich feathers are used mainly for decorative purposes. Since they also have dielectric properties, they are often used to clean dust on electrical appliances.
From meat, fat and poultry skin, farmers earn quite decent money. Ostriches grow very large, the weight of an adult can reach 160 kg with a height of 2 m. However, ostriches also produce another product that can bring excellent income to the farmer. Birds live 50-70 years, and most of their lives (about 40 years) they are able to carry eggs, the weight of which sometimes reaches 1.5 kg. So the answer to the question of how many eggs an ostrich carries per year and in its life is of interest to many aspiring entrepreneurs, we will talk about this a little lower.
Farmers leave part of the eggs for incubation, since the population of ostriches, if they are also bred for the sale of meat, fat and skin, periodically needs to be replenished with young individuals.
Some of the ostrich eggs are sold by farmers. In Russia, such products are mainly interested in expensive restaurants offering exotic dishes to their customers. In Europe, ostrich eggs are often used in baking.bread, buns or pastry making.
How often do ostriches lay eggs?
How much can a farmer earn by selling eggs, and how quickly does a herd of ostriches replenish? Females of this exotic bird usually begin to rush at the age of two years. At the same time, male ostriches reach sexual maturity only by the age of four. This is the time the farmer needs to wait for the selected male sire to fertilize the eggs.
Exotic giant birds rush differently than chickens and other economic birds. The question of how many ostriches lay eggs per month, for example, may be somewhat incorrect. Their egg-laying, unlike chickens, goes in cycles of 30-40 days. In a year, female ostriches have about three such productive periods. Using certain care technologies, farmers achieve 4-5 cycles per year.
During the productive period, female ostriches usually lay their eggs every other day, most often in the afternoon. That is, the answer to the question of how many eggs an ostrich carries, the answer will be: 15-20 pieces per cycle and about 60-100 pieces per year.
What you need to know
It is unfortunately useless to create special conditions for ostriches in the winter, as farmers who keep chickens do. The productive season for ostriches begins in March and ends in October, that is, in winter, even in a very warm and bright barn, the farmer should not expect eggs from an exotic heat-loving bird.
How they rushostriches
So, how often ostriches lay eggs, we found out. But what conditions should be created on the poultry farm in order for it to increase productivity? As for chickens, farmers install nests in the aviary and rooms for ostriches. Equip them most often in the most secluded corner. Like chickens, female ostriches do not choose or protect "private" space. Several giant layers can lay eggs in the same nest at once.
The female ostriches take turns guarding the common clutch. At night they are usually replaced by males. In one nest, a bird usually has 20-25 incubated eggs.
How do I pick up the eggs?
How many eggs does an ostrich carry per day, we found out. In a cycle for two days, a giant bird lays an average of one egg. It is quite expensive on the market, and therefore it is necessary to handle the eggs laid by ostriches very carefully and correctly. Collection, storage and transportation of the most valuable product is a responsible procedure. The loss of even a few ostrich eggs can result in significant losses for the farm.
It is advisable to take each egg for storage immediately after it is laid. That is, you need to constantly check the nests in the room reserved for the bird or in the outdoor aviary. Ostrich farmers have noticed that frequent egg collection stimulates female ostriches to continue laying: in this way, the bird subconsciously tries to make up for the loss of “offspring.”
The answer to the question of how many times an ostrich lays eggs per cycle is 15-20 pieces, so the farmer will have to look into the birds' nests more often.
You need to pick up ostrich eggs immediately, but the laying hens themselves should not be disturbed during the procedure. If the female has already done her “work”, but has not yet left the nest, you should not approach her. It is advisable to collect ostrich eggs without attracting the attention of a bird. The habits of the males of these giant representatives of the fauna also include the protection of masonry, so the ostriches will have to be distracted by something before taking the eggs. Otherwise, the farmer may be seriously injured by an angry bird.
Before collecting eggs, the farmer should definitely wash his hands with soap and prepare a container in which he will put the eggs. When collecting ostrich eggs, in no case should you make any sudden movements. Putting eggs in the basket should be as careful as possible so as not to break the precious product.
What to do after collection
How often ostriches lay eggs, we found out. You need to pick up the clutch on time, store the eggs with all the precautions. After collection, each egg is inspected for cracks. A copy with defects should be set aside and eaten as soon as possible. Contaminated eggs are carefully washed and dried. Such a simple procedure has its own subtleties: you can wash ostrich eggs only with warm water, the temperature of which is approximately +40 ° C. In no case should cold water be used, otherwise the ostrich eggs will begin to “wrinkle”, which will cause pathogenic microflora to penetrate through the shell, which will kill the chick that has not yet hatched or infect it with an infection.
Add some iodine or bleach to the water for washing eggs. Dried dirt must first be soaked. Scraping them, for example, with a knife is strictly prohibited, otherwise you can damage the outer layer of the shell, which will also cause microorganism contamination of the protein, yolk and, as a result, rapid spoilage of the product.
How to store properly
It is impossible to store ostrich eggs, like chicken eggs, in an ordinary cool room. A valuable product (especially if it is intended for incubation) is stored at a certain humidity and temperature. In this case, the following are considered optimal indicators:
- temperature +15…+18 °С;
- humidity - 40%.
Store eggs of ostriches, if they are intended for sale, can be no more than 40 days. At the same time, they should be turned over daily.
How to properly incubate
When ostriches start laying eggs, we found out above in the article. For incubation, farmers collect eggs only from young laying hens at least 2-3 years old, provided that they are fertilized by sexually mature males over 4-5 years old. In the event that eggs are intended for incubation, they can be stored for no more than 7-10 days. Of course, to artificially breed ostriches, you should purchase special equipment.
Under the condition of continuous laying of eggs in a special incubator, the optimum temperature for the development of embryos will be +36…+36.5 °С. Humidity should be equal to:
- for African ostrich eggs - 20-35%;
- nandu - 23-35%;
- emu - 32-44%.
Immediately when laying eggs, the temperature in the incubator is raised to +37.2 °С. Then the temperature is gradually, over a period of about 5 days, slowly reduced to the required +36 °C. At the end of incubation, the temperature is reduced to a value that is 2 °C higher than the ambient temperature.