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Ostrich farming in pakistan

Mar 15, 2018



  • Copyright 2018 IJAHVS, All right reserved


    International Journal of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

    Volume 3, Issue 1, ISSN (Online): 2455-8567

    Ostrich Industry: A Beautiful U Turn in Poultry

    Industry of Pakistan

    Ghulam Abbas1*, Colonel Maqsood Ur Rehman Qureshi1, Muhammad Asif3, Muhammad Sajid2,

    Syed Wasim Abbas3 Osama Zahid4 and Hira Saeed4 1* Department of Animal Production, Riphah College of Veterinary Sciences, Lahore

    2 Department of Anatomy, Riphah College of Veterinary Sciences, Lahore

    3 Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore-Pakistan

    4 Riphah College of Veterinary Sciences, Lahore

    *Corresponding Author:

    Abstract Ostrich is a large ratite (flightless running bird)

    hardy desert bird of African origin. Being a wild (desert) bird;

    warm and extreme environment may be favorable for ostrich

    production. Luckily, Pakistans environment is very hot in

    summers and cool in winters which make it an ideal country

    for ostrich farming. After the success of poultry industry

    during last two decades ostrich farming can open new vistas

    for development. Over the last decade, ostrich farming is

    gaining popularity in Pakistan because of their tasty

    nutritional meat, valuable skins as well as feathers, eggs and

    multipurpose oil. Presently the number of slaughter ostriches

    is increasing in the country and ostrich is now being

    considered as part of poultry. Ostrich oils are used widely in

    the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry. They are

    apparent to have exceptional moisturizing, penetrating and

    therapeutic qualities for humans and animals. Increased

    demand of ostrich meat has resulted in use of controlled

    systems with scientifically proven management practices

    (good bio-security measures, genetic selection, nutritional

    innovations, health regimes, and extensive disease

    surveillance) for higher sustainable production. Therefore, it

    is practical to welcome such new efforts which are

    advantageous to our farmers and the national prosperity.

    Ostrich farming is convenient option for efficient organic

    farming of excellent FCR (up to 200 times its birth weight

    within a year) and high profitability due to negligible cost of

    medicines, labor, housing and inexpensive fodder

    consumption when compared with control sheds for livestock

    and poultry. However, awareness and efforts/support are

    needed to inspire/motivate the farmers to switch this

    profitable business on scientific basis.

    Keywords Ostrich, Farming, Industry, Meat, Livestock,

    FCR, Pakistan.


    Ostrich (Struthio camelua) is a large flightless bird of

    African origin existed as a species for over 40 million

    years]. DNA based molecular evidence showed the Late

    Pleistocene presence of ostriches in the subcontinent [3].

    The Ostrich family (running bird family) is represented by

    five species, the Ostrich (Africa), the Rhea (South

    America), the Emu (Australia), the Kiwi (New-Zealand)

    and the Cassowary (New-Guinea). The Apteryx, living in

    New Zealand also considered in this family; but this is

    controversial. Ostriches are twice the size of the others


    Ostrich (Struthio camelua) has long neck and small head,

    with large eyes (cornea is large enough to be trimmed down

    to fit the human eye) and short broad beak [16]. The ostrich

    has a large breast plate that covers the thoracic area and

    protects the heart and liver, having the breast rounded like

    a barrel. They lack keel bone therefore, have no location for

    the attachment of flight muscles, however spreads small

    wings while running [5]. The long powerful legs are used

    for defense. The tendons (can be used to replace torn

    tendons in humans) of the ostrich leg are very strong. The

    Ostrich walks on its toes, feet have only two toes (Emu and

    Rhea have 3) and can run at a speed of 70 kilometer per

    hour [1; 17].

    Ostriches have three stomach, lack gall bladder and crop

    but has a glandular stomach called a proventriculus which

    empties into a muscular structure (ventriculus). The

    ventriculus/gizzard contains grit, pebbles etc. which helps

    in grinding the food and allows it to pass into the small

    intestine. The small lobed thymus of ostriches located

    posteriorly along both sides of the neck and the cloacal

    bursa of the ostrich chicks is not truly an independent

    capsular space [9; 10; 11; 12), and convex papillae are

    distributed along the surface of the plicae. The undeveloped

    spleen of ostrich is elliptical, while those of chickens are

    globular, and those of ducks are triangular. Intestine of the

    ostrich is unusually long, therefore it takes at least 36 hours

    for food to pass through it. The nostrils of ostrich are sited

    ahead on the beak, rather than at the base of the beak. Unlike

    other birds, the trachea or wind pipe is large and located in

    the lower part of the mouth. The normal respiratory rate of

    an ostrich is lower (between 7 and 12 breaths/minute). Like

    other birds, ostrich posses a cloacae (common opening for

    excretory, urinary and digestive tract) and lack the urethra

    however it secretes urine and feces separately.

    Ostriches can gain 80 kg body weight within 9 months

    and 100 kg in one year. An ostrich will reach adult height

    6-10 feet tall in between 18 and 20 months of age (Cramp

    and Simmons 1980) with a growth rate 25cm per month and

    300-400 pounds in mass [4]. Phallus (copulatory organ) of

    an adult male is about 8 inches located in the ventral cloacae

    and can curled up in the bladder. Regardless to egg weight

    (1.5 kg, about 1.4 liters in volume, creamy white in color

    and about 2 mm shell thickness), they lay smallest eggs of

    any species [4; 6].

  • Copyright 2018 IJAHVS, All right reserved


    International Journal of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

    Volume 3, Issue 1, ISSN (Online): 2455-8567

    Fig. 1. Some male (having black feathers) and female

    (having brown feathers) ostriches

    Males are mostly black [Fig 1], with white wings tips and

    tail whereas females and young males are dull grayish

    brown [1] the female reproductive system comprised of a

    single ovary and reproductive tract with a small clitoris

    located on the ventral cloacae. Females tend to mature

    slightly faster (24 months of age) than males (30 months of

    age); different species may mature at different ages.

    Breeding season is heralded by courtship behavior, as

    complicated series of displays, dancing, vocalization and

    synchronous behavior [7; 2; 4]. An example of receptive

    behavior by the female includes bowing and ruffling her

    wings at her sides. They breed successfully for high fertility

    about 40-45 years.


    The current and future scenario point out probable

    shortages of live stock in the country exasperated by the

    recent reduction in agriculture land which is abruptly

    converting in to residential area due to unwise resource

    utilization and negligence of rules and regulations in this

    regard. The ostrich production may provide a u turn to

    motivate virgin ostrich market for Pakistan. Ostriches are

    strong desert birds that can survive in temperatures ranging

    from -2 C degrees to 50 C [1]. To dissipate body heat

    ostrich use the air sacs. It can be reared on barren land and

    mainly consumes lucerne and water. Therefore these can

    easily propagate in climatic conditions of Pakistan [1]

    Ostrich farming has been known from previous few years

    in Pakistan. However ostrich industry is now growing

    throughout the globe (Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia,

    Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, USA, England, France and in

    about 100 other countries) from the last few years for its

    delicious meat, feathers and the hide [1; 14]. The first

    organized ostrich farm was established for feathers in 1863

    in Karoo and Eastern Cape region of South Africa.

    Fig. 2. An ostrich ranch at Raiwind road, Lahore, Pakistan

    The unique tastes of ostrich meat have been increasing

    the demand in Pakistan among taste conscious people. It is

    similar to deer meat in taste and also offered as an appetizer

    in well known restaurants. In addition to meat, high

    premium beautiful plumage/feathers, oil, luxury leather,

    and other by-products also captivating people toward this

    enterprise [1]. Ostriches produce 14 Sq. ft fine hard leather

    per ostrich which is used in premium leather products. The

    bleached dyed feathers are used as the raw material for

    fashion accessories, show business, brush industry (feather-

    duster) and automobile accessories. Other ratites do not

    produce feathers of any marketable value. Ostriches egg

    shells by painting and carving converted into valuable

    ornamental/decorated items. Ostrich Oil is High in Omega

    3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, which are necessary for growth,

    helpful in maintaining health of skin, helps in healing of

    wounds and is a muscle relaxant [15]. The oil helps in

    regulating metabolism, promoting carrying of fatty acids

    from liver to the tissues and maintaining reproductive

    performance. The oil is also beneficial remedy for sunburn,

    blisters, dry Skin, skin cuts, skin burns and chapped lips and

    is also used in beauty soaps [13].



    In Pakistan, poultry production is one of the most

    dynamic and well organized sectors which has emerged as

    a source of employment for more than 1.7 million people.

    Poultry industry is playing a significant role in poverty

    alleviation in the country. It contributes 1.7% of GDP of

    Pakistan. There exists a strong correlation (89.0%) between

    the human population and poultry growth in Pakistan and

    Poultry industry is playing an important role in bridging the

    gap between the supply and demand for protein. However

    during the last few years ostrich farming has opened new

    horizons and a u turn of development of this industry [1].

    The temperate climate of Pakistan with 0 C of sub

    Himalayan to up to 50C of Sindh and Baluchistan deserts

    are equally amiable for setting up ostrich farms in the

  • Copyright 2018 IJAHVS, All right reserved


    International Journal of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

    Volume 3, Issue 1, ISSN (Online): 2455-8567

    country. Most of the people of Pakistan are suffered in

    cardiovascular or diabetes (metabolic disorder). Ostrich

    meat has been verified to be pretty healthier (lower in

    cholesterol, calories and fat, higher in iron) than

    conventional red meat (mutton and beef) and lots of taste

    conscious and health conscious consumers (patients of

    cardiovascular and diabetes) throughout the globe are

    interested in eating ostrich meat. Therefore rapid increase

    in demand of ostrich meat is expected in future years which

    may contribute further additional growth of poultry industry

    in the country.

    Table 1. Growth rates of ostrich chicks

    Age in weeks Average weight in pounds

    2-3 weeks 0.56

    3-4 weeks 0.82

    4-5 week 1.08

    5-6week 1.5

    6-7 week 1.8

    7-8 week 2

    Table 2. Superiority of ostrich meat over others white/red


    Meat 85 Grams Calories Fat Grams Cholesterol mg

    Beef ( Steak) 240 15 77

    Chicken 140 3 73

    Turkey 135 3 59

    Ostrich 97 1.7 58

    When an ostrich is slaughtered, very little is wasted in the

    slaughtering process, the meat is sold to distributors and

    restaurants, the hide is sold for the production of high

    quality leather products, the nails are ground into a fine dust

    and sold to the far east for use in some medicines. The

    feathers of the ostrich are sold to automobile manufacturers

    and are used in the final stage of painting new automobiles,

    and lastly, the eyes are sold to research facilities to perform

    studies to gain more knowledge on human cataracts.

    Ostriches have high resistance against diseases as compared

    to other animals therefore required no vaccine, antibiotic,

    steroid etc.


    Currently, commercialization of the ostrich farming is

    seeming mainly in the breeding phase worldwide. Some

    birds are sold to other farmers and ranchers entering the

    ostrich business. Prices continue to be artificially high. As

    soon as the number of ostriches reaches a level high enough

    to support a slaughter market, however, prices are bound to

    drop. At present, there is no concrete indication as to when

    the ostrich population will be large enough to meet current,

    let alone future, consumer demand. However in the coming

    few years, ostrich farming will progress dramatically and

    the world ostrich industry will achieve some economic

    stability. Despite its great potential, the ostrich received

    little attention on commercial scale, although there is

    considerable scope for areas of genetics and breeding,

    nutrition, hatchery, farm management, abattoir, meat

    processing, feather processing, leather processing and oil

    refining to be working sectors of ostrich industry in

    Pakistan. If ostrich farming is to provide the part of future

    poultry industry, a proposed approach may likely to be as


    1. Feed Manufacturer a) Forages b) Grains c) Legumes d) Additives

    2. Ostrich Farms a) Breeder replacement genetics b) Grower Farms Slaughter birds

    3. Hatchery Egg shells (Crafts and calcium products), chicks

    4. Abattoir i) Carcass Meat processing plants

    Fresh meat, frozen meat, offal, bones, value added


    ii) Tannery Finished leather

    Manufacturing (bags, shoes and accessories)

    iii) Feather processing Fashion, utility

    iv) Oil refining Food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals.


    The general practice is one male for two females (trio) for

    an average output of 60 eggs per female and 120 eggs for

    breeding season, and with good rearing techniques one can

    get 75 slaughter birds (10 months period).

    Table 3. Floor Space requirements for a trio Age Indoor Outdoor

    1-2 Days Building 2 sq


    10-15 sq Feet/Bird

    22-90 Days 30 sq Feet/Bird 150 sq Feet/Bird

    90-300 Days 300 sq Feet/Bird Min 2000 sq


    Breeding/Selection Only open space 1500-2000 sq


    12 months & Older 500 sq Feet/Bird Mini Space 2000

    sq Feet/Bird

    Fig. 3. Outside floor space for ostriches

  • Copyright 2018 IJAHVS, All right reserved


    International Journal of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

    Volume 3, Issue 1, ISSN (Online): 2455-8567

    Fig. 4. Inside floor space for ostriches

    Production System: Production system is based on the basis of 2 different

    rearing techniques:

    Poultry and Cow Farming.

    Production is a semi-intensive farming, indoors and

    outdoors (building and free space).

    Table 4. Production Cycle (4 Steps): Age Housing

    Starters (Chicks) 1 day to 3


    Poultry Building and

    Adjoining Free Space





    Cow or Sheep Building and

    Adjoining Free Space

    Selection For




    Free Space, Building is


    Breeders + 24


    2-3 Kanals Land for one trio

    (Building is Optional)

    Project Economics All the figures in this financial model have been

    calculated for 25 Ostriches for total area of around 21776

    sq.ft (4 kanal), that would be used for different functions of

    the farm. The following table shows inter nal rates of return

    and payback period.

    Table 5. Project Economic

    Description Goat

    Internal Rate of Return (IRR) 18.5%

    Payback Period (yrs) 5.5

    Net Present Value (NPV) 34,85,000 Rs

    Note: 1 US$ equivalent to 105.18 Pak Rupees Project cost

    Following requirements have been identified for

    operations of the proposed business.

    Table 6. Project Cost

    Project Investment Total

    Ostriches 1,25,000 Rs

    Building 24,75,000 Rs

    Machinery & Equipment 60,000Rs

    Outer wall / Fencing 8,25,000Rs

    Total Capital Cost 34,85,000 Rs

    Table 7. Ostriches & Feeding Cost

    Desctiption No. of birds Price/Bird (Rs) Total Cost (Rs)

    Birds 25 5,000 1,25,000 Rs

    Feeding 25 10,000 2,50,000 Rs

    Total Cost 3,75,000 Rs

    Now a day, Government is giving subsidy on ostrich

    farming, Bird of 15,000 rupees in just 5,000 rupees.

    Space Requirement Details of the area required are given below:

    Table 8. Space Requirement

    Description Space



    space ft2


    per ft2

    Total cost


    Sheltered for 25

    birds (covered)

    220 5500 350 19,25,000Rs

    Open paddock for

    25 birds

    440 11000 50 55,000Rs

    Total 24,75,000Rs

    Machinery and Equipment Following table provides list of machinery and

    equipment required for Goat Farm working for Livestock


    Table 9. List of Machinery and Equipment

    Farm supplies Unit Cost (Rs) Total Cost

    Feeding mangers 5 5,000 25,000Rs

    Chaff cutter/(Tokka) 15,000 15,000Rs

    Water pump 10,000 10,000Rs

    Other farm equipment 10,000 10,000Rs

    Total cost 60,000Rs

    Table 10. Human Resource Requirement

    Description No. of



    month (Rs)

    Total cost

    per month


    Salary / yr


    Worker 2 10,000 20,000 2,40,000Rs

    Total cost 2,40,000 Rs

    Table 11. Store house, Workers room & Office room

    Description Total

    space ft2

    Cost per


    Total cost

    Store house 25 20 500 350 1,75,000Rs

    Workers room 20 20 400 350 140,000Rs

    Office room 15 15 225 400 90,000Rs

    Total Cost 4,05,000 Rs

    Table 12. Drugs & Vaccination cost

    Description Cost per


    Total no. of


    Total cost

    Drugs 150 25 3750 Rs

    Vaccines ______ ______ ______ Rs

    Table 13. Revenue Generation

    Product Average







    per kg




    25 Ostriches 70 1750 700 12,25,000Rs

    Total 12,25,000Rs

    Table 14. Profit loss statement

    Cost & sales Cost

    Feed & vaccination 3,750 Rs

    Cost of ostriches 1,25,000Rs

    Direct labor 2,40,000Rs

    Transportation 1,00,000Rs

  • Copyright 2018 IJAHVS, All right reserved


    International Journal of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

    Volume 3, Issue 1, ISSN (Online): 2455-8567

    Cost & sales Cost

    Repair & maintenance 1,74,500Rs

    Electricity 60,000 Rs

    Outer wall &Building cost 33,00,000Rs

    Total cost 40,03250Rs

    Table 15. Temporary expenditure

    Description Cost

    Feed & vaccination 3,750Rs

    Direct labor 2,40,000Rs

    Transportation 1,00,000Rs

    Repair & maintenance 1,75,500Rs

    Electricity 60,000Rs

    Total cost 5,79,250Rs

    Table 16. Permanent ependiture, Profit & Loss analysis

    Description Cost

    Outer wall, Equipment &Building 33,60,000 Rs

    Ostriches 1,25,000Rs

    Total 34,85,000 Rs

    Finance Per year

    Cost 5,79,250Rs

    Revenue 12,25,000Rs

    Gross profit 6,45,750Rs



    Although ostrich farming is considered highly profitable

    however it encounters some problems in Pakistan which are


    Farmers Related Problems Ostrich farming is a new enterprise in the country and

    farmers do not how to take proper care of the birds. Most of

    the ostrich farmers in Pakistan are new comer in animal

    field and they do not know the basic essentials about farm

    management therefore the management of the birds is still

    relatively primitive. Very low hatchability and very high

    mortality (10-50%) Mal (poor) nutrition (incorrect feeding,

    feeding cheap feed and [8] the wrong feeds.), under

    nutrition, poor and improper feeding may yield eggs having

    very low hatchability. Ostrich producers experience

    problems with selling their products, as proper ostrich meat

    market is not developed yet. Involvement of local ostrich

    players in the market who have small investment (new

    comer in the animal business) and lack the business

    experience. Unavailability of day old chicks at country level

    and hatching facilities (Hatchery) is the limiting factor for

    its growth as industry. No tannery for skin processing and

    market for skin in country. Ban on export at federal level is

    the most limiting factor.

    Bird Oriented Problems Sever Leg deformities during early age which may be

    either improper brooding facilities or improper nutrition.

    Gastric impaction due to eating the non-food items is

    another problem during brooding. Predator attack/crow

    attacks has been observed in many flocks.




    Since last few years efforts are being done to establish

    ostrich farming as profitable enterprise in country.

    However, in the recent years serious steps are taken by

    Government (particularly credit goes to Secretary Live

    stock (Nassem Sadiq) and academia (UVAS, Arid

    Agriculture University Rawalpindi and RCVetS, Lahore)

    for the development of ostrich farming in country.

    Government is giving services and incentives to the ostrich

    farmers. The academia is promoting this enterprise by

    providing services, skills and research etc. The labour

    available, local climate and agri based economy are most

    appropriate for the supply side of this business in Pakistan.

    Whereas the demand is ensured by the high end customer

    not being catered to at all.


    Any amount of product made available is most likely to

    be absorbed, provided we can ensure a perpetual,

    sustainable, quantity and quality. Initially we propose to

    target the high end of the market for meat.

    Providing technical know-how and relevant expertise to farmers.

    Introducing high quality genetic stock in Pakistan through breeding and selection.

    Selection of appropriate farm tools and equipment for high scale commercial ostrich farming.

    Conducting researches on different nutritional and husbandry aspects of ostrich farming.

    Creating market of ostrich products by generating the demand and providing supply of ostrich products.


    There is considerable scope for improvement in the areas

    of artificial incubation, chick nutrition, environmental

    requirements and selective breeding. Unfortunately, despite

    its great potential, the ostrich has received and-continues to

    receive little attention from scientists. Big investors should

    involv in this enterprize, Otherwise shirkat farming must be

    encouraged Training of vets in the country, Establishment

    of ostrich breeding research stations to probe/exploit the

    maximum genetic potential of ostrich. Establishment of

    ostrich hatchery, processing plants and tanneries throughout

    the country. Awareness to the public regarding nutritional

    value of ostrich meat. Role of human health institutes

    should not be overlook in this regard. Extension services

    Seminars, conferences/ symposia.


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