What’s This Post About?
Ostriches are flightless birds that attract many bird enthusiasts. Their habitat, behavior, and plumage are what draw people in. In addition, ostriches are magnificent creatures that are not only known for their big height and massive body weight, but they can be quite beneficial in so many other ways unknown to many of us.
They bring life to the environment they live in and serve a special purpose in maintaining population control. The foraging ostriches play an integral role in dispersing plants and vegetation across the area they inhabit. However, keeping an ostrich can be a little pricey.
Ostriches are exotic birds that are not often sighted around urban populations. They’re imported from other countries and then farmed. This may cause the cost of an ostrich to rise. On average, the cost of an ostrich is $7,500-$10,000, depending on their breed.
All About Ostriches
Most of us are familiar with this gigantic bird, not because we see it trotting about in our neighborhood but because it is so unique and magnificent that it would be odd not to know anything about them.
Ostriches are large birds with an average body weight of 138 to 308 lb and are roughly about 2.1 to 2.8 meters in height. The bird is as big as a tall human being! Isn’t that unbelievable? In addition, not only do they have long necks and legs, but they’re also super fuzzy.
They roam about in vast open fields, woodlands, and shrubbery and prefer living around water bodies to keep them hydrated.
DID YOU KNOW?
Unlike other birds, Ostriches secrete feces separately from urine.
How Much Does An Ostrich Cost?
A healthy two-month-old ostrich can cost you around $525. In an ostrich’s case, the price doubles if the bird is older than ninety days. At the same time, a year-old ostrich can cost you roughly $2500 per bird. Adult ostriches range in price from $7,500-$10,000. The high price of adult birds is attributed to the costs of growing the bird.
Growing the bird is not inexpensive, and you will learn more about that later in this blog.
Compared to other livestock and birds, ostriches are more expensive to farm since they require a large area to survive in.
Ostriches are unique in so many ways. These birds have outstanding personalities, and their behavioral characteristics are what make them different. But have you ever thought about raising an ostrich or maybe even given ostrich farming a thought?
The sound of it is odd, and that’s for sure. But there are so many unconventional ways for people to look for profits, and ostrich farming is one of them.
How Much Does An Ostrich Egg Cost?
An ostrich egg does not have a fixed cost. It could vary depending on the size, the ostrich breed, and whether the egg is fertilized or not. A non-fertilized ostrich egg costs around $30-$50, and a fertile ostrich egg costs around $100.
In the wild, a female ostrich lays about 12 to 18 eggs. And on the farm, a female is likely to produce 10-20 eggs within the first year. As time progresses, females tend to lay around 40-130 eggs annually in the following years.
As discussed above, ostriches are not that cheap to raise. In addition, Ostrich farmers have to consider multiple factors that contribute to an ostrich’s overall health, like the area required for an ostrich, the nutrition, bathing, maintenance, vet costs, and many other costs that farmers incur throughout the year.
DID YOU KNOW?
Ostriches are far more expensive to farm than livestock cattle and farming other animals.
Not only that, capturing a large-sized bird like an ostrich is difficult, especially when they are designed to attack anyone that they perceive as a threat. This is one of the reasons why there are only a few ostrich farms across the world.
Not everyone can rear ostriches and keep them healthy. It is a difficult job that requires quite a lot of investment. If you were looking to buy yourself an ostrich egg, then go right ahead, but you’ve been warned.
Needless to say, the high prices associated with ostriches and their eggs are mainly because raising, breeding, and keeping ostriches is a difficult task that requires a heavy investment. But doing so only gives maximum returns.
Ostriches have three stomachs, each of which serves a unique function.
Is It Expensive To Raise An Ostrich?
Raising a wild ostrich is not an easy task. With ostriches come great responsibility and costs that the owner may want to weigh before raising one. The estimated costs associated with raising ostriches can vary, ranging from $150-$200/month.
Depending on whether you’re raising an ostrich chick or an adult, your costs may vary. For example, a baby ostrich can cost you about $50 per month. Similarly, raising a year-old ostrich or an adult may cost you $150-$200. This includes general upkeep, food, and vet costs.
There are also other expenses that, as an owner, you may want to look into, like purchasing land, fencing it, and the initial cost of purchasing the bird.
If you want to raise an ostrich(s), it is important that you consider the costs that you may have to incur on its food alone.
Ostriches prefer eating plants, roots, seeds, and insects, but their diet consists of 60% of plant matter. Although other small creatures make up a small portion of their diet, they prey on them too.
Ostriches are known to thrive in open fields and spaces. To provide them with the best and raise them healthily, ostrich owners must be well aware of the space they need to keep the ostriches comfortably without disrupting their peace.
Ostriches are not meant to be kept inside houses and tight spaces; they need an open field to run around and go about their routines.
Proper fencing must be installed before keeping an ostrich since they are most likely to break out of confinement that is designed to keep them from escaping.
Installing A Waterbody
Ostriches in the wild prefer inhabiting areas that are close to water sources. In captivity, however, the owner is responsible for providing these birds with the best they can offer to keep them hydrated and allow them to run around in an open space.
What Are Ostriches Farmed For?
Ostriches are farmed for various reasons depending on what the owner's intention is. They could be raised to breed, give eggs, provide leather and feathers, or solely to conserve their population.
As discussed earlier, ostriches are farmed for their costly eggs, but what other things do you think they are farmed for? Well, there are quite a few things that you may be discovering only now, but ostriches are farmed and raised for their meat, hide, and feathers.
Ostriches not only serve as visuals but are also raised for our consumption. Have a look at the following to wrap your head around why ostriches are farmed worldwide and why ostrich farming is not an alien concept.
Ostrich meat is different from poultry meat in both flavor and texture and is much more like beef. In addition, ostrich meat is rather expensive compared to other meats since it is not that easily accessible. Their availability is somewhat rare across various states.
Ostrich meat is sold at high market rates due to high demand and low availability. It is far more sustainable than beef.
Ostrich hide is distinct, known for its raised-dotted pattern across a smooth flat field. Depending on the species of ostrich, it varies in density and texture. The hide of an ostrich is pricey because it requires great attention to detail with a specialized and expensive production process making its overall visual value costly.
It is well-known for being robust, supple, resilient, and elastic, and since ostrich leather contains oils, it prevents breaking and rigidity.
DID YOU KNOW?
California became the first state in the U.S. to ban the trade of products containing exotic animal leather, including ostrich skin.
Since ostrich leather is rare and exotic, it is quite expensive.
Ostrich feathers have a unique characteristic found in no other feathers. The feathers are soft, loose, and smooth. They are mostly used to make feather dusters since they have static energy that draws the dust out from nooks and crannies of any unreachable surface.
DID YOU KNOW?
Ostriches are protected by the Migratory Birds Treaty Act under which it is prohibited to possess feathers of exotic birds, including ostriches.
What Kind Of Habitats Do Ostriches Thrive In?
Ostriches prefer living in habitats and environments that lack trees. The most common environments for these birds are open woodlands, deserts, arid environments, semi-desert areas, grasslands, and shrubbery.
Ostriches are native to Africa and are widely known as desert birds. Although they are referred to as desert birds, they can easily accommodate in unfamiliar habitats as long as they have access to what they deem necessary in order to fulfill their needs.
Ostriches are aggressive in nature. When threatened, they chase after their target using their sturdy, long legs that they also use as a weapon. Their legs are capable of injuring or even killing a human with a forward kick.
Since they are versatile in nature, they can adapt to almost any environment that provides them with enough land to run across and water to stay hydrated. Other than that, all they need is food to maintain their health.
Ostriches are astonishing creatures that come in different shapes and sizes depending on their breed and health. They’re tall, strong, and magnificent, with long necks protruding from their round fuzzy bodies.
Although they serve mostly as a treat for our eyes, they are often raised and farmed by individuals who want to either conserve them or make profits off them in an ethical manner.
As discussed above, ostriches are gorgeous but expensive to raise and adopt. From their eggs to everything else they have to offer comes with a hefty price in the market. It may seem that ostriches cost a lot, but the truth is the price that they have on them is justified.
If you’re lucky, you may raise an ostrich on your own or come across one on a regular day. However, if you want to read up more on ostriches, here’s a blog you must read to learn about the rare albino ostrich.
Have you ever gotten curious about what Albino Ostriches look like? If so, continue reading to find out more about them!
David A. Swanson
Bird Watching USA
My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!