Ostrich is a large flightless hardy bird of African origin. It belongs to running bird family. It has long neck and small head, with large eyes and short broad beak. It spreads small wings while running.
The long powerful legs are used for defense. The feet have only two toes. It can survive in temperatures ranging from 2 degrees to 50 degrees Celsius. It can be reared on barren land and mainly consumes Lucerne and water. Male ostriches are black, with white wings and tail. The female is dull grayish brown. The females lay their yellowish white eggs together in a single large depression in the sand. The eggs weigh 1-2 kg. The male sits on them at night and the female incubates them by day.
The ostrich has been farmed for around 150 years in South Africa, first for its feathers and recently for the hide and now for meat also. Ostrich farming is now an international industry, with South Africa still by far the major player. Today, ostrich farms are considered to be among the most profitable agricultural projects. They are often referred to as “the farms of the future” because of the large variety of possible products and their expected high profit potential. Ostriches are raised commercially for their meat, hide and feathers.
Currently commercial farming is going on in about 100 countries in all continents and regions. Some countries where this is done with official backing are: Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and many African countries. Pakistan is one of the most suitable places to undertake commercial farming. It has cheap labor, a suitable climate, inexpensive fodder, low business cost and a population of businessman/farmers/investors who are willing to enter into this new venture.
The sector has seen very rapid growth and bird population is growing day by day.