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Ostriches, like any bird, lay eggs. They are as tasty and healthy as chicken, only much larger. By raising ostriches on home farms, you can earn good money by selling eggs. Consider how many eggs an ostrich lays per year, per month and per day, how often the females lay. What factors affect egg production, how do females hatch eggs at home.
How do farms make money?
Each egg weighs 1.5 kg in African breeds, 0.7-0.9 kg in emu. They can be sold in bulk for food, or sold individually to tourists during farm tours. Fertilized material to sell for incubation, it will cost more.
How many eggs does an ostrich lay?
The total egg production of a female ostrich depends on the breed. On average, it is 50 per year, the maximum is 80 pieces. African ostriches carry that much, Australian ostriches have 11-20 ostriches for each female, and the rhea is considered the leader in this indicator.
The egg production period for birds raised on home farms occurs in the spring. Females lay 1 egg per day, followed by a break. Thus, a month from an ostrich can be obtained from 15 pieces.
How often do ostriches fly?
Sexual maturity in female ostriches occurs at 2 years. They rush not constantly, all year round, like chickens, but only during a short breeding period. If males also live with females, then the eggs will be suitable for incubation. If they are not fertilized, then they can only be used for nutrition.
What affects egg production?
The conditions of keeping, climatic conditions and the quality of food can affect the number of eggs obtained from females. The condition of the body and the functioning of the reproductive system are influenced by temperature, humidity and lighting. If the ostriches are hot or cold, they will rush, but not as intensely as at a comfortable temperature - 15-20 ˚С.
The humidity in the room where the birds are kept should not be high, because in their homeland ostriches live in arid areas. Humidity of 60% is quite enough for a comfortable stay of birds and stable egg production. The length of daylight hours should be at least 8 hours. To do this, during a short day, you need to turn on the lamps in the mornings and evenings for a while.
If the conditions are violated, the females begin to lay fewer eggs than can be expected from them. The strong stress experienced by females when moving to another house, transporting, or the appearance of a new individual in the flock can reduce egg production or temporarily stop it. However, the effects of stress do not last long, and the females begin to rush again.
Affects the amount of demolition and nutrition. The work of its body depends on what the bird will eat. With a good, balanced diet, the females will rush as they should. But if the body is deficient in nutrients, this will affect the formation of eggs. During the breeding season, ostriches should not only be fed enough, but also fed with vitamin preparations, premixes or simply herbs, vegetables, fruits, in winter, grass flour, and chalk and salt.
How does a bird hatch eggs?
Under natural conditions, ostrich families consist of 1 male and 1-3 females, one of them is the main one. She is the first to lay an egg in a common nest and incubate a clutch. All females rush in turn to the same place. Laying lasts 2 months. By the end, there may be dozens of eggs in the nest.
The female sits on them, covers them with her body, spreads her wings. It is in the nest during the day all the time, even in the midday heat, does not get up to eat. Only predators can drive the female away. She pretends to be wounded, runs away to take the animals away from the nest. In some cases, this helps and the nest remains intact.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
At night, the female is replaced by the male, he sits on eggs until morning. He also does not leave the clutch, warming with his body. Heating at night is more important than ever, because at this time it is cold, the temperature can drop below zero.
Incubation lasts 6-7 weeks. Exit from the egg takes 2 days, the ostriches themselves peck the shell and get rid of it, adult birds do not help them with this. The chicks that appear on the first 2 days sit under the wings of their parents. They do not eat, they have yolk in their stomachs, which serves them as food.
On the 3rd day, the birds leave the nest, adult ostriches eat the remains of the shell in order to knock off the trail of predators. And at the same time they replenish their body with calcium and vitamins. The male brings up the chicks, he teaches the kids to run, find food, get away from danger.
In nature, hatchability of ostriches is low - about 10-40%, as many eggs are carried away by predators. When breeding on a farm, this result is higher (up to 90%). In artificial conditions, ostriches are hatched in an incubator, although the females have not lost their instinct and can incubate themselves. To obtain material from males and females, families are formed (1 male for 3-4 females). Eggs are taken from the common nest, leaving 1-2 pieces in it every day so that the birds continue to lay.
Incubation time is 6 weeks. Conditions: temperature - 36-36.5 ˚С, humidity - 25-35%, in recent days - 70%. Ostriches are taken from the incubator, as soon as they dry out, the fluff is fluffed up. They are fed for 3 days. First, they give light food - a mixture of boiled eggs, cottage cheese and herbs. After 3 weeks of life, they are taught to feed or grain mixtures with grass, vegetables, root crops.
Up to 3-4 months ostriches are kept separately from parents and other birds. The room where they live should be warm and light. Only one year after hatching, ostriches will reach more than half of their adult size and weight.
How many eggs an ostrich can lay depends on belonging to a particular species. African breeds are the largest. Usually they are bred on farms - to obtain egg and meat products at the same time. With the right organization of economic activities, an ostrich farm can generate a good income and be a local attraction.