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Tons of Questions

Replied by Carrie on topic Tons of Questions


I'm in Northern area of the state and will picking up my first ostriches at the end of the month!!!
Last edit: 2 years 9 months ago by BigBirdGuy.
2 years 9 months ago #248

Replied by Carrie on topic Tons of Questions

I'm incredibly excited as I will FINALLY be purchasing ostriches at the end of the month and bringing them home. I have searched for over 4 years and my dreams are finally coming true! I am pretty nervous just starting out without knowing of anyone here who currently has any, but the breeder has been incredibly helpful and an excellent resource. Wish me luck!!
Last edit: 2 years 9 months ago by BigBirdGuy.
2 years 9 months ago #247

Replied by Carrie on topic Tons of Questions


Sorry to hear that! Where in Michigan? I am in
and still searching! Hopefully I will have some by Spring!
Last edit: 3 years 5 months ago by BigBirdGuy.
3 years 5 months ago #165

Replied by Carrie on topic Tons of Questions

I live in _________, MI. I do plan on going to the Mt Hope Auction to see if any are there. I've got my fingers crossed! I think more people would become interested in them if they weren't so outrageously priced, though. Do you have a place in mind where you will purchase yours?
Last edit: 3 years 5 months ago by BigBirdGuy.
3 years 5 months ago #164

Replied by user107030 on topic Tons of Questions

Hi Derrick,
I'm very sorry to hear that you had to battle with cancer and sacrifice your livestock because of it. It is good to know that you are doing better and I am very interested in chatting more with you about your experience and set-up. Where part of the state are you in? I'm in a small town North of Flint.

Thank you for your willingness to pass on your knowledge and perspective!
God Bless,
3 years 7 months ago #154

Replied by user524565 on topic Tons of Questions

If you are limited in space, I use 1/4 acre breeding pens and it has been working fine. Old time breeders agree with the information given to you. The social needs start at a very young age usually within a few weeks of hatch. The suggestion to keep the hatch intact and not mix the chicks is a good one.
3 years 7 months ago #152

Replied by BigBirdGuy on topic Tons of Questions

Actually 1/3 acre would be more than sufficient for either a pair or a trio. The extra hen does not cause the breeding space to be enlarged. The birds just need room to run as part of the process.
Regarding chick spacing: There are several different approaches and opinions that growers have in this area. One thought that appears to be the most common is to keep similar ages together. The growers doing this are aware of the social needs of the birds that start at a very young age. You might consider using this concept rather then mixing the chicks for grow-out. When it's time to select the birds for processing you could pull the appropriate sizes from the various pens as needed. Obviously regardless of hatch date some chicks grow out faster than others.

Purchasing birds: Certainly purchasing from different breeders would help minimize the possibility of inbreeding or incompatibility. However, be aware that some breeders really might not know if the birds you actually purchase from them are unrelated, even if they state they are. So, purchasing from different breeders and pairing up individual birds from different breeders would help minimize that issue. Additionally, since the industry has been around for a very long time and there is currently no central registry and micro-chipping of breeders has fallen out of favor there is no real guarantee that some of the birds being purchased might be making the genetic rounds again, even if purchased from different breeders. Minimizing is the best you can do. If you purchase from a long time reputable breeder than they should have ample replacements available if you have an incompatibility issue. The worst thing is you might just loose a season instead of being stuck with an unproductive pair. AOA members usually are pleased to offer a replacement, so be sure to ask. There are brokers out there and growers that just churn chicks out for sale and hold some back to be sold as breeders. Look around and if you see birds mixed in large populations and no tag or ID, you have to wonder how the breeder knows where the bird came from. Ask, and if they say they just know, get back in your vehicle. Growers that care about keeping track of potential breeders for sale may also choose to keep the genetics by pen so they don't have to tag. AOA members get it and want repeat business and see the industry grow.

The Association is planning for some webinars hopefully within the next few months. One of the webinars will be a technical discussion with long term growers where members can participate and ask questions.
Last edit: 3 years 7 months ago by BigBirdGuy.
3 years 7 months ago #151

Replied by user107030 on topic Tons of Questions

So if 1/3 acre is needed for a pair, would 1/2 an acre be sufficient for a trio?

Also, I'm in the planning stages for building a barn to provide shelter for the trio as well as building areas for chicks as they grow since we live in Michigan. I see a pretty good guide for how much room chicks need up to 8 weeks in the older primer the AOA sent me when I started my membership last summer. How about for older chicks? (I.e. 8 weeks to 4 months). After 4 months are they able to join a pen with yearlings or should there be another transition before that? If so, for how long and how much room per bird? Once they are in with yearlings, how much room per bird should they have?

I appreciate any assistance as I want to be sure we get the size barn we're going to need. All the birds will have shelter in the barn even if they are old enough to have access to a run, so I certainly don't want to invest in it and realize I needed more room before we even get started. The trio is all I plan to breed as we start so any tips as to what you've done for facilities, or would do if you were starting again would be wonderful. Even drawings of how you laid things out!

Lastly, is there a problem with acquiring all the birds from one breeder. Simply put, should I be concerned with inbreeding.

Thank you sincerely, in advance!
Last edit: 3 years 7 months ago by BigBirdGuy.
3 years 7 months ago #150

Replied by BigRed on topic Tons of Questions

Hi Carrie,

There are none in Michigan. I've researched for over a year and can't find anyone in the state that still raises them. I found them in the Carolina's. You may find them closer but I was actually going to the Carolina's for another reason and upon researching on the internet, I found a few that were close to the route I was taking. You will need to look outside of Michigan to find them. It's very difficult to find any accurate/relevant information about raising ostriches anywhere and the best that I've found is via the AOA, although it still seems to have gaps that I'm having trouble filling. I don't physically have my birds yet because I'm trying to build a barn to house them and prepare for young in another couple years. So, all things considered Carrie, I do hope this is helpful. What part of the state would you be raising them? It would be nice to have a local support circle once things get rolling. I'm north of Flint.

God Bless!
4 years 3 weeks ago #125

Replied by Guest Derrick on topic Tons of Questions

I live in Michigan and was in the Ostrich raising business from 1992 until March of 2015 when I came down with a rare form of cancer and ended up processing the remainder of my ostrich as I was unable to care for them. I am doing much better and would be able to help people here in Michigan or nearby with questions regarding raising ostrich in our climate so they do not have to learn the hard way as I did.
I hope to some day get back in the business when I am able to acquire a little more property.
I would be willing to show people the set up I used and also advise on what I would have done different to deal with our winters here in Michigan.
Last edit: 3 years 7 months ago by BigBirdGuy.
4 years 1 month ago #122
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