There are a huge growth potential for the ostrich market, even though the industry is yet to gain a 1% share of the total meat market. Having at least a 1% share in the total meat market would mean that that more ostriches (numbering about 4 million) would need to be farmed and slaughtered to be able to meet the growing demand.
Ostrich is characterized by 3 product phases, i.e. meat, leather and feathers with the current main source of income meat and leather. The value of a slaughtered ostrich is broken down into 45% skin, 45% meat and 10% feather. This contrasts with Europe, where the breakdown is 75% meat and 25% skin. This is because of the popular healthy aspects that ostrich meat contains the lowest fat and cholesterol and is rich in protein and iron.
Ostrich products (leather, meat, feathers and curios) are marketed locally and exported through a free market system.The main market for ostrich meat is restaurants, wholesalers, supermarkets and food-service suppliers. The market for ostrich leather includes the clothing, fashion and upholstery industries and for the feathers the household, fashion and carnival markets.
Ostrich farming is much more profitable than raising other traditional farm animals. Ostriches are loving birds, they are quite easy to raise and require little maintenance from farmers. One of the reasons why ostrich farming is such a lucrative business is the number of valuables an ostrich has to offer; and very little ever goes to waste.
Meat – The meat is red with lower fat and is also a good source of iron and protein.
Eggs – The eggs are about 6 inches long, 5 inches wide and weighs 2 kg. Ostriches can lay about 15 – 45 eggs per season. 1 ostrich egg is equivalent to 5 chicken eggs.
Feathers – The feathers are extremely valuable and durable. The feathers are used to make dusters for cleaning, hat and home decorations.
Skin (leather) – Ostrich leather is of high quality being thick, soft and durable. It is used to make handbags, carpets, clothing, books etc.
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