Ostrich, the largest bird of the world although incapable of flying, runs at 70km/h for 30 minutes to defend in case of any danger. Ostrich farming is one of the profitable business in the whole world as it is a source of meat, oil, leather and feathers. It is very economical in return as it consumes less fodder and capable of producing more meat. It has very unique physical characteristics as it can tolerate the temperature ranging from -02 degree Celsius to 56 degree Celsius easily. Commercial farming is successfully done in areas of high moisture, snow and desert areas in the whole world. An ostrich produces 17kg per annum Methane gas which is nearly equal to humans making it one of the best animal of 21st century due to adaptations in changing climate. One of the leading countries in Ostrich farming are Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Australia, Iran, America and China. For successful Ostrich farming, more vacant place, feed containing surplus nutritional value including minerals and vitamins are required. Pakistan is a suitable region for Ostrich farming because of the country's moderate weather conditions.  

The demand of Ostrich meat is expanding in the whole world with every day. Meat is preferred because it contains low calories and fats. The taste of meat varies with age. It is like beef if an Ostrich's age is more than 10 months and it is like a calf meat taste if Ostrich is lesser in age. Meat is red in color but it is low in cholesterol level even than chicken and fish. It contains iron three times that of chicken so it is recommended for the deficiency of people having low iron in their diet. One out of three children each lacks iron in their body. Each 100g of Ostrich meat contains 4.9mg of iron. It is also beneficial for diabetes and hepatitis patients. According to FAO, each kilogram of Ostrich meat contains 21.9g of proteins which is higher than cattle and chicken protein amount.

The leather of Ostrich is second most expensive after crocodile. Production is much lesser than consumption. The leather is very soft and durable. Each Ostrich produces 12-14sq feet leather. The price of Ostrich leather depends on presence of follicles. An old age Ostrich (more than 10 month age) is preferred for high quality leather. Leather contributes 45 per cent profit in farming.

Feathers of Ostrich also have economic importance. An Ostrich of more than 10 months yields feather weighing 1.5-2kg which is used for electronic and in women’s attire. The feathers are also used in cleaning of “Holy Kaaba”. Feathers contribute 5 per cent profit in Ostrich farming.

Another derived source is Ostrich’s oil which is one of the most expansive oils which is used for relaxing joint points. It serves as an excellent skin moisturizer. It also offers relief from blisters and sun burns. 

Ostrich belongs to “Ratite” family. It has many breeds in the varying according to the color of their neck. Hybrid Ostrich can be obtained through cross breeding of blue and black neck ostriches. Red colored North African Ostrich is higher in height (2.5-3meters) while South African Black Ostrich is dominant in weight (100-150kg).

Digestive system of Ostrich is just like chicken with only difference of absence of crop in it. Moreover, it lacks gall bladder just like horses. The feed also just like poultry but it also eat fodder like animals. Clean water is also essential for Ostrich. 2.5 liters of water is required with each kilogram of feed. Water uptake is increased under high temperature but it is reduced under reduced conditions. The nutritional factors of South Africa are best for Ostrich and it also relates with Pakistan.

In early days, problem arise due to quality and quantity of feed. 30-40 per cent of deaths are reported because of this factor. Ostrich consumes 600-650kg of feed every year for meat production. The protein content in feed for early days of chicks is fatal because it increases the weight of body making legs difficult to bear it. Pro-antibiotics in early days should be preferred in early days and stool of large Ostrich should be provided to small ostrich that is helpful in production of favorable bacteria. Feed supplements are also helpful in promoting digestion. Small and large Ostrich can engulf each and everything easily so the shelter area should be free of wires, stones and other hard objects that may prove fatal.

Farming system is mainly divided into three portions i.e. Extensive system, intensive system and semi-intensive system. Extensive system is the one in which chicks are cradled with breeding flock for three months. In intensive system, chicks are taken in farm for 1 day to 3 months. In semi-intensive system, chicks are sheltered on artificial grass or cement floor. Temperature of the shed should be maintained in both summer and winter seasons. During winters, they must be kept in shed for 8-10 weeks. Over-population reduces growth and more prone to diseases and chicks start biting each other.

The quality of chick can be determined by the weight, colour, length of Ostrich chick. Moreover, it looks healthy and cannot be infected easily. They should have quick response of standing if they have fallen. The hock joints should not be injured. The colour of eyes also determine quality of Ostrich chick.

Bedding system for brooding of Ostrich chick should be properly managed. The bedding system must be favourable for chicks but mostly the bedding material is eaten by them so it needs to be covered if it is sand or plastic. They do so when feed is not in their access or an inadequate amount is provided. In first two months, feed should be in form of mesh.

Transport of Ostrich chick is also one of the factor that is responsible for its death. Travelling induces stress in chicks due to increased temperature. So, Vitasol super 1g/4L water and hyper mineral 1ml/2L water should be given in order to release stress of travelling. Endocrine system becomes stabilized and strong enough to cope with any external stress so brooding system should protect them in early days so that they cross fatal stage without any danger. Brooding starts from 30-32 degree centigrade and finishes at 24 degree centigrade at the age of 5 weeks. Moisture level should be maintained at 60-65 per cent in order to make breathing easy for Ostrich chicks. The material for watering Ostrich chicks should be contamination free and washed with pinkish Potassium permanganate (KMnO4). Water should be appealing for them so add colors like green or yellow. The temperature of water for drinking must not exceed 36 degree centigrade. Inadequate water in diet ultimately leads to death so all these factors that overcome the intake of water should be eliminated.

The apparatus used for feeding for chicks must be accessible and should not exceed height higher than the chest of chicks. They must be trained for proper feeding. Feed given to them must be divided in groups and not individually.

Light factor also influences the health status of Ostrich chick. For this purpose, mercury or brown are more preferred. In early days, light should be provided consistently as it helps in water and feed intake. If Ammonia is produced excessively then it is dangerous too as it causes suffocation and burning in eyes if the amount is above 20ppm. Exhaust fans are used to eliminate ammonia in shed.

Predators are dangerous for both open and closed shed areas so the animals like snake, cat, dog, vulture, fox or mongoose should be avoided. There should be no space in open or closed shed for entry of these predators. Appropriate fresh air is necessary in reduction of effect of unfavorable gases. If the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) is more than 0.03% in the shed then it causes problem.