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Many people think that the content of ostriches is a complicated procedure that requires effort and special knowledge. In fact, everything is much easier. To grow these wonderful birds at home, you just need to follow some rules.
Proper maintenance of ostriches
Ostriches are unique pets that, until recently, were considered the rarest birds brought from Africa or Australia. However, every year the population of these surprisingly massive individuals is growing, and many owners of farms and ranches have taken responsibility for the maintenance and breeding of birds. In fact, this is an easy task, although there are a number of rules that need to be followed without question.
The weight of a domestic ostrich depends on the breed and can reach 200 kg.
In the course of evolution, ostriches learned to adapt to almost all climatic zones of the Earth. Their organisms are so resistant that they are able to withstand a very wide range of temperatures( from -25 ° C to + 35 ° C).This ability helps them to quickly adapt to different living conditions.
Room for ostriches
The structure should be warm, dry. A good option is the barn, where there are no rodents and other parasites that can harm the health and offspring of ostriches. The air temperature should be from +220 C to + 180 C. The main thing is to regularly air their dwellings to prevent the spread of mold and dampness.
Concrete or asphalt must not be used in the construction of the floor.
For the development of young and for the comfort of adults, a special poultry house is being built, which needs to be suitable in many ways. In size, it should correspond to the number and size of adult birds. The ceiling should be at a level of 1 meter above the head of an ostrich( that is, about 3 meters).Windows make the size of 80 × 80.For sufficient sunlight, the height is 1 meter from the floor.
The doorway is needed for free passage of the bird, so it is better to make it wider( about 1 meter) and taller( 2 meters minimum).These birds sleep on straw bedding.
A standard poultry house must contain:
- Protected room where food will be stored. It must be airtight and isolated from rodents.
- Tanks for food, located two feet from the ground and filled by two thirds.
- Drinkers( water should be updated every day).
- A device for mixing and feeding mineral additives.
- Radiators, electric heaters or other heating devices.
- Incubators( there should be several).
The floor in the barn where ostriches live should be made from wood or sand. Also suitable mud floors. Walls should be covered with boards, but care must be taken to prevent parasites from building in them.
The place for walking should be covered with sand or gravel, well lit, closed from the cold, northern winds. The fence set 250-300 centimeters in height from small( width of cells to 3 centimeters) the metal gauze.
For each adult individual, it is necessary to allocate at least 5 m2 of free walking area. The best indicators are 10 m2.
Features of the mating season
The mating season for these flightless birds begins in May and ends in October. During this time, each male provides several( up to 4) females. Each of them is carried once in 3-4 days.
Females are able to reproduce within 1.5-2 years after birth, but in males the reproductive age occurs only after 2-2.5 years.
A male ostrich, when it is ready for breeding, begins to attract potential partners, stretching its neck and spreading its wings. His legs and the area around the beak become red, thus making it clear that he is already ripe and can give offspring. Fertilization can occur up to 35 years, then the period of reproductive activity decreases.
What to feed the ostriches?
Of course, special birds need special food. Monotonous feeding of ostriches day by day will not work if the plans include growing healthy and strong livestock. Although the feeding process itself does not differ in unique methods.
The diet of the ostrich should include:
- forage from hay and straw;
- fresh juicy grass( clover, nettle or alfalfa);
- minerals, namely calcium, fluorine, phosphates, gravel and coquina;
- vitamins( especially group B);
- fish and bone meal;
- fresh fruits, vegetables( pumpkin, potatoes, radishes, apples and others);
- cereal and grain crops;
Reproduction of ostriches
One ostrich egg reaches two kilograms. On average, a female can lay 60 eggs per year, but sometimes this figure rises to 80 pieces. The male in the first year of puberty is not able to produce a full brood. Inside the shell of the chick will not. The most active reproduction is achieved in the second and third year of life.
If the male is older than the female, the number and frequency of eggs laid increases.
Housekeeping for ostriches at home can be affected by:
- weather conditions;
- conditions in which birds live;
- availability of the site and the possibility of independent walking. The
Incubator has a temperature of 350 ° C, and the humidity is 30% in the free idle and 70% during the incubation period( 42 days).The chance of the birth of healthy live chicks increases, if the egg is very much time. The more - the hatchability will be higher. It should also be remembered that eggs of only one size can be placed in one incubator chamber. This is an important condition that must be met.
As for eggs for incubation, they should be collected immediately after laying. To hatch healthy young animals, the device must be disinfected. The most effective way is to use a solution of hydrogen peroxide. You need to install a container with liquid on the floor and put the fan. After 2 hours, ventilate the incubator.
How to keep chicks?
Strausyta are very independent, because they do not need time to open their eyes or learn to walk. They are kept in the house with a density of 1 chick per 1 square meter( over time, personal space increases to 10 m2).The first 20 days to keep kids should be on a straw pillow.
For the first three days, they feed on the components that remain in the yolk sac. On the fourth day, it is already possible to give chopped products( fresh greens, cottage cheese, eggs) and water.
It will take a minimum of effort and time to teach yourself how to eat little strausits on their own. It is enough to scatter the food on a flat smooth surface and fingers to depict the pecking of food. Kids will repeat what they see and learn how to take food themselves.
In order for the chicks to get used to fill the stomach with small stones, a tank with coarse sand is put separately to each.
Chicks also need bacteria to produce a healthy microflora of the body. In order to get the right, small ostriches in nature eat parental droppings, but at home they can be provided with probiotics.
After a week, you can feed the chicks with feed. Fresh greens and chopped vegetables must be present in the diet. After two months, ostriches are fed with more coarse foods containing certain minerals and vitamins. Compound feed is given in granules up to 8 millimeters. A month later, add cake and yeast.
Up to six months, babies are fed 5 times a day, then 3 or 4. One year after birth, the bird is already considered an adult, so it is fed no more than twice a day.
It is imperative that ostriches be provided with fresh, clean water along with dry food. This will help the digestion and normal development of the young. If everything is done correctly, then in a fairly short time it will be possible to grow an ostrich weighing about 200 kilograms.
What can harm health?
On ostrich farms, diseases arise suddenly and pass in the form of an epidemic. These are mainly diseases associated with the gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract.
To prevent such diseases, you need:
- Clean up the house and pastures every day.
- Disinfect feeders and drinkers regularly.
- Wear gloves when working on the farm.
- Regularly analyze ostrich droppings for parasites or infections.
- Graft birds.
- Survey the area for rodents.
Employees dealing with the territory and directly ostriches must undergo medical examinations. The farm should have a special place for quarantine for the sick, so that other healthy birds will not get infected during the treatment.
By observing all the rules listed above, you can not only grow ostriches for your farm, but also provide healthy and strong offspring to these birds for many generations to come.