A big flightless bird found only in open country in Africa; Ostrich is a giant living bird that has a long, bare neck, long, sturdy legs, and a bulky body covered with feathers. The ostrich’s egg, averaging about 6 inches in length by 5 inches in diameter and about 1.35 kg, is also the world’s largest.
Males and females have different colored feathers. The male is mostly black with white plumes in the wings and tail, while females are mostly brown. Both sexes have small heads, a short, broad beak, and big brown eyes protected by long dark lashes.
- The average lifespan for an ostrich is 50 to 75 years old.
- They have brilliant eyesight, which means they can see an object as far away as 3,5km during the day time.
- Ostriches have three stomachs.
- Ostriches swallow pebbles to grind their food. An adult ostrich can carry about 1kg of stones at any one time.
- No matter what the temperature of their environment, an ostrich will always be at the same temperature.
- They can sprint up to 43 miles an hour and run over distance at 31 miles an hour.
- At birth, ostrich chicks are as large as a fully-grown chicken.
- Ostriches don’t bury their heads into the ground to hide from danger.
Ostrich Buying Guide
The meat of ostrich can be bought on local farmers’ markets and some grocery stores. It is also sold online and offered at some restaurants. When purchasing, remember that the meat must be free of bruises, blood clots, bloody tissue, and blood discoloration. You must avoid dark or discolored cut surfaces and naturally exposed lean surfaces and fat. This condition may be a result of dehydration, aging, or microbial oxidation of the ostrich. When choosing a cut, remember that the meaty part of an ostrich is on the thigh and hindquarter, while the forequarter has lesser amounts.
Ostrich Production & Farming in Texas
Ostrich farming began in South Africa more than 150 years ago and is now practiced in Israel and the United States as well. Ostrich is relatively expensive as compared to beef, poultry, and pork because of the limited quantity in production. Still, they produce meat and consume resources at a ratio that is much more profitable than beef cattle.
Raising an Ostrich requires only a small area of land, but it can generate revenue in several different ways. Aside from its meat, Ostrich leather is a popular product for making custom leather goods. In Texas, several companies and one large boot manufacturer buy ostrich leather produced in the US.
Ostrich was farmed during the 1860s in the Karoo and Eastern Cape regions of South Africa. A pioneer in ostrich farming claimed that in 1867 he was the first to make this his sole occupation. As there was very little capital or labor required, numbers of ostrich increased rapidly, particularly when the use of incubators became popular.
In the late 1970s and early ’80s, several farmers became interested in the potential of farming ostriches. The Australian Ostrich Breeders Association was formed in 1988 and now has members successfully breeding birds in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania.
In 1993, the American Ostrich Association estimated there were 50,000 ostriches in the United States on 3,500 farms.
The meat of ostrich is low-cholesterol red meat because of its red color, beeflike texture, and low-fat content. It is a healthy and tasty substitute for most any meat and grills, very much like lean beef. It has excellent versatility and can be bought ground, cut into steaks, sausage, and even hot dogs.
To keep meat safe from potentially harmful bacteria, refrigerate or freeze it as soon as you get home. If it takes longer than thirty minutes to get the products refrigerated, keep them cold in a portable cooler. Ostrich can last weeks in the fridge and can be kept frozen for over 90 days without getting freezer dry.
Previously frozen, vacuum- packaged ostrich meat, stored under refrigerated conditions, should be used within ten days.
Since ostrich is very lean meat, it can be tough if cooked too long. Because of its low-fat content, it can go from juicy to leathery if the meat will be overcooked.
The World Ostrich Association suggests sealing in the juices by using a roasting bag when preparing a leg roast and cooking ostrich steaks over high heat before turning down the flame to finish them off. It absorbs seasonings and marinates rapidly.
The meat can also be cubed and added to stews and stir-fries. Ground ostrich meat can be used for burgers, spaghetti sauce, chili, and just about any other recipe that calls for ground beef.
Ostrich is rich in iron, and it is a great way to reduce your fat and cholesterol intake – while still giving you an excellent, savory, meaty meal. When it comes to the combination of great taste and healthy eating, the meat of ostrich is genuinely one of the most superior meats. It’s even lower in fat than white meat chicken or turkey.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin B6: This vitamin supports amino acid formation and helps produce neurotransmitters.
Vitamin B12: It is vital for DNA production and the formation of red blood cells.
Iron: It helps to preserve many vital functions in the body, including general energy and focus, gastrointestinal processes, the immune system, and the regulation of body temperature.
Selenium: It helps your body produce thyroid hormones, which regulate your metabolism and growth rate.
Zinc: It is an essential mineral needed for many different bodily processes, such as gene expression, protein synthesis, and enzyme reactions
Phosphorus: It is necessary for body growth and maintenance.
Magnesium: Its essential jobs is to regulate muscle function throughout the body—and that includes the heart muscle.