Safari Ostrich Farm is primarily a breeding commercial ostrich farm with our main concern being breeding with ostriches for their meat, leather and feathers.
We have 150 breeding pairs which are specifically selected for breeding purposes. Ostriches have a specific breeding season which is from June to October/November. The female will lay one egg every two days until she has enough to cover with her body and wings and then they will start incubation.
Adult breeding ostriches display characteristic behaviour during this period – mating being the first important part in this whole breeding process. Broody behaviour displayed by the female ostrich demonstrates her readiness to mate. This is characterized by the female walking with her wings stretched out alongside her body and shaking them gently, keeping her head close to the ground and pecking at the soil aimlessly.
The breeding male is the more aggressive of the two sexes, with typical territorial behaviour displayed. His beak and shins will change in colour from pale pink to deep red – this is a sign for us farmers that the male breeding birds are getting ready for the coming breeding season. Breeding birds are put into breeding camps shortly after this change in the colour of the shins.
The reproductive behavioural display of males is characterized by the male sitting on his hocks, and swaying from side to side, with outstretched wings alternately touching the ground. During the “mating dance” the male’s neck is usually pulled backwards, with the head positioned near the back of the bird.
A mating session can last 30 to 90 seconds, with the male mating several times a day with any one female. A male mounts a female from behind. The male will search for a suitable place to create a nest for the female, normally after the first mating has occurred. The hen usually lays her egg in the early morning (before 8am) and late afternoon (after 4pm). Both cock and hen sometimes display broody behaviour next to a nest; it is usually associated with the presence of eggs or the male’s solicitation towards the female to produce an egg.