Aktau Farmer Breeds African Ostriches

AKTAU – In a village near Aktau live 10 immigrants from Africa: 10 African ostriches. This strange farm belongs to Azamat Orazbayev, who said he simply wanted to do “something unusual,” when he decided to raise the birds.

The Mangystau oblast administration has promised to allocate land for this unique farm, and veterinarians are studying literature on the foreign birds.

“There is less hassle with them than with chickens and ducks,” Orazbayev said about why he decided to breed ostriches. Orazbayev learned all about breeding ostriches from the Internet. His 10 ostrich chicks arrived by train from Almaty, where a large ostrich farm has been breeding them for more than 10 years. At first the birds were very tired from their journey, but they quickly recovered and became quite tame.

“Now the chicks are only two months old. But this bird grows very fast – they grow almost a centimetre a day and adult ostriches reach nearly 2.5 metres in height.” The ostriches aren’t picky eaters. The chicks eat grass and especially like alfalfa, cabbage and parsley. One chick drinks only 100 grams of water a day.

“After a year and a half, when they grow up, I would like to organise a farm,” Orazbayev said, and the regional administration supports this initiative. Ostrich feathers, meat and eggs are in great demand.

“They certainly need vaccinations against avian flu. We have already begun to study the procedures of ostrich breeding,” said Syrym Karabek, acting head of the regional Biological Safety Committee.

Ostriches can withstand extreme heat, which is not uncommon for the Mangystau oblast, as are winter frosts reaching -25 C. The chicks are now are kept in a barn, but soon they will have their own winter house. Before the New Year, the ostrich family will be replenished with 20 new chicks. Soon after, the first ostrich farm in the Mangystau region will open.

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