In the United States, prospective ostrich farmers must demonstrate the financial capacity for starting an ostrich farm; they should also select eggs and breeding ostriches from reliable breeders and stock appropriate food to ensure ostriches survive. In the United States, ostrich rearing is an uncommon but expanding practice, according to North Carolina State University. Some variations exists among farmers in technique and rearing habits, but at a minimum, farmers need at least one healthy breeding pair of ostriches, eggs or hatch chicks to start.
Ostriches are relatively expensive; a high-quality breeding pair can cost up to $6,000, reports North Carolina State University. Purchasing a breeding pair is costly, but ensures almost immediate ostrich production. Alternatively, farmers can start with the less expensive option of buying eggs and hatch chicks. This method requires waiting up to 2 years for ostrich production. Prospective farmers can also buy juveniles, which reduces production time by 1 year.
In addition to the birds, farmers must have suitable ostrich food, which includes pellets, greens and game meat, along with fresh water and adequate light. As birds age, farmers should provide natural food in addition to commercial feed. They should allot 1 acre for every pair; this space should be enclosed by a 6-foot fence and have a shelter, as ostriches should not get wet. Since they are prone to health problems, farmers should consult veterinarians if ostriches exhibit malaise.