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Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by plunk72, Jul 30, 2013.
What company's make ostrich food?
Mazuri makes exotic animal feed, so I know they have a ratite product line.
Most people mix up their own feeds though since the Mazuri feed has been found to be a bit lacking.
What age Ostrich are you trying to find food for?
Here in Texas the general consensus is to feed ratite chicks a mix of regular chick starter and chopped greens (collards, kale and so on) for the first few days after the yolk has been absorbed.. adding in layer crumbles for the extra calcium after a couple of days. Once the first week has passed rabbit pellets and layer pellets are introduced into the mix and the chick starter is removed until the chicks are eating just rabbit pellets, layer pellets and greens. (chopped apples, fruit and grated carrots can also be given mixed with the greens for added vitamins and variety if desired but it's not necessary).
After the first year we switch ratites over to calf creep feed since it provides them with better nutrition for egg production and "filling out" the muscle.
Texas was one of the largest producers of ratites when they were popular as alternative meat sources.. so lots of experimentation was made with feeding for proper growth (good sturdy legs and healthy birds) as well as reproduction (lots of healthy fertile eggs which had high hatch rates resulting in healthy chicks). They did start out with Mazuri feeds and found the chicks that hatched were weaker, they had lower hatch rates on the eggs (lower fertility) and more leg issues. Switching over to what is posted above seemed to solve the problems.
Others here on the board can chime in with their feeding regimes as well as results they have gotten. So I hope this helps.
I'm feeding Mazuri now, but would love to find "one feed to rule them all" so to speak.
Tired of buying so many different feeds for all my animals.
So a mix of layer pellets and rabbit pellets work well for Ratites? And calf creep during the breeding season?
Thanks. I was planning on getting some chicks and wanted to get a game plan on the food they need.
That's what the ranchers here found out when they were mass producing emu and ostrich for the meat industry
At first since the breeding birds were so expensive to purchase ($ 25,000 for an adult at auction was the norm) they used commercial diets... they had a lot of failures when it came to leg issues, fertility and hatchability of the eggs. The bottom dropped out of the market so they went with cheaper feeds and noticed that it made a BIG difference in the health of the chicks, leg issues as much as disappeared and the fertility of the eggs and hatch rates went way up.
I've been feeding mine the same feeds that I listed (layer pellets.. rabbit pellets and creep feed ) and have noticed where my emu are filling out much better than a friend who has birds the same age (she has been feeding mazuri).... She also had a bunch of leg issues in chicks that were started on the mazuri ratite food. The ones I fed the layer and rabbit pellets to have been growing like weeds without so much as a limp.
I should add that i know it sounds weird that you should feed chicks layer pellets and not keep them on straight chick starter.. but when you think about it it makes sense..
the layer pellets have more calcium which the growing chicks need ,... especially for the leg growth
the chick starter is much higher in protein which will cause more rapid growth.. which you are trying to avoid if you want strong bones
the rabbit pellets give more vitamins as well as green plant matter (which is especially important if you have a drought or poor soils that don't allow for lush plant growth)
if you cut back on the protein the chicks grow a bit slower (which allows the leg bones to develop slower) and the added calcium helps with the bone density and growth that they need.
Hi I was wondering if you could help me
I am planning on getting rheas but I wanted to know what I need to get before they arrive
What food do they need ?
What shelter ?
Man I safe to go near them ?
How do I move them ?
Hi, I have raised Ostriches for over 27 years, and you don't have to buy expensive feed.