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Ostrich Production in Pakistan: Challenges and opportunity Dr. Nasir Mukhtar, Assistant ProfessorStation for Ostrich Research and Development (SORD) ، Faculty of Veterinary and Animal SciencesArid Agriculture University Rawalpindi Pakistan، For correspondence: [email protected] (0300-7200074)
ڈاکٹر ناصر مختار عرصہ پندرہ سال سے پولٹری کی مختلف شعبوں سےآاپ نے پاکستان پولٹری انڈسٹری کے مختلف شعبوں ميں کام منسلک ہے۔
آاباد سے اور پوسٹ آاپ نے پی ايچ ڈی زرعی يونيورسٹی فيصل کيا ہے۔ ڈاکٹريٹ يونيورسٹی اف ايڈنبرا –سکاٹ لینڈ -يوکے سے حاصل کی ہے۔ اور
عرصہ چھ سال سے ايرڈ زرعی يونيورسٹی ميں فيکلٹی اف ويٹرنری اينڈآاپ اب تک اينيمل سائنسز ميں بطور اسٹنٹ پروفيسر کام کر رہے ہيں ۔
آانرز( تين طالبعلموں کو پی ايچ ڈی اور سات طالبعلموں کو ايم ايس سی )آاپ کی تین کتابیں اور ريسرچ پيپرز ہے جو کے انٹر32کرواچکے ہے۔
آاپ وہ پہلے سائنسدان ہے جنہوں نے نيشل جرنلز ميں شائع ہو چکے ہے۔ پاکستان ميں شتر مرغ کی ترقی کيلے ايرڈ زرعی يو نيورسٹی راولپنڈی
ميں پہلا ريسرچ اسٹشين قا ئم کيا ہے اور شتر مرغ کو پاکستان کا پرندہبنانا چاہتے ہیں تاکہ اس سے زیادہ سے زیادہ تجارتی فائدےحاصل ہوسکے
General Information on OstrichOstrich is the world’s largest Ratite (flightless birds without keel bone; Struthio camelus) bird, 2.75m in height and 150 kg in mass and its feathers are fluffy and symmetrical. Other ratite birds are Emu, Rhea, Cassowary and Kiwi. Ostrich produce 10-110 eggs per year in a specific breeding season (February to August in Pakistan) and can survive upto 60 years. It produces eggs up to 25 years of age and produce maximum eggs at 6-11 years of age. Incubation period of egg
is 42-44 days and weight of egg is 800-1800 grams. Incubation requirement like temperature is 36.50 and 360 and humidity 15-20% and 40% in setter and Hatcher, respectively. Hatchability of fertile eggs is 20-80% in different areas of world and fertility is about 80-90%. Ostrich can gain 80 kg weight within 9 months and 100 kg in one year and also produce the 1.5 kg feathers. It produces 1 kg live weight on the cost of 4 kg balance feed and one kg fodder. Puberty starts in male at 3 years but females mature earlier at 2 years of age. Ostrich have five world renowned breeds in world like black neck ostrich, red neck ostrich, pink neck ostrich, blue neck ostrich and hybrid ostrich (Cross of black and blue neck ostrich) but most popular is the black neck ostrich in the world. The black neck ostrich adult male bird has a grey colored neck with black and white wing primaries and tail feathers. The female has white to light grey wing primaries and tail feathers with dull brown to grey color all over the body. Young chicks are mottled brown, yellow, cream and orange with black quills on back while juvenile birds resemble the females. The eyes are 50 mm in diameter. Ostrich is the largest vertebrate and has ability to position his head to produce an image from in front of and below the eyes. The large blind spots on above and behind the head are considered to shade the eye. Ostrich spends all the time walking around its environment and unable to fly and can only run in case of any danger attaining a speed of 60-70km/h. The large amount of feed energy is saved in the tendons which are used by the ostrich for running. Ostrich is a digitigrades, but uniquely, it has only two toes. The ostrich has no substantial pectoral muscles and wings are poorly developed. Though ostrich can’t fly, the presence of air sacs, pneumatized bones, strong pygostyle and presence of some wing bones give evidence that ostrich is evolved from flying ancestors.It has versatile differential physiology as no crop like chicken or other birds, it have no gall bladder like horse, it has diversified reproductive phallus supported by lymphoid fluid instead of blood and fiber requirement is 18% and ostrich is an
herbivore bird, mostly eats green grass. The demand for breeder is also increasing worldwide. First commercial farm of ostrich was introduced in South Africa in 1863. Now this business has spread to about more than 100 countries. Some of the reasons for ostrich farming includes as it lays a good quality and heavy eggs. For better fertility we maintained ostrich breeding flock in 1:2 [trio] and this arrangement yield the maximum hatchability.
Opportunity in ostrich farming Today Ostrich farming is among the world's fastest growing multi products agricultural business. Ostrich meat is far better healthy as it contains less fat, and cholesterol. It is serving global markets for meat, leather, eggs, feathers, oil and other products. It is estimated that ostrich farmers are meeting only 10 percent to the consumer demand in the world. Ostriches can tolerate from -7 to 50 centigrade and best animal under climate change. South Africa is the world largest exporter of ostrich products in world which is account for 45%. Israel, Iran and china are fastly growing country in the field of ostrich business in world. Environment of Pakistan is quite good for successful ostrich farming. They eat lucerne fodder which is easily available in Pakistan.Ostrich grows at a very high rate. The bird has the best feed-to-gain ratio of any land animal in the world. This is because whatever it eats, it becomes part of its body. A cattle needs 20kg feed to gain 1kg weight while an ostrich needs 4 kg feed to gain 1kg weight. On other hand meat of ostrich is red meat like goat meat and has zero cholesterol. Ostrich meat price in Pakistan is Rs. 2000 kg, Rs. 3000 in UAE, Rs. 5000 rupees kg in Europe and USA and 15000 rupees kg in Japan. Ostrich is newly emerging host in Pakistan for meat, skin and feathers. Ostrich is now being introduced as a farm bird in Pakistan. Pakistan has imported more than 10,000 ostrich form abroad and presently Pakistan has about 4000 ostriches within 152 farms. Ostrich has been declared as domestic bird of commercial interest instead of free-living by the Government
of Punjab in 2012. It is an opportune time for Pakistan to capture its share in the international market by rearing the ostrich commercially and launching its products both locally and in the international markets.
Ostrich products and by productsMany ostrich by-products are produce from ostrich. These includes ostrich leather and leather products, feather dresses, Ostrich Oil, Ostrich Oil beauty soap, Ostrich egg’s shell Painting and Egg carving as decorate items. Environmentally friendly ostrich farming means that ostriches are given no steroids, antibiotics, or hormones. Its meat is considered as organic meat in the world.
Challenges in ostrich farming in Pakistan Ostrich has very low hatchability and very high mortality (10-50%) worldwide. Ostrich farming encounters some problems. The first one is that birds are often fed poorly and improperly and yield very low eggs and hatchability. Ostrich farming do not take enough care of the birds. Many farmers experience problems with selling their products, as marketing is a problem for them. Other problems are followingsSever Leg deformities during brooding period due to lack of brooding experience and imbalance nutrition. Gastric impaction due to eating the non-food items is another problem during brooding. Predator attack / crow attacks has been observed in many flocks. Unavailability of day old chicks at country level and hatching facilities (Hatchery) is the limiting factor for its growth as industry. No tannery for skin processing and market for skin in country. Ban on export at federal level is the most limiting factor.
RecommendationsThe author suggests the following recommendation for governments; Government of Pakistan declared the ostrich as farm animal instead of wild animal like Government of Punjab. Training of master trainers like veterinary Officer and veterinary Assistant in country,
Services and incentives to the farmers, Establishment of model ostrich breeding farm, hatchery and tannery in different zones of country. Modern meat processing plant has already been established in country. Awareness to the public regarding nutritional value of ostrich meat and eating habits and establishment of market for ostrich products. Extension services / dissemination of knowledge through seminar / conferences and symposia. Establishment of National Ratite Institute & Ratite Parks (NRIRP) for Research & Development at Country level and attached all ostriches at ZOO with this institute. The author suggests the following recommendation for farmers;At present only breeding ostriches and day old chicks has market in country. Only large scale business is recommended because leather and feather products needed to be exported to other countries. Small farmers are strongly discouraged at present. Government efforts for ostrich business in Pakistan Private industry in Pakistan has been done a huge effort since last three decade to establish the ostrich business in Pakistan but failed to establish as profitable enterprise in country. Government and academia stated their effort since last five years for the development of ostrich farming in country. Following activities has been done for ostrich development in Pakistan by government and academia.
Agribusiness Department, University of Karachi arranged a seminar on Ostrich Business
Government of Punjab declared the ostrich as farm animal instead of wild animal in Punjab
Establishment of first research platform “Station for Ostrich Research & Development at Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi” and imported 53 day old ostriches from south Africa for the training of farmers, students and teachers. Organized seminar on ostrich enterprises at national level.
Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)-Korea started to establish Pak-Korea Capacity building centre for agriculture and livestock technology at Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi. Researchers got training on ostrich production form Korea and developed curriculum with Korean experts for short term training program “Ostrich Production and Management”.
Establishment of Model ostrich research farm at ZTBL Farms Islamabad.
Establishment of Ostrich Research facility at NARC Islamabad
Department of LDDD, Government of Punjab conducted many meetings with ostrich experts for the ostrich development in Punjab and designed policies regarding the ostrich production in country
ZTBL Farms Islamabad arranged a workshop for ostrich production in country.University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences established a small ostrich farm and arranged a consultative work shop for ostrich development in country. Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) established the ostrich eggs hatching facility at SORD Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi.
We hope that Department of LDDD, Government of Punjab will be launched ostrich farming as a new enterprise in Punjab. Achievement of Station for Ostrich Research & Development (SORD) Arid Agriculture University RawalpindiStation for Ostrich Research and development (SORD has imported 53 one week ostrich chicks form South Africa and 13 breeding ostriches for the production of day old ostrich chicks in country. The station has a small scale hatching facility for ostrich chick production. First acclimatized ostrich chick has hatched in country at this research station. Main objective of this dynamic facility is the training of skilled persons and conducting the problem oriented research in country.
SORD at Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi with private ostrich industry is striving to develop ostrich farming in Pakistan. Establishment of SORD has opened the new horizons for training of students and farmers and many students have been trained for ostrich production and management. Establishment of the Station for Ostrich Research and development (SORD) has following achievementsFirst Public private partnership projectOstriches for showing purpose for visitorsTraining of framers and studentsPerform many stomach and bone surgical operation for the treatment of sick ostrichesResearch for commercial ostrich production and development in countryDevelopment of feed formulas for breeding and growing ostriches
Ostrich’s life cycle
Ostrich products and by products
Station for ostrich research and development (SORD) at Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi
6 months old ostriches at SORD Ostrich brooding management
Ostrich hatchery Ostrich hatchery
Ostrich brooding management Ostrich handling
2.5 years old grey color Female 3 year old black color male