OSTRICH RANCHING – A Lucrative Investment
Some farmers in the midwest are replacing their cows with an animal that may be a better investment. Iâ€™m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Weâ€™re speaking with Dave Cito at his ranch in Colorado where he raises – you guessed it – ostriches.
â€œWell I had a friend that had a dairy and we was out visiting him and I seen these ostriches in his pen. I asked, What the hell you doinâ€™ with them things?â€™ and he tried to convince me I shouldâ€™ve got into this thing and I just laughed at him. So then I got to seeing that he was making more money and working a hell of a lot less hours, and I thought I better quit laughing at him and see about getting into this. So thatâ€™s how we got started.â€
ambience, ostrich pecking, feeding
â€œCome on babies. Now see how fast these grow? Theyâ€™re only six months old.â€
â€œWell, the ostrich ranching is going to be, I think, one of the meat supplies for the United States eventually and foreign countries. Theyâ€™ve found that itâ€™s lower in fat and cholesterol than turkey, plus itâ€™s a pure red meat and it tastes more like beef than chicken or turkey, so itâ€™s going to be a good alternative for beef, and itâ€™s a good tasting meat. Weâ€™ve tasted some so far and it tastes just about like beef and no fat at all in it.â€
Currently there are 15-20,000 ostriches in the US, and in order to reach just 1% of the meat market here, the ostrich population must increase to around seven million. But it looks like that wonâ€™t take such a long time, considering what an ostrich pair can produce.
â€œTheir life-spanâ€™s an average of 70 years old. Now they wonâ€™t lay that many years. Usually theyâ€™ll start laying about three years of age, and theyâ€™ll probably lay up to 30, 40 years I suppose. Thatâ€™s what I think is real good for the farming industry is because a beef cow usually theyâ€™ll last four years, five years. Where here weâ€™re talking 35 to 40 years of production out of one hen.â€
â€œAnd so my neighbor over here, he seen me get started and so I started telling him about the money. So heâ€™s getting into it pretty good.â€
Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont to encourage respect for our environment.