Cape Karoo International’s ostriches are raised to a live mass of about 90kg in natural surroundings on privately owned farms. The producers are responsible farmers, aiming to raise the birds in the most acceptable way according to the legislation of EU and DAFF. All ostriches from CKI are bred using good animal welfare protocols.
The five freedoms of our farming practice
The five freedoms are part of the good farming practice to ensure animal welfare and cruelty-free farming:
- Freedom from thirst, hunger, and malnutrition.
- Freedom from discomfort.
- Freedom from pain, injury, and disease.
- Freedom from fear and distress.
- Freedom to express normal behaviour.
Nourished to flourish
Ostriches are fed on pastures such as wheat, alfalfa, and alfalfa hay as well as energy and protein supplements to ensure a balanced ration. This includes energy sources such as maize, barley, oats; protein sources such as soya and canola; and roughage such as bran.
- Vitamins and minerals are also added.
- No animal protein sources are used and no growth stimulants are administered.
- The meat is free of any systematically administered antibiotics.
Environmental friendly farming
The ostrich (Struthio Camelus) being indigenous to the Little Karoo prefers a hot, arid climate. A sign that the ostriches thrive is that they breed very well. One hen can lay 40-60 eggs per season compared with a cow that will only produce a single calf each year which will reach the market after two years.
The biggest part of the ostrich’s diet is Lucerne, which grows excellently in this region, and our gravelly soil contains all the stones necessary which the bird swallows and uses as ‘choppers’ to grind its food. Its digestive system has a huge environmental advantage which produces much less methane gas than other livestock. The ostriches are also much more efficient at converting their feed into live weight than other livestock. They grow quickly which is the key to their survival out on the savannah. The quicker they grow the quicker they can run, and escape predators.
Safety and Traceability
All ostriches have individual official tags for traceability back to the farm. The birds are transported live to Cape Karoo International ostrich processing facility which is designed to comply with relevant animal health, abattoir hygiene, and process and facility directives. See accreditations.