Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ostrich meat

The Evolution of Ostrich Meat As a Primary Source of Income to the Ostrich Farmer

Ostrich farming has gone through developmental stages throughout the years, but it has only recently developed ostrich meat as a major source of income.. In the early years, ostriches were kept to ease the harvest of feathers, which were the primary source of revenue at that time. After World War II, the ostrich farming industry underwent a great transition to having the ostrich skins as the primary source of revenue. With the age of better refrigeration, organized cold-chains and a larger, more easily accessed market via better transportation, it has become possible to change the focus once again. That focus is now on ostrich meat as the primary source of revenue.

Let us look at the ostrich meat, and the great market open too it.
Ostrich meat is classified as a red meat. It does not have intra-muscular fat; the fat is all situated in a large pad on the breast, and along the spine. This makes the meat a healthy alternative for those consumers seeking a low-fat alternative to beef or pork.
Most of the meat on an ostrich sits on the legs and thighs. As the ostrich is a flightless bird, the wings are very underdeveloped, therefore giving us very little muscle (meat). However, the breast does have +/- 10 kg (5 lb.) of meat, and the neck is also a favorable cut with a lot of extra meat.
The amount and quality of meat that an ostrich will produce once slaughtered is variable, as with any other livestock. Factors that influence the amount, taste, texture and quality of the meat are:
• The diet
• Management of health
• Diet
• Age
• Genetics
• Feed Conversion Ratio
A good average for a young ostrich at between 200 and 280 days is currently between 110 - 125 kg (50 - 58lb) live weight. Once slaughtered this gives an average of up to 50 kg (25 lb.) boneless meat.
The white ostrich fat is, as previously stated, situated on a thick pad on the underside of the ostrich. Some fat is also situated along the spine, and other clearly defined areas. Ostrich fat is a fat reserve necessary for the well being of the bird. It is a source of energy during times of stress and in the cold months when extra energy is required. This fat is an excellent source of revenue at slaughter.
The carcass bones are also an additional source of revenue. Once dried and ground as bone meal, their value as a feed supplement in many commercial feeds is note worthy.
Ostrich meat is sold as many different cuts, and different regions have their own specialities.
• Fillets
• Steaks
• Stewing cuts
• Roasts
• Biltong (Jerkey)
To name but a few.
Value can be added to the ostrich meat in different ways:
• By the addition of marinades, or vitamin and mineral enhancers
• By certification and grading marks
• By processing
• By vacuum packing
With the constant growth in world populations, and with the development of technology, ostrich meat has a wonderful opportunity to develop further as a constant supplier of meat protein.
For more information on ostrich farming, check out this ebook entitled How to Start An Ostrich Farm.
Alan B. Stables is a freelance writer on alternative agriculture, has organized the World Ostrich Congress in Madrid, Spain in 2005 and has also been a guest speaker in Brazil, China, Egypt, Italy, Latvia and Spain, on how to market ostrich produce for maximum returns. His leaflet "The Information Guide on How To Remove, Store, Transport and Grade Your Ostrich Skins" has become an Ostrich Industry Standard that has been translated and used in many countries today. Alan is also a founding member of the World Ostrich Association.

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