Bird Body Condition Is Most Important

Feeding to Body Condition is the most important part of any feeding program. It is impossible to develop a perfect feed that will fit the nutrient requirements of every Ostrich frame size and body weight on every farm in every country of the world. Hindustan Animal feed (HAF) formulas are designed for productive performance for the AVERAGE ostrich and average environmental stresses and weather conditions. It is up to each individual farmer to “properly” adjust his feeding program for his/her individual birds on their own respective farm and this is done through correctly adjusting feeding rates (bird intake volume) until proper Body Condition is achieved.

It should be easy to understand that the nutrient requirements of a 400 pound (182kg) Ostrich hen with a large bone frame and large body is different than that of a 300 pound (136kg) hen of smaller frame and smaller body weight. The differences in the nutrient requirements can be easily adjusted by adjusting the VOLUME of the daily amount of feed fed to both birds.

Average Feed Consumption                                         





0-45 days

25kg (55lbs)

0-225 days

222kg (488lbs)

95kg (210lbs)


0-300 days

396kg-440kg (871-968lbs)

110kg (242lbs)

3.6:1 – 4:1

From 210 days


Mature Breeders

approx 500kg (1100lbs)

Laying Season

Mature Breeders

aprox 260kgs (572lbs)

Off Season



The HAF recommendations of Body Condition checks is the guiding indicator of when a bird is being properly fed that will result in productive performance in egg production and meat production. When the backbone at the highest place on the bird’s back is protruding above the surrounding flesh, the bird is too thin and needs increased feed. When the backbone at the highest place on the bird’s back is indented below the surrounding flesh, the bird is too fat and needs decreased feed–or a different feed formulation. The optimum Body Condition is when the backbone at the highest point on their back is perfectly even with the surrounding flesh.

When feeding larger numbers of Ostrich in a single pen, feed to the average Body Condition of the majority of the birds. In large groups when the feeding program is correct, some birds will be too thin, some a little fat, but the Majority will be just right.

For Breeding birds, the most important time period for feeding correctly and paying attention to feeding management detail is right after the birds quit laying. At that time, they instinctively want to “increase” their daily feed intake in order to “replenish” their body reserves from the stressful laying season and that is your opportunity to follow them and get their body condition correct. If you are doing it correctly, their body condition will be right in about 30-45 days after they quite laying and then you can taper off and maintain that condition.

For Growing birds, begin to check their Body Condition at 5 months of age. If birds are too thin, increase their daily feeding rate until they reach the proper Body Condition. If Growing birds are getting too fat, decrease their daily feeding rate until they reach the proper Body Condition average but never go below the daily recommended minimum feeding rate.