Winged titans make comeback as pet farming flourishes in God’s Own Kerala

Ostrich and Emu farming have now become profitable ventures for entrepreneurs willing to take a plunge into pet farming. Photo: Special arrangement

The world’s largest birds are making a comeback to God’s Own Country, where they were once popular winged guests. Ostrich and Emu, the world’s largest and second-largest birds respectively, are now getting rockstar attention in pet markets in Kerala, which are mushrooming across the state, as aspiring entrepreneurs pitch in to exploit the commercial potential of these fascinating marketplaces.

Such is the demand for these birds that they have become a must-have breed in private pet zones that are flourishing in the state, with Malappuram in northern Malabar region accounting for the bulk of these farms. Many such farms are now sprouting across the state and these are being cited as an emerging trend.

Ostrich and Emu farming have now become profitable ventures for entrepreneurs willing to take a plunge into pet farming.

Raising the winged wonders
The Ostrich, considered the largest bird in the world, is estimated to grow up to nine feet in height, with its neck accounting for nearly half of it. Pet market entrepreneurs have figured out that Ostrich, who is an African native, can be easily raised in Kerala. A fenced environment that is at least four to five feet high is necessary for Ostritch farming. These birds should be provided ample space for it to run around.

There should be space to run. The male birds Ostritch will have large heads and they will be black in colour, and flaunt white feathers on their wings and tails. The female Ostritch can be identified by its brown complexion. Thus sex determination of the birds is an easy proposition from a very young age.

An Ostritch needs about five kilograms of concentrated feed, two chicken eggs, and a smattering of chopped green grass in their diet. They should also be given large amounts of clean water. The ostrich reaches maturity when they are two-and-a-half-years of age.

Raising Emu
Emu birds are raised in the ratio of one to two, or two males for every female Emu. These birds, which become mature at the age of two, can be raised in large groups or in pairs. During the Emu’s breeding season, which is from December to January, one male should be removed from the group.

The eggs of Emu are green in colour and on average weigh 900 grams. The Emu birds lay eggs at a gap of nearly six days. If a male Emu starts incubating, it should be taken away from the group and another male Emu should be added to the group. The male Emu also shares the responsibility of incubation.

The female Emu lays an average of 12 eggs during the breeding season. This number may vary depending on the feed provided to the Emu and its age. The egg of an Emu would take an average 58 to 62 days to hatch.
A pair of Emu requires about three kilograms of concentrated feed, a minimum of ten litres of water, and vegetables including carrots and cabbage. Necessary vitamins and minerals should also be added to the diet.

Relish the family-friendly getaway – Kasavi Paradise
Located near the Vaniyambaalam temple in Malappuram, Kasavi Paradise is a pet market that provides an opportunity for families and children to enjoy a fun-filled day out. The variety of attractions of Kasavi Paradise include Ostriches, emus, horses, turkeys, ducks, pigeons, cats, iguanas, hedgehogs, and a large variety of parrots. The Kasavi Paradise is still a work in progress and the founders Salman and Shanavas expect it to be fully operational by March. A variety of fruit trees are another attraction of this pet farmhouse.

Salman initially envisaged and built the farmhouse as a place for his own family to relax and spend quality time. However, after people started coming in droves to relish the winged wonders and other attractions, it was converted into a commercial venture.
Contact: Salman: 759194686, Shanavas: 8111877752

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