February 5, 2003
Bulletin #89

Table of contents:

Bulletin of the Month
BM Ostrich Nutrition Bulletins Have Proven Their Worth!

By: Daryl Holle, Blue Mountain Feeds
By: Fiona Benson, Blue Mountain International

Contact Information

Our e-mail address
Subscribe – Unsubscribe information

Bulletin of the Month

BM Ostrich Nutrition Bulletins Have Proven Their Worth!

By Daryl Holle:

Fiona Benson, and myself, have written 89 Blue Mountain Bulletins over the last 7 years on almost any conceivable subject that can be written on Ostrich Nutrition, Feeding Management and Farm Management. We have also written a total of 8 books compiling lots of this information with extremely important advice on how to pursue “Productive Ostrich Nutrition” on your farm. 3 of these books are still in print and are also available as downloadable E-Books from the Blue Mountain website.

To continue these Blue Mountain Ostrich Nutrition Bulletins monthly, in the manner we have in the past, would be a redundant exercise of repeating the same proven information over and over again. So, in the future, we will only produce bulletins when there is something new to report from our ongoing research and development and they will no longer be issued on a regular monthly basis as we have in the past.

It is my hope that these past Blue Mountain Ostrich Nutrition Bulletins will go down in history as an instrumental aid that began the New Ostrich Industry throughout the world for generations to come as that will have made all this extreme effort of publishing these Bulletins most worthwhile.

By Fiona Benson:
The Blue Mountain Nutritional Bulletins were started by Daryl Holle in December, 1996. At that time I remember awaiting their arrival with great anticipation as we are all thirsty for knowledge. Never at that time did I believe that one day I would also be contributing to these bulletins. Since that time Blue Mountain has produced 88 bulletins coming out on a regular monthly basis with some special bulletins to cover particular events or studies that required reporting. Our subject matter has been wide ranging and it can be stated that no other company or individual has produced as much information on Ostrich Production.
Bulletin #86 included a quote from the first section of a message we received nearly 12 months ago. The subject title of this email was “xxxxx industry is heading for disaster.” Below is the content of the second section of this email. I have taken out the name of the country, as this could be written from any country as the situation is similar most everywhere at this time and I have taken out references to commercial companies. The message does indicate that we have provided sufficient information to enable producers to evaluate for themselves and take appropriate action when that information is studied and understood.

Quote From International Bulletin Reader:
"Our first failure which then was a tragedy.  Now I know it was the DAY when I stopped being a passive investor and I turned into a "baby ostrich farmer". I knew that since I invested so much money into this "business" I had to take the matter further.
I moved the incubator into my daughter’s room and I set up a hatchery in my son's room. I had no other clean place to do it. Then I found the OSTRICHESONLINE on the Internet and I started looking for help. To make the long story short, since then over 90% of chicks have survived. Thanks to all your tips and to probiotics I've purchased from Ostrichesonline.
But this is not the end of my story (sorry). I went through all the Bulletins since 1996 and I came across many articles written by Daryl and Fiona. I could not believe what you were writing about the feed and farm management...after all everybody around was saying that 50 eggs per year, 25 chicks and 90kg (1 year old) slaughter bird is the BEST one can achieve !!!
I've ordered from Ostrichesonline 4 books: "Understanding Production Ostrich Nutrition"; "Ostrich Diagnostic Centre"; "Ratite Egg Incubation" and "Ostrich Chick Rearing".
Daryl, Fiona thanks for the books!!!!   They've made me realize how much more I must do to achieve really good results.

So many things I've implemented immediately after reading about them in your book. There are still so many things I must improve. And I know I can follow your advice.  YET I came across a barrier that made me scared and made me realize that sooner or later I will fail.... The whole xxxxxxxx ostrich industry will fail !!!!
            WHY ??????
Because even though I know that I need carefully formulated balanced ostrich feed, I simply cannot BUY a proper ostrich feed in Xxxxxxxx.
In Xxxxxxxx there are two major feed companies producing ostrich feed.

One of them called "xxxxxxxx" is producing 4 types of ostrich feed and I will try to translate all the information

I can find on the tags: (guaranteed analysis); The writer provided details for Starter, Grower, Breeder and Off Season. Nutrients listed were: Energy, Protein, Fibre, Calcium, Phosphorous, Sodium, NaCl, Lysine, Methionine, Methionine+Cystine and Tryptophan.
And that's absolutely all. Nothing else is written. It costs on average (equivalent of) $280 US /tonne. I was using that feed for about 5 months until I found your newsletters on the Internet. Since I am not a nutritionist I really didn't know if that feed was of a good quality but I decided to follow Daryl's advice and I call up the feed company.

The conversation was something like this:
Question: Since your feed is a COMPLETE FEED so how much of it should I give it per bird?

Answer:  Well, that something that nobody knows yet since ostrich is quite a new species in Xxxxxxxx......Just give them as much as you wish  but you also should give some extra forages and grains.
Question: Could you please tell me what ingredients do you use to make your feed?

Sorry, but this is our company secret.
Question: I read some articles (thinking about Fiona and Daryl) about the feed and I think that some ingredient ratios are not correct. Would you be willing to change/recalculate some components?

Look! Our company has 75% of the ostrich feed market, so we know the BEST what should and what should not be included in the feed.
                 Thank you for your "HELP" but you just lost 1% of the market !!
So I decided to change to the other ostrich feed company hoping that I will get what I was looking for.

The second feed company is "xxxxxx". And this is what I found on the tags (I have only three of the five sorts): Listed were rations for Ostrich 7-14mths, Breeder and Off Season. Nutrients listed were: Energy, Protein, Fibre, Calcium, Phosphorous, Sodium, Lysine, Methionine + Cystine and Tryptophan.
On the back of the tags one can find:  INGREDIENTS
GRAIN PRODUCTS, PROCESSED GRAIN BYPRODUCTS, BYPRODUCTS OF THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY, VEGETABLE OIL, Vitamins A; D3; E; K; B1; B2; B6; B12; Biotin, Pantothenate acid, Nicotin acid, Folic acid, Choline Chloride, Metionin, Lisine, Chalk, Mangan, Iron, Copper, Iodine, Selenium.
Of course NO other information is included. This feed is more expensive than the previous one and it costs from US $350/tonne (OSTRICH 0-2) to US $300/tonne (OFF SEASON feed). Again I decided to talk to the company sales representative to find out if they can give me more information:
Question: Can I get more information about the ingredients used in the feed (the BYPRODUCTS of the FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY got me worried especially)?

Answer: Sorry but this is a secret.

Question: How about the vitamins and other additives? (so that I could compare them with the information found on the internet)

Answer: We can't give you this information either

Question: So please send me information about the performance of your feed (how much feed per bird per day etc.).

Answer: Just give them (the birds) as much as you wish. We don't have any specifics.

Question: But your nutritionist must have designed the feed with some value in mind ...so just let me know what it is.

Answer: The recipe for the ostrich feed came from the USA and our company has been for over 100 years on the market so we definitely know what we are doing.

FIONA, DARYL, STEVE!!! Why did you do it to me????   Why did you enlighten me?  Not knowing would be better than knowing that what I am doing is not right! How can I be an ostrich farmer knowing that 95% of the problems are associated with wrong feed, when I know that I DON'T HAVE THE BALENCED FEED. In fact I feed my birds with breadcrumbs (because this is what they probably put into the feed). BUT I HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE.
Now you know why I think that the xxxxxxxx ostrich industry is going to collapse. There is no proper ostrich feed. What's even worse is the fact that none of the farmers I visited have any idea on how to feed and what to feed. Most people use only 20-30% of the commercial ostrich feed, mix it with corn, oats (cheap), wheat and just about anything else that is cheaper than the feed.
Last week I visited a big farm importing breeders and then selling them in Xxxxxxxx. Whoever buys an ostrich from this farm gets also a printed information on "how to feed breeders for best performance". I received one also. This is what it says: 

USE: 30% Commercial Complete Feed; 10% Barley; 10% Wheat; 10% Corn and 40% Oats  (about 1,5-2,0 kg/per bird/per day).

This farm is importing hundreds of birds and with them the above "PERFORMANCE FEEDING" information is spread to all parts of Xxxxxxxx...hundreds of farms.  Ostrich business is exploding in Xxxxxxxx right now.  But there are virtually no slaughter birds as yet.  I am afraid to think what is going to happen in the next year or two, especially that it is said that to save costs one may feed the chicks with oats and corn only (After all they all will be sold to the newcomers to the ostrich industry).
I know what I need but I don't know how to get it. I need the BLUE MOUNTAIN ostrich feed. Right now I have (on my 23 hectare farm) seven trios, six 1,5-year old and 25 5-6 months old birds. I feed them 100% with the XXXXXX feed because I have no alternative. I have access to a feed mixing and milling equipment on my farm so I could use the PREMIXES advertised by BLUE MOUNTAIN on the internet but Could you please tell me if I can buy them anywhere in EUROPE? I will not need huge quantities initially but as the news spreads around I'm sure people would be buying the performance feed.
Well, sorry for this long letter. Would like to write some more but I have no idea what is and what isn't interesting for you."
End Quote    

At a subsequent "workshop" meeting held in this country with producers, the individual above told the audience that after adopting all the feed management and farm management practices that we have published in Blue Mountain Ostrich Nutrition Bulletins and books, his bird performance increased dramatically – even though the basic rations were still incorrect. The good news is that this country has now formed a producer association, imported the Blue Mountain Ostrich premixes and will be manufacturing their own feed at costs very similar to the above mentioned feeds.
What this letter proves is that most all subjects have been well covered through our bulletins and are available either on the web site or through our books. The information is there to those able to understand English, study the detail and understand what needs to be done. In the future, we will produce bulletins when there is something new to report from our ongoing research and development so they will no longer be issued on a regular monthly basis. Reports on major industry events will now be channeled through the newly established World Ostrich Association.

We urge all readers of our bulletins to become members of this World Association that now has members from over 21 countries with new membership applications coming in steadily. Full information for joining the WOA can be found at:


The World Ostrich Association is holding its first Conference in Chile in April, 2003. The theme of the conference is "The Commercialisation of the Ostrich". The program is designed with emphasis on discussion, audience interaction, practical workshops, the economics of producing and processing Ostrich and markets and marketing. This will be the very first conference that we can all meet Daryl Holle outside the United States. Bookings can be made through the web site at:


where full details of the conference can be found. We look forward to seeing many of you in Chile.

The End

Click to return to Contents Page

Contact Information:

If you have any Bulletin Topics you would like us to consider for publication in a future E-Bulletin, e-mail your information to . We are always interested in hearing your ideas about the value of this E-Bulletin, or whether you have any problems viewing this document.

If you would like to discontinue your subscription to this E-Bulletin, or if you have additional e-mail addresses to add to our subscriber list, please visit the following page on our website and use the automated form to “subscribe” or “unsubscribe”: www.blue-mountain.net/feed/bulletin.htm

Also check out our web site at www.blue-mountain.net for feature articles addressing Ostrich Nutrition, Feeding Management, and Ostrich Farm Management.

Click to return to Contents Page

Blue Mountain Ostrich Nutrition E-Bulletin © February 2003

Return to Bulletin Menu
Copyright© of Blue Mountain all rights reserved

Thanks for visiting BM Ostrich Nutrition E-Bulletins