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The Rich History of Ostrich in the US

In this article we dive into the rich history of the ostrich industry in the United States. Explore the fascinating developments that have shaped this industry throughout its timeline, gain insights into its current status today, and understand the barriers to entry faced by those interested in joining this unique sector.

Early Beginnings and Prominence (1880s - 1940s)

The ostrich industry in the United States traces its roots back to the late 1800s. Ostrich feathers gained popularity during the Victorian era as a fashionable adornment. Farming operations emerged in California and Florida, catering to the demand for feathers and novelty items made from ostrich byproducts. Ostrich farms flourished, and the industry experienced significant growth during this period.

Decline and the Rise of Conservation (1940s-1980s)

With the advent of new fashion trends and the decline in demand for ostrich feathers, the industry faced challenges in the mid-1900s. Many ostrich farms closed down, leading to a decline in the population of ostriches in the United States. However, this period also marked a shift towards conservation efforts and developing sustainable farming practices to cater to these magnificent birds replicating their habitats.

Resurgence and Diversification (1980s - Present)

In recent decades, the ostrich industry in the United States has experienced a roller coaster resurgence. Ostrich farming has expanded beyond feathers, with a focus on the commercialization of ostrich meat and other valuable byproducts. The industry peaked in the late 1900s with extreme elastic demand resulting in dramatic price swings, but since the market has mostly corrected itself. In most recent years, the demand for healthy, sustainable, and exotic meats has contributed to the growing popularity of ostrich products in the culinary world. Today, ostrich farms can be found in various states across the country.

Barriers to Entry Today

While the ostrich industry offers exciting opportunities, potential entrants should be cautious about the potential barriers they may face. Ostrich farming requires specialized knowledge, significant monetary investment, and access to suitable land and facilities. Breeding and raising ostriches demand expertise in avian management and veterinary care. Marketing and distribution channels must be established to reach a niche market. In addition, navigating regulatory requirements and compliance can pose challenges to new entrants as well. As one ostrich farmer put it, "This industry is not for the meek!" 

By exploring the history, current status, and barriers to entry in the United States ostrich industry, we aim to provide insights for those interested in becoming involved in this unique sector. We hope you enjoyed this journey as we uncover the dynamic landscape of ostrich farming in the United States. If you have anything to add feel free to contact us!