Contrary to myth, the ostrich does not bury its head in the sand.

Rather, the ostrich is busy producing for the American farmer. So much so that in 1998, U.S. farmers produced 1.6 million pounds of ostrich meat and exported over 25,000 ostrich hides for use in the fashion and leather industries. To further awareness of the ostrich industry and its products, the American Ostrich Association (AOA) has proclaimed September as “National Ostrich Month.”

The growing interest in ostrich is principally because of its meat. It’s a red meat that has a unique taste and texture not unlike beef, but less than 3 grams for fat and only 140 calories per 3 1/2 oz serving. It is high in protein and iron and low in cholesterol. The benefits of lowering fat and cholesterol are well documented. Reduction of just 9% in cholesterol levels can reduce, by as much as 19%, the risk of heart disease. Diabetic and cardiac patients have great success using ostrich because it not only satisfies their hunger for red meat, but also helps them maintain adequate blood sugar and lipid levels. The ostrich industry is proud to market its meat as the “SmartChoice®.” The meat not only tastes great, but also is easy to prepare. It can be used in any recipe that calls for meat or poultry.

Another area of growing interest is in the ostrich hide. The leather, although the second strongest in the world, is very soft and has a unique quill pattern. A hot, new fashion trend is garments and accessories made out of ostrich leather. Ostrich leather has definitely expanded beyond the basic boot.

The number of U.S. farmers raising ostrich is at 1,000 and growing, making the product more widely available. Many restaurants now feature ostrich on the menu and grocers are beginning to market the burger and steaks. The Ostrich Mall, at, is a shopping haven for ostrich products.

In a continuing effort to make ostrich more available and affordable, the AOA has asked Congress to legislate mandatory inspection of ostrich meat. Currently, ostrich farmers pay for USDA inspection and grading of their meat–a service provided free to farmers of other traditional livestock.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

During National Ostrich Month members of the American Ostrich Association plan to generate interest in the ostrich industry through news articles, farm tours, speaking engagements, and appearances at fairs and other mass public gatherings offering samples of ostrich meat and showcasing other ostrich products.

For more information about ostrich or National Ostrich Month or to speak with a farmer in your area, contact Amy Raines, D.V.M., President AOA, at 817/624-3322 or log-on to