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Two ostriches owned by PJ Terblanche & Sons were sold for record prices at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s (WCDoA) 19th annual ostrich auction on 20 April. The male and female pair fetched R26 000 and R41 000, respectively.
Male ostriches from the Oudtshoorn Research Farm fetched an average price of R9 996, and the females an average price of R21 630. The auction’s turnover was R 1 271 000 at an average price of R14 443 per ostrich.
This year’s auction was presented in collaboration with the South African Ostrich Business Chamber (SAOBC) and the broader ostrich industry. Previously, only ostriches from the Oudtshoorn Research Farm were sold. However, this year ostrich producers had the opportunity to join the auction to provide pre-selected breeding ostriches for purchase.
Research and quality at the forefront
Dr Ilse Trautmann, deputy director general responsible for research and regulatory services, said the WCDoA supports the ostrich industry through research. “The WCDoA is the proud owner of the only ostrich research facility in the world. We support the ostrich industry through research into all aspects of ostrich production.
“The department annually sells progeny from the research flock to the industry. This enables it to benefit directly from the genetic improvement made through research. The agreement with the industry was that the breeding flock would be maintained and improved to provide the sector with enhanced breeding material,” Dr Trautmann says.
The year’s auction was preceded by an information-sharing day showcasing ostrich leather quality. Before the auction, the ostriches were evaluated on feather and skin quality. The feathers were evaluated by Hannes van der Westhuizen and Arthur Muller of Cape Karoo International, experts in feather quality.
Piet Kleyn, CEO of the SAOBC, ensured that the ostriches were weighed and complied with the minimum standards for selecting breeding birds.
“Producers are benefitting directly from work done by the WCDoA’s research facility in Oudtshoorn,” says Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Ivan Meyer. “Agriculture is a science, and science is underpinned by research. The research done at our ostrich research facility contributes to the industry’s success. Breeding ostriches and focussing on economic traits is vital to maintain this positive momentum.
“The Western Cape government’s priority is job growth, and a thriving ostrich industry bodes well for the economy and employment in the Western Cape.” – Press release, Western Cape Department of Agriculture