Engineer Lorenzo U. Limketkai and his son Heintje, back in 1996 pioneered ostrich farming in the Philippines. During the same year, Heintje went to Australia for a month to undergo actual hands-on training on ostrich farming. Thus established the Philippine Ostrich and Crocodile Farms, Inc. and the first batch of birds from Australia was purchased in July 1996.

The farm started with three pairs of breeders and the first egg was successfully laid on August 30, 1996. However, due to poor facilities and mishandling, the first egg was unable to hatch. Gaining valuable lessons from this experience, the company embarked on a facility upgrading program which included a computerized hatching and incubating equipment. The introduction of improvements yielded the first live chick in February 1997. Two groups of ostrich breeders were subsequently imported from Texas, USA to later augment existing Australian breeders.

It was on December 23, 1997 that the first bird was slaughtered and its meat sold to fine dining restaurants. Big Bird Ostrich Meat is hygienically processed and vacuumed packed enabling it to retain valuable nutrients. It is marketed only at leading supermarkets and deli shops. At the present, thirty ostriches are slaughtered monthly to satisfy market demand for its meat. It can be kept frozen for up to three months without noticeable changes in texture and taste. Big Bird Ostrich Meat is classified as red meat and is very similar in taste, texture and appearance to beef. It is versatile and responds well to any cooking method. Due to its natural tenderness, it requires less cooking time and adapts easily to most recipes. A pound of lean meat can be cooked in about 10 minutes although higher temperature will be required for most juicy results. The meat comes with no bone, no fat to trim and has very little shrinkage when cooked. A serving size of 100 – 140 grams of ostrich meat is recommended, as it is very filling due to its high protein content.

The public has easily accepted ostrich meat because of its taste and high nutrition value, i. e. low cholesterol and low fat content. It is comparable to beef in providing iron and protein supplements. Significantly, ostrich meat has less than half the fat of chicken and two thirds less fat than beef and pork. It beats the competition with fewer calories, too. That’s why Big Bird Ostrich Meat is the choice of health conscious consumers who refuse to sacrifice flavor.

for more info, visit their website at 

The Philippine Ostrich & Crocodile Farms, Inc. – A company accredited by the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Animal Industry and National Meat Inspection Commission of the Department of Agriculture, Republic of the Philippines.

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