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‘I thought-about shutting down’: RSAF pilot turned ostrich farmer on the tough realities of his Johor enterprise

By 2008, his farm had housed 500 ostriches. It turned a one-stop vacationer attraction, with guests capable of attend instructional demonstrations, ostrich rides for kids in addition to a restaurant that serves ostrich egg omelets amongst different delicacies. 

Teh mentioned that earlier than COVID-19, his farm did cull a “small quantity” of birds and served them as menu choices for guests, similar to stir-fried ostrich meat and ostrich burger. 

Nevertheless, Teh famous that ostrich meat was not a profitable enterprise as solely 20 per cent of an ostrich is taken into account “edible meat” – the chicken’s legs and thigh. 


Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced tourism to a grinding halt. Between 2020 and 2022, the farm barely had guests and Teh misplaced a serious income to maintain the enterprise going. 

The Motion Management Order imposed through the pandemic by the Malaysian authorities meant that guests from Singapore had been additionally not allowed to cross the borders freely to go to. 

In the meantime, the farm was bleeding financially. Bills similar to ostrich feed, upkeep and manpower prices remained excessive and there have been negligible customer proceeds to lean on. 

“Each month, bills are between RM15,000 and RM20,000. This stretched over two-and-a-half years. It was taxing, very disheartening. I thought-about shutting down,” mentioned Teh. 

He then had no selection however to dump some property owned by his household in Malaysia, utilizing the proceeds to maintain the farm going. 

Even that was not adequate. Because the pandemic raged on and the farm’s future turned more and more jeopardised, Teh realised he had no selection however to cull “a big quantity” of his birds for meat to distributors in order that he may generate some income and decrease prices. 

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